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The Succubus Reconsidered: Sexuality In Sleep Paralysis

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      THE SUCCUBUS RECONSIDERED: SEXUALITY IN SLEEP PARALYSIS
      By Ryan Hurd
      Dream Studies
      June 25, 2010

      http://dreamstudies.org/2010/06/25/succubus-and-supernatural-assault/

      This piece about sexual spirit encounters and ghost rape is adapted from
      chapter 6 of my ebook Sleep paralysis: a dreamer¹s guide:

      http://www.e-junkie.com/86165/product/356370.php

      The historic fears of succubi and incubi must be reconsidered in light of
      contemporary psychology. As the medical community disregarded the
      narratives of sleep paralysis until David Hufford¹s ground-breaking work in
      the 1970s, we would be making the same mistake if we chalk up the old tales
      of sexual demons to ³merely legend.²

      Modern dreamers still have sexual experiences in sleep paralysis, and ³ghost
      rape² is still a phenomenon that is whispered about in anonymous and private
      settings. I have already discussed how alien encounters are one popular
      interpretation of the sensations of being forcibly touched by an entity
      (seen and unseen) while paralyzed in bed. Other cultural interpretations
      today include demons of the devil (evangelical Christianity) and a visit by
      the spirit form of a dark magician (indigenous shamanism).

      Jungian psychologists may interpret spectral rape as a ³vampire complex,²
      representing an imbalanced relationship with the parent of the opposite sex,
      or perhaps hinting at memories of incest. Dreamers with a history of sexual
      abuse may be more likely to experience flashbacks during sleep
      paralysis/hypnagogic hallucinations (SP/HH). Similarly, survivors of trauma
      also may incorporate flashbacks into HH.

      However it is viewed, I think it is important to not ³interpret away² the
      actual encounter. These things happen, and they are a natural, although
      disturbing, part of human experience.

      We¹re Wired for Sexual Dreams

      The physiology of the dream state may be one reason why sexual content is so
      often reported. In the REM state, our muscles are in paralysis but the body
      is in a state of excitement. Even though sleep paralysis doesn¹t feel like
      a dream, it has been shown in the lab that the expeirence occurs during REM
      intrusion after awakening or just after falling asleep. In REM sleep,
      whenever it occurs, men typically get erections, and women¹s genitalia
      become engorged. Orgasms have been documented countless times in dream labs,
      and in sexual lucid dreams it is possible to experience orgasm too.
      Dreaming sleep is simply a sexy place to be.

      Even when we are scared, and sometimes because we are scared, sexual
      excitement does not diminish. Sexuality and terror are deeply intertwined,
      neurologically speaking. So it¹s not that outlandish to believe the medieval
      court documents in which men tell of being forced to have sex with
      mysterious she-demons and witches, even though this testimony was used in
      service of misogyny and the destruction of indigenous religious practices.

      Positive Sexual Encounters in SP/HH

      However, some sexual SP/HH encounters are not necessarily unpleasant. For
      dreamers who do not have a traumatized past, sexual play during hypnagogic
      hallucinations can be healthy and exciting. This was brought to my attention
      when one reader from my website admitted that he cherishes the ephemeral
      spirits who approach him at night. He reports excitement, pleasure, and
      mental orgasms during his SP-induced hallucinations. He does not seek these
      escapades but does not seem to mind too much, even though he admits it
      somewhat weird that the ³spirit² sometimes is not altogether human.

      In the book Dark Intrusions
      <http://astore.amazon.com/newheavenneweart/detail/1933665440>, Louis Proud
      also has collected reports of spectral sex that are erotic, albeit deeply
      weird. As with lucid dreaming, sensuality can be safely explored in this
      private mental arena.

      I don¹t treat these experiences like a ³fantasy world,² however. There are
      always psychological repercussions to any act, thought, or way of being.
      Also, as with lucid dreaming and waking life, these encounters can be more
      pleasurable if they are not goal-oriented, but rather based on intimacy and
      consensual action. If the encounter gets too weird, or compromises your safe
      boundaries, you can always wake up from sleep paralysis.

      ...

      See:

      9 Ways to Wake Up From Sleep Paralysis
      By Ryan Hurd
      http://dreamstudies.org/2010/04/29/9-ways-to-wake-up-from-sleep-paralysis/

      Ending Nightmares for Good
      By Joseph Dillard
      http://www.integraldeeplistening.com/free-nightmare-e-book

      ...

      Spiritual Bypass and Chi Sucking Vampires

      As with all vision-states, one can become ³addicted² to the inner adventure
      at the expense of healthy waking life. Psychologists call the unhealthy
      drive for ecstatic states ³spiritual bypass,² and this concept may be at the
      root of the historically noted danger of falling in love with the spirits
      and nymphs of the inner world. After all, what ordinary and flawed human
      partner can compete with an alluring fantasy lover who comes only at night?

      Sexual demons can reveal patterns in our romantic life, especially
      concerning how we give of ourselves. For men, repeated encounters with
      ³sexual vampires² who seem to suck up inner resources or willpower may be
      reflective of an unhealthy sexual pattern in waking life. This encounter
      illustrates a ³leak² of life force that may be unsustainable.

      For women, not being able to stop the sexual advances of a night demon may
      be indicative of difficulties in drawing firm boundaries or deciding who is
      allowed to ³enter your sphere.² Of course, these visions of energy imbalance
      (of chi-sucking and demon rape) can work for either gender, depending on
      character, personal history, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

      In spite of these dangers, rest assured that in the 21st century no one will
      condemn you in a court of law for having intercourse with a night elf or a
      water pixie.

      For more about the positive, and even life-changing, possibilities of sleep
      paralysis and hypnagogic visions, check out my ebook:

      http://www.e-junkie.com/86165/product/356370.php

      I¹m also still collecting accounts of sexual encounters during SP/HH for my
      ongoing research (positive, negative and the deeply weird). Contact me using
      the form on my about page. As always, I promise anonymity if you choose to
      share your experiences with me.

      ............

      NHNE Pulse: Dream Resources Page:
      http://nhne-pulse.org/dreams/

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      Published by David Sunfellow
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