Everything You Need to Know About Ghost Sex

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Photo: Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

If you're tired of putting up with all the hassle endemic to having sex with a corporeal being, or if you've ever dreamed of consummating a relationship without actually having to touch another human, there's another option that might satisfy you: banging ghosts. Hey, if it worked for Demi Moore ...

On last night's Candidly Nicole, Nicole Richie met Patti Negri, a witch who says she's the "foremost expert" on ghost sex. Negri has made a career out of being a celebrity medium and a prominent thinker in the field of spectrophilia, a fetish or condition where people display a strong sexual attraction to ghosts and spirits. 

Get More: Candidly Nicole

Of course, this isn't the first time ghost sex has made its way to TV. Here, a primer on spooky sexy time.

Origins
For as long as humans have been conscious of a spiritual realm, humans have dreamed, fantasized, and (some claim) experienced doing it with ghosts. Medieval legends told the tale of Succubus and Incubus, demons who would invade human bodies and have sex with them. It's a long-standing, cross-cultural phenomenon, and one that probably isn't going away anytime soon.

How Does It ... Work?
Most people experience ghost sex as a dream, or as they're falling into or out of sleep. Scientists estimate it's because our brains are especially susceptible to hallucinations at those times.

Paranormal Activity 2 actress Natasha Blasick described her experience with ghost sex thusly:

Suddenly I could feel that somebody was touching me and the hands were pushing me against my will. And I could feel the weight of the body on top of me my body was pushed in different directions. And at first i w as very confused with all that, then I just decided to relax and it was really, really pleasurable."

On the radio show "Paranormal Review," Negri notes that ghost sex is more than just sudden orgasmic sensation.

"It's not just like you're feeling orgasmic," she said. "You're feeling specifically where they are touching: they're touching my left breast, they're touching down there, they're touching something. You actually feel penetration often."

There's a Difference Between Ghost Sex and Ghost Rape
Some people are super into ghost sex as a fetish, as evidenced by the online communities you can find dedicated to ghost erotica. But there's also the phenomenon of ghost rape, when people feel they've been assaulted by spirits against their will. Folklorist David J. Hufford believes that up to 15 percent of people "experience being assaulted in their sleep by an unknown entity at some point in their lives." Even with ghosts, there's the issue of consent — while some people actively try to summon demons to do it with, others say ghosts have groped them without the okay.

Ghost Sex in Pop Culture
Candidly Nicole isn't pop culture's first foray into the topic of ghost sex. Anna Nicole Smith famously had this to say about ghost sex in an interview with FHM in 2004:

"A ghost would crawl up my leg and have sex with me at an apartment a long time ago in Texas. I used to think it was my boyfriend, then one day I woke up and found it wasn't."

And Ke$ha made headlines in 2012 for claiming she too had boned a spirit. "It's about experiences with the supernatural ... but in a sexy way," she told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show. "I had a couple of experiences with the supernatural. I don't know his name! He was a ghost! I'm very open to it."

In 2012, the Travel Channel aired a documentary called Ghostly Lovers that featured interviews with dedicated spectrophiles.

And of course, there's Ghost.

More Information About Ghost Sex
Katie Heaney's awesome Pacific Standard piece, "A Brief Investigation Into Human-Ghost Intercourse"
"The Paranormal Review" radio show has an episode dedicated to spectrophilia.
"What's Behind Reports of Ghost Sex?" at Discovery News
The Terror That Comes in the Night by David J. Hufford