The Demonic Guide to Putting the Seductive in Satanic

Being a demon isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day, you could get away with manifesting some hooves, growing out some nice horns and leering menacingly from the dark, occasionally manifesting a face on your genitals. That all changed with Milton. That bastard. If I’d known the upkeep, the sheer hours in front of the mirror that man would force upon me, I’d never have got him to write that damn book in the first place. It *seemed* like a great idea at the time. ‘Hehehe, get him to write a theodicy which highlights how I am, in fact, the wronged party’. It certainly did wonders for my popularity but I do miss the old days. It’s just so much upkeep…

Erik Wade Twitterren: "Mini-thread: Why do medieval devils have faces on  their groins/bottoms/knees? Well, Christians saw the body as reflecting the  proper order of the universe: up/right/front is good, down/left/back is bad.
Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 134, fol. 67v – Livre de la Vigne nostre Seigneur c. 1450-70

Paradise Lost was a real turning point. Sure, Milton’s theology was kind of orthodox when it came to depicting the demonic. However the depiction started, he always stripped away all the sublimity and glamour of the ‘archangel ruined’ and replaced it with a worm, performing some quite dextrous character assassination while he was at it and (quite rudely) highlighting the deceit, malignancy and pettiness that the bible leans into so much. I may have overdone the demonic whispering in the ear about making us look all heroic though because the first part did such a good job that no-one’s really gotten over it. I’m beginning to wonder who was playing who at this point…

In this new world of demonic requirements, where we have to worry about such things as ‘smoky eyes’, ‘come to bed smiles’, ‘abs’ and ‘soulful tormented musings’, it’s no shame to ask for a little helping hand. This guide will take you through some of the basic options for demonic appearance today. No one is better than the other. We’ll have none of that ridiculous body-shaming here in hell, thank you very much. Choose according to your whim and will, we’re all about free will down here after all. I will warn you though… you might actually need to beat the humans off with a stick with some of these options. While that might seem appealing (naming no names, looking in no directions…), so much adoration can become a real drain on your demonic schedule. Sexy Satans, Lustful Lucifers and Banging Beelzebubs are the order of the day though…

1.) More Monster than Man

Before Milton got his sly little fingers into our legacy, Dante really ran the show. His depiction was frankly monstrous but some humans still managed to make it a little slinky, focusing a great deal more on the ‘Archangel Ruined’ than the three headed monstrosity he described (which is a really fun look to pull off). If you really can’t bear to lose the fur/horns/wings/claws, this is an easy intro into the realm of Satanic seduction. This option also fits well with gently nibbling on the bodies of the damned which is always a gastronomic bonus.

Engraving by Cornelis (I) Galle after Da Cigoli, Collection Leiden University Libraries (PK-P-107.391)

You could also go for a more traditional look – horns, red skin, a sneaky hoof – but ripped.

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Tim Curry in Legend (1985)

2) Super-Satan

In the post-Miltonic age, as the eighteenth-century added sublimity to our register, majesty and awe have become essential to many versions of the demonic. You may look to affect a martial gleam suitable for leading our forces from Pandemonium (although it should be noted that *I* will be doing all the leading but having a plethora of us taking on the same mantel does wonders at confusing the humans). Costume is important. If you are going to wear armour, do make sure that it’s as skin tight as possible. We don’t want anyone not seeing your rippling abs, nips and tastefully draped privates. Imagine superman, now take off the underpants, add more silver and voila!

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Thomas Stothard – Satan Summoning His Legions – 1790

3) You Can Keep Your Hat On

Another option for a militaristic look which says ‘I might summon legions of ravenous minions of hell at any moment’ is to go stark-bollock-naked. To keep it classy, you should choose an attention-grabbing head piece. Perhaps a plumed helmet or a dashing beret.

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Sir Thomas Lawrence – Satan Summoning His Legions – 1796-7

4) Seductive Satans

Another popular clothing option you should consider in your path to becoming a delicious demon or ‘sexy Satan’ is that of the artful drape. The power of the drape is so seductive that it has led to much friction among the humans. The first of the examples below was considered too sexy by its commissioners for its proposed place in one of their worship houses, the second (by his brother) was passed but has been an incredibly useful tool in our arsenal over the centuries. It has been responsible for any number of wandering eyes and delightfully devilish thoughts… a model to follow!

L’ange du mal – Josef Geefs – 1842
Le genie du mal – Guillaume Geefs – 1848

5) Between terrifying and on the toilet

Demonic aesthetics are not simply about clothing options, of course! Your whole body is a canvas! Poses are KEY to demonic self-presentation. One of the easiest to adopt while still remaining terrifyingly alluring to the humans is the ‘squat and stare’. Keep your gaze intense, wings folded, knees together. A common error among young demons here is going a step too far and moving from terrifying to constipated. Make sure you avoid these excesses by lighting your eyes with an undying gleam borrowed from the fires of hell.

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Franz Stuck – Lucifer – 1890

6) Drama Satan

If you are wanting to move beyond the basics and begin to challenge yourself, a great place to start is over-exaggeration. If your body tells a story, try making it shout. Have we been wronged? Cast out? Abandoned? Make sure that someone could interpret that from the fling of your shoulders, the despair contorting your face, and the tears falling lushly to the ground from at least 200 paces.

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Gustav Dore – Illustrations for Paradise Lost – 1866

7) Angst and Sorrow

If you find yourself in need of a greater challenge, attempt the pose in a variety of positions. Try to practise with a full range of positions, including recumbent, seated and standing. You may want to attempt to convey the following emotions: despair, loss, sorrow, pain, determination, defiance a sense of injustice or, if you’re going to be as subtle about it as a brick to the face, sexiness.

Fallen Angel, 2011 - Roberto Ferri
Roberto Ferri – Fallen Angel – 2011
Roberto Ferri's masterful eye - Italian Ways
Roberto Ferri – The Fall – 2019
Roberto Ferri – Lucifer – 2013

8) Hover Satan

The most difficult pose of all to attain is, of course, the ‘Hover Satan’. Only proficients with millennia of training can achieve this perfection.

William Blake – Satan Exulting over Ever – c. 1795

9) Pouty Satan

One need not become a gymnast to fit in with modern Satanic standards of sexiness. Much can be done with the eyes and face. Your eyes should scream ‘DEFIANCE’ or ‘COME HITHER’ (perhaps less shouting on the last one – that tends to be off-putting). Your face should pout so hard that no-one even needs to see your lips. Your hair should move against the laws of physics to form a floating curtain of flames (other colours are acceptable, of course, but red is so traditional. Hell, represent!). Raising your arm up to cover your face also adds a much needed and appreciated air of mystery. It says, ‘You can’t see my mouth. Ha.’

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Alexander Cabanel – Fallen Angel – 1847

10) Eat Your Heart Out

Actions often speak louder than words and we have a good demonic tradition going of weighty silences and occasional monologues but we do have a way with words and we should use it. Let tradition not hold us back! The modern age often calls for pithy come backs, adroit one-liners, blood-freezing terror distilled into a few short sentences… Allow me to demonstrate (examples taken from The Prophecy):

‘Little Tommy Daggett. How I loved listening to your sweet prayers every night. And then you’d jump in your bed, so afraid I was under there. And I was!’

Context is key but we also find that eating the heart of your enemies at the same time really gives weight to your argument.

Our Ten's List: The End of the World (Part 2!)
Viggo Mortensen in The Prophecy (1995)

We have only just begun here to unwrap the possibilities of modern demonic self-representation. If you would like to continue your journey, develop your skills and graduate to more complex and complete modes of Satanic seduction, be sure to catch our next guide where we consider: disguise, different gendered forms, modern professions suitable to the demonic and much more!

Published by SamHirst

This started off as a story blog to share the little fictions that I like to write but it's turned into something a bit more Goth! I'm Dr Sam Hirst and I research the Gothic, theology and romance and at the moment I'm doing free Gothic classes online! We also have readalongs, watchalongs and reading groups. And I post fun little Gothic bits when I have the chance. Find me on twitter @RomGothSam

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