"Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac."What is it about power that can make someone weak in the knees? Perhaps it's the control issues, to be dominated by someone that's just more than you, or is it something that just brings out our primal lust? Naturally, the Super Trope of many dominant/subordinate relationship based tropes. Also related is Evil Is Sexy, seeing as how evil is often simply a means of attaining power. This trope is often used to explain the Kavorka Man. Truth in Television.
— Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State 1973-1977
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- This is referenced in Highschool Dx D when Ddraig tells Ise that powerful dragons (like Ise) are always surrounded by women.
- Nemesis the Warlock: Torquemada's wife Candida admits that she's primarily attracted to him because of his power when pressed why she's staying with a psycho fanatic.
- Parodied in Spaceballs, as Dark Helmet play this very straight in his pathetic and very private Show Within The Show: He's playing with dolls, and the doll representing the princess fall for the doll representing himself on the basis of him being so powerful.
Dark Helmet (as Vespa): Oh no! I hate you I hate you I hate you! Leave me alone! And yet, I find you strangely attractive.
Dark Helmet (as himself): Of course you do! Druish princesses are attracted to money and power, and I have both.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, this appears to be the reason why the blond secretary flirted with Steve. During the debriefing scene with Colonel Phillips, she couldn't keep her eyes off of him. And later, when Steve asked to speak with Howard Stark, she wasn't even about to give him the time of the day until she recognized him. When she did, she was all over him.
- In Dragon Bones, ladies' man Beckram mentions that being of Hurog blood gives one a certain reputation, "like owning a dangerous animal" that makes him popular with the ladies. However, actually owning castle Hurog doesn't seem so interesting, as "no woman would want to live there" (it is in a very cold and remote part of the country). That's why he wants his cousin Ward, the protagonist, to do the actual owning.
- It is mentioned that the king has lots of (male) lovers, although it is not entirely clear as whether that is due to this trope, or whether they're just trying to gain influence over him.
- In Slave World, one of the main reasons Jenny falls in love with Lady Isobel is seeing her power over other people. An even greater aphrodisiac is that her discreetly forceful attitude makes it clear that she's used to having people bend to her will.
- Various entities in The Dresden Files world seem drawn to power, especially when it's expressed through violence. For one example, near the beginning of Cold Days, Harry wins a fight in the Winter Court of the Sidhe, proclaims that the abuse of mortals stops now, and scatters a flash-frozen Sidhe noble across the dance floor when he starts to do the usual "pathetic mortal" routine. He promptly finds himself the focus of rapt attention from several superhumanly gorgeous Sidhe ladies.
- A good example is found in Francis Urquhart, the scheming Tory politician, in House of Cards (UK). To assist his bid for political power, he has an affair with a young and attractive journalist. At an early stage in this process, she comments on his attractiveness and one of her colleagues mentions the charismatic effect of power.
- Parodied in-universe in The Thick of It, where Ollie and his then-girlfriend have some flirty banter about how he's gotten promoted and how the additional power makes him attractive. However, since Ollie is neither particularly powerful nor attractive, and both of them are fully aware of that, they are both clearly just joking. It's actually one of the few times where a genuinely light-hearted joke is made that both sides find funny, in comparison to the cock-ups and humiliations that are the usual source of humour.
- On The 100, Bellamy establishes himself as the leader of the 100's camp early in Season 1, and he's quickly shown to have a borderline harem situation going on.
- In the Night Court episode "The Price of a Guy", Kate's reaction to a Polynesian Royal Brat interrupting her leads to this:
Katherine: Hold it buster, I wasn't finished!Prince: In Kapua, no woman dares speak to a man that way.Katherine: Well you're not in Kapua now, Chicken Legs, you're in America. And furthermore, my sex has no bearing on the fact that I'm a highly trained attorney, so pipe down and let me do this!Prince: I have never been spoken in this way by anyone. (Beat) I like it.
- And his attitude towards her for the rest of the episode is gushing and fawning, eventually trying to bribe her into being his wife. (She declines.)
- In Dragon Age: Origins, a female Warden can make a remark to this effect when Alistair reveals his heritage.
- In The Order of the Stick, Evil Overlord Tarquin has had many wives... though some needed a little "convincing".
- This strip of Sinfest.
- Discussed in this Cracked article. (Like we said, this trope is Truth in Television.)
- The Nostalgia Critic names this trope as one of the reasons why the fangirls go for Loki in The Avengers.
- In Family Guy, Peter and the guys play "who would you do?"
Peter: Hey, you guys, here's one for you. Let's say none of us were married, all right? If you could have any woman in the world, who would it be?
Cleveland: I would go with Margaret Thatcher.
All: Margaret Thatcher?
Peter: Why the hell Margaret Thatcher?
Cleveland: Oh, so nobody here thinks power is sexy? Not one of you finds power sexy?
- In The Incredibles, Bob Parr (as Mr. Incredible) meets Mirage in a volcano and asks why the operation is situated in such a place. She responds, "[My boss] is attracted to power. So am I."
Mirage: It's a... weakness we share.