Love is a complicated emotion, but we've been able to categorize it into different forms. One form of love, for example, concerns itself primarily with the sex drive. It's a superficial sort of love that many people experience prior to developing genuine affection for another person. While this type of love is usually portrayed in a negative light, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. This love could be called "puppy love" in some situations, while in others it could merely be called lust. This feeling is experienced upon seeing beauty and feeling pleasure from the sight of it.
The Power of Lust, then, concerns itself with superficial characteristics, like outer beauty and athleticism. This is the inspirational force that comes from wanting to impress a pretty lady or handsome man. It may lead to a one-night stand, but it could alternatively lead to an actually romantic relationship. If lovers maintain a romantic relationship by "using the Power of Lust", then they may soon break off their relationship, as it isn't powerful enough on its own for lasting relationships. The Power of Lust is usually felt by male characters, and can often be Played for Laughs. Generally, women won't be subject to this trope unless All Women Are Lustful.
The inpsirational force described by this trope is the form of love before it does or can become romantic. It also concerns sexuality and the sex drive. Joe Schmoe and Big Bertha don't need to know each other or to be total strangers in order for this trope to be in play.
If the characters are already in a romantic relationship, then this trope may or may not be in play. It ultimately depends on context. Basically, if one of the lovers is trying to impress the other, then it's probably the Power of Lust, but if one of the lovers is trying to save the other's life, then it's probably The Power of Love. Generally, the two tropes cannot overlap.
Depending on how cynical the work is, this trope could be more or less powerful than the powers of love, friendship, and hate. It may be part of a virgin's power to overcome the Power of Lust whereas others are always tempted.
Compare and contrast The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship. Contrast with The Power of Hate, which is the complete opposite of this, and Distracted by the Sexy. See also Lust for the deadly sin of the desire for pleasure, and Intimate Healing when it can only be done through sexual activities rather than merely intimate ones.
- The entire plot of Ah My Buddha focuses around Ikkou Satonaka, a Buddhist monk-in-training who can unleash an incredible dormant power to exorcise demons when he sees nudity. Cue the whole cast of female characters exposing their breasts when the situation becomes dire. Though Ikkou is reluctant to continue his training, the grandmaster monks in the Buddhist community encourage him after they learn of his powers.
- In Gantz, Kei Kurono doesn't know how to activate his power suit's abilities. When he gets bullied in the anime, he thinks of Kei Kishimoto's breasts and gets turned on. It's only then that his suit activates and he knocks the bully's teeth out.
- Tadao Yokoshima from Ghost Sweeper Mikami has always been driven for girls and that's the main reason why he works for Reiko Mikami despite her abuse and the low payments. But later it's discovered that he has spiritual abilities that are powered by lust. They're seen for first time early on in the manga, and in one episode of the anime series, in which he serves as "spirit battery" for Emi Ogasawara. He eventually develops this power and becomes a proper ghost sweeper, even rivalizing in power with Mikami herself.
- In My Hero Academia, Mineta's realization that he wants to be a hero so he can feel up a woman is what spurs him to beat Midnight and pass his final exam.
- High School D×D: Issei Hyodo dreams of one day becoming the "Harem King." He's always been a pervert obsessed with breasts. Eventually, he dies and a beautiful devil named Rias resurrects him, turning him into a devil in order to make him her "Pawn." He then learns he possesses the power of a legendary dragon. He still has trouble accessing this power and is driven to do so by the prospect of groping Rias's breasts. Whenever Ria's breasts are involved, he explodes with near infinite power.
- In One Piece, Sanji is a Chivalrous Pervert, and part of his schtick is that he becomes enraged and empowered whenever a beautiful woman is in danger. For example, this happens in the Thriller Bark arc after he sense that Nami is in danger and bursts into flames upon becoming enraged and charges to her location at high speed.
- So, I Can't Play H!: Ryosuke's provisional contract with Lisara requires him to resupply her with a portion of his own Life Energy whenever she depletes her mana. But his life energy barely registers at 15,000, so he gives her his "ero energy" instead. It's near limitless because he's almost always thinking about sex, especially in regard to Lisara.
- In the final episode of Space Dandy, Dandy sets off to save the universe in the way only he can, but he's having trouble flying towards an anomaly that is causing it all. He glances at a monitor where all his friends are watching him, and upon seeing Honey's fine booty and thong, gets the determination to push forward.
- In Penthouse Comix, Doc Dare gains enhanced strength, endurance, durability and speed every time she has an orgasm as the result of exposure to a Super Serum.
- In Advice and Trust, Kaworu notes that strong emotions help him drown out The Call (his subconsious desire to cause Third Impact). Given that his physical body is that of a teenage boy, the most reliable method early on is his lust for Rei (before being replaced by The Power of Love).
- The Dresden Files novel White Night has a literal version: magic is fueled by emotion, so when Harry is trapped in a Collapsing Lair with a powerful psychic vampire, he gets her to kiss him, then uses her Emotion Bomb of lust to cast a protective bubble that lets them ride the blast wave out safely.
- A more mundane example: There's a story by Woody Allen about an older man who is terrified of hospitals (fear of death), but visits a hospital as often as he can because he's physically attracted to a woman who works there (a nurse?). The character telling the story marvels at how the man's lust overcame his terror of death, and the other characters (and readers) are expected to share his amazement. (The implication is that, when it comes to human motivations, the hunger for sex and the fear of death are the only things that are real.)
- An episode of Bones has Agent Booth facing his marksmanship test. He is advised to bring Dr. Brennan along as he won't miss his shots with her by his side. He does bring her, and he doesn't miss.
- In Penny Dreadful, Lucifer relies on the Power of Lust and on other superficial motivators to get what he wants. His power over Vanessa becomes overwhelming whenever she has sex, for example. As he doesn't understand Vanessa and her desires, he ultimately fails in wooing her to be evil. Dracula, on the other hand, confronts her with apparently genuine affection and does woo her to be evil.
- A film adaptation of the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas adds the incentive that the winners of a football match-up between the Longhorns versus the Aggies get to visit the Chicken Ranch, which is a brothel that used to take live poultry as payment during the Dust Bowl years.
- In Galaxy Quest, Fred Kwan has to use the "digital conveyor" to rescue Jason from a planet's surface. His trial attempt to use the device results in a pig-alien reduced to Ludicrous Gibs. However, once the pretty alien girl enters the room, he appears to calm down and seems to have more confidence. He then flawlessly operates the device.
- In Dragon Ball Evolution, Goku has trouble controlling his ki, and Grandpa Gohan's guidance doesn't help. It isn't until Chi-Chi, his eventual Love Interest, begins to motivate him that he gets the hang of it.
- In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Frank uses people's desire for pleasure — usually honing in on their sexuality — to corrupt them into doing what he wants, so as to fulfill his own lusts. The Power of Lust, however, ultimately causes his downfall in the ending where his subordinates mutiny against him for being "too extreme" and kill him. Meanwhile, the two characters who were virgins at the start of the story are traumatized, changed forever.