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The Sith code says:

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.

And yet, they only use anger, hatred and fear to power their strength.

Now, sex is considered a "bad" thing for force users, seeing how the Jedi ban it (in one of the Darth Bane novels, a woman is kicked out of the Jedi academy for falling in love with another padwan). So why would the Sith not use it?

The sex instinct is a million times powerful than anger etc. It is our primordial instinct powered by millions of years of evolution. Sex is also useful in that you don't have to undergo any personal tragedy to harness it.

Am I misunderstanding passion in the Sith code, or is there another reason the Sith don't use sex as one of the emotions to power their dark side?

Edited to add: Sex is not an emotion, but lust is. So the question could be rephrased as: Why don't the Sith use Lust as a dark emotion?

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    Because the Star Wars movies are PG. May 2, 2016 at 20:44
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    Plus, it's kind of hard to get in the mood in the middle of a lightsaber duel. May 2, 2016 at 20:46
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    In other words, could Anakin have beaten Kenobi if he had wanted to boink him? Ew. I don't think I want to know the answer to that. May 2, 2016 at 20:57
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    I just worked out a possible answer. To use a lightsaber in battle, one must swing it. If one's Force power is fueled by sex, all one can do is thrust it. May 2, 2016 at 21:02
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    The reason the Jedi are against romantic relationships is not because lust is somehow related to the dark side but because it leads to emotional attachment.
    – Philipp
    May 2, 2016 at 21:24

4 Answers 4

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While I've add dozens of comments (and enough sex jokes to fill a Rude Boy's Guide to Star Wars guide), no answer yet. So let me try to answer my own question.

There can be multiple reasons:

As @John Sensebe says, the movies were PG.

@DariM also makes the good point that Episode 2 had a element of sexual tension fuelling Anakin's emotions, but it went nowhere.

I also noticed something: Passion is opposed to Peace, which means passion here doesn't mean what it usually does in English.

I have recently reading a lot about the ancient philosophy of Stoicism (which has nothing to do with the modern meaning of Stoic). Stoicism (and other ancient Greek philosophies) use the word passion, but they mean something different.

Paraphrasing from this video:

Pathe or Passion are certain emotions that increase our insanity... and make it harder to fulfil our social roles. We are talking specially about fear, greed and anger.

So Passions here is being used in the ancient Greek meaning. Runaway emotions like anger and hatred, which cause us to lose our mental balance (if temporarily). The Sith use these uncontrolled emotions to fuel their power, while the Jedi get their power from a calm and peaceful mind.

In this view, sex (or lust) doesn't come into the picture.

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Because the Sith only look inwards, for themselves, and for the source of their strength:

PALPATINE: From a Jedi's point of view. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power. The difference between the two is the Sith are not afraid of the dark side of the Force. That is why they are more powerful.

ANAKIN: The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inward, only about themselves.

PALPATINE: And the Jedi don't?

ANAKIN: The Jedi are selfless … they only care about others.

Palpatine smiles.

--- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

... and because their ultimate goal, as per the Sith Code, is to free themselves utterly, from anything that can limit or control them, to break every chain. However strong sex may be as a motivator, it still implies desiring, or even needing, something outside yourself, in order to satisfy it, or achieve it, which is anathema to the Sith who only think of themselves and want to be free of everything else.

Note the example of Darth Malgus and Eleena Daru. Malgus had to keep his relationship with her a secret lest the other Sith find out and use it, or her, against him. At one point, he found out that she was in trouble and he went to rescue her, but after having done so, he realized that he wasn't acting to his own power, he was acting to save the life of another.

From his Wookieepedia article:

However, Malgus realized his worst fears and his experience with Aryn changed him for good. He realized that Daru was his weakness just like the Jedi. He could no longer afford this weakness. Therefore, he killed his only friend and freed himself from the shackles of emotions.

He realized what a weakness she was to him, so he killed her, then used his pain and anger relating to her death to fuel him and make him even stronger in the Dark Side.

Again from his Wookieepedia article:

Prior to duel [sic] with Adraas, Malgus became more powerful than ever before by eliminating his only source of weakness; Daru. Her death allowed Malgus to reach in such a mental state that he resided in the calm eye of a storm of hate. Power churned around him, within him. He did not feel as if he were drawing on the Force, using it. He felt as if he were the Force, as if he had merged with it. Within this state, Malgus became virtually unstoppable.

While the Sith do use passion to fuel them, the purpose of their passion is to give them strength, and from strength power, and from power victory, and from victory freedom as per the Sith Code:

Peace is a lie.

There is only Passion.

Through Passion I gain Strength.

Through Strength I gain Power.

Through Power I gain Victory.

Through Victory my chains are Broken.

The Force shall free me.

Passion isn't an end unto itself, it is only useful to the Sith insofar as it leads to strength. Any passion that they have which could theoretically weaken them, or risk their strength, and thus their power, they would see as something to avoid. Whereas hate and anger and a desire for more power come entirely from within themselves, lust/sex requires them to depend on something outside of themselves, and even if they don't love the person they are with, they are not free as long as they need them to fuel their strength.

A last example of this, related to sex, is that the Sith desired immortality, not offspring. Their lust for power to achieve freedom was so great that it overcame those same primordial instincts (that you mention above) to procreate. Their desire was to free themselves from the ultimate chain, Death itself, rather than continuing themselves in a reduced and indirect way through having children.

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Obviously the out of universe reason is that Star Wars is PG. But I believe that the in universe reason is this:

After the rule of two was created, Darth Bane decided that the Sith must remain covert. However, with the Sith no longer having the resources that they once did, their alter egos often are quite rich, influencial and well known (Darth Sidious, being Supreme Chancellor is the perfect example). Therefore I believe that the Sith do not use sex to fuel their power, (primarily) because it would look bad for their alter ego, should the public ever find that they were sleeping around. Some of the lesser known, rule of two Sith lords, may very well have used sex to fuel their power and we just never hear about it. Namely Darth Ramage ;)

Also, many of the Sith that we see just don't seem interested in sex. The Sith, like the Jedi, dedicate themselves to their Order and make sacrifices for it. The Sith are tortured for most of their training. In other words, the Sith seek power for the continuing of the Grand Plan not just for personal gain.

Sex is not only passionate but also pleasurable and for the Sith to engage in it would seem like to much of an indulgence to be justifiable. Hego Damask a.k.a Darth Plagueis, doesn't even like eating gourmet food, this is partly because of his race's weaker olfactory but might also be because he values discipline and associates indulgence with weakness, this is evident when he tells Sidious not to give Maul so much praise and when he learns to go without sleep so as to spend more time working.

Darth Tenebrous had a young (and apparently attractive) Muun disciple but there is no evidence that he ever engaged with her and indeed she is seemingly discarded after she gives birth to Plagueis. This is likely to be because he thought it unfitting that he should engage with someone of lower status. It is easy to imagine that this is why none of the Sith ever seem to have sex, because no one is good enough.

I do not known too much about the Sith before the rule of two, perhaps they did engage in sex, I have not seen any evidence otherwise, especially in the lower ranks. If they didn't, however I believe that their sense of discipline and superiority were the contributing factors.

I hope that at least partially answer your question.

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It wouldn't be very effective for combat

While lust is a powerful emotion it wouldn't be very easy to access before or during a lightsaber duel. The Sith may use stronger emotions to fuel their power but they also need to use reliable emotions. It's a lot easier to get really angry before combat than it is to get really horny. Especially if your trained always to be angry and to hate your enemy. The second they see a Jedi they would instantly be filled with hatred or anger and they can use that to fuel power. However to use lust they would first have to notice or think about something or someone worth lusting over and that might take a little while. Also the Sith would be constantly aroused and distracted wich could get him killed. I don't know about you but when I see a hot girl or I start thinking about sex I'm not focused on much else. So use ping lust effectively in combat would not only be difficult it would inconvenient and possibly harmful to themselves. It's rather hard to kill a Jedi when your thinking about a particularly attractive Twi'lek dancing girl.

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    Haha. Yes, those Twi'lek girls sure have ruined a lot of Sith careers Nov 8, 2016 at 14:40
  • You know it (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) ;) Nov 8, 2016 at 15:10
  • "I'm here to end your evil Sith lord" "Yeah well I have a boner" Nov 5, 2019 at 10:00

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