This is for the November Carnival of Aces. Here is the introduction.
So, in the last post, I said that Yang Guo’s lack of sexual feelings is evidence that he is asexual. But what if Jin Yong just doesn’t feel comfortable writing about the protagonist’s sexuality?
Since this novel is the second part of a trilogy, I think it is fair to look at Guo Jing (the protagonist of the first part) and Zhang Wuji (the protagonist of the third part) to see if Jin Yong is willing to show them express sexual feelings.
Of the three protagonists, Yang Guo is the ‘bad boy’ who is willing to say how feels, even when it offends other people. Guo Jing, on the other hand, is a goody-two-shoes who clings to social conventions as hard as he can. Let’s see what he gets up to…
A ray of light came from the window, and lit up her cheeks, which were as beautiful as a sunrise. Guo Jing spontaneously felt that her hand was extremely soft and warm, and his chest slightly rippled. He hurriedly tried to restrain himself, but his face was already turning red.
Since the two of them had been together, Guo Jing never had these thoughts about her, and he silently was both surprised and blamed himself. Huang Rong suddenly saw that his face and ears were red. Puzzled, she asked “Brother Jing, how are you doing?”
Guo Jing lowered his head and said “I really am bad, I suddenly thought … thought…”
Huang Rong asked “Thought what?”
Guo Jing replied “From now on I won’t think about it.”
Huang Rong said “But before just now what were you thinking?”
Guo Jing had no way to avoid the question, so he just said “I wanted to embrace you, kiss you.”
Huang Rong’s heart melted, and her cheeks also turned red, and looked beautifully bashful, and even lovelier.
Guo Jing saw that she drooped without a word, and asked “Rong’r, are you angry? Thinking this way, I seem to be just as bad as Ouyang Feng” [Ouyang Feng is a promiscuous and creepy character who really wants to have sex with Huang Rong].
Huang Rong giggled, and softly said “I’m not mad. I was thinking, soon you will always be able to embrace and kiss me, I’m going to be your wife!”
Guo Jing’s heart was really happy, and he stammered without being able to say anything. Huang Rong added “You really want to kiss me that badly?”
Again, apologies for the mediocre translation.
Just based on this quote alone, this might not be sexual attraction, but while in the room, Guo Jing also experiences a powerful urge to have sex with Huang Rong, and supposedly one of the reasons he got such a great urge what that he was right next to the girl he loves (i.e. he’s attracted to her).
You know, this never occurred to me before, but Guo Jing just might be demi-sexual. But I don’t want to go off on a tangent.
Okay, that seems like sexual attraction (and arousal) to me (especially considering some of the things Guo Jing says to Huang Rong in other parts of the novel). So Jin Yong doesn’t mind depicting his goody-two-shoes feeling sexually attracted to his sweetheart.
Zhang Wuji is somewhere in between Yang Guo and Guo Jing – he’s not a goody-two-shoes, but he’s also not a ‘bad’ boy. Now is he allowed any sexual feelings…
I don’t have time to translate quotes, so let’s just say that he puts a lot of effort into resisting the urge to indulge in activities that might get his female companion pregnant (instead, they have non-penetrative sex). In fact, he feels this way about more than one of the female characters, though he does not indulge in as much sexual activity with the others. Clearly, he experiences sexual attraction.
So Jin Yong has no problem depicting the protagonists of this trilogy expressing sexual feelings. And, when it comes to the protagonists’ personalities, Yang Guo is the one who is least likely to ‘repress’ his feelings. When he’s not consciously trying to deceive somebody, he pretty much wears his heart on his sleeve. So the fact that Yang Guo the one who expresses the least in the way of sexual feelings? To me, that means that the sexual feelings probably aren’t there.
In part 4 I discuss the intersection of being asexual and being a ‘bad’ boy.