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Thread: Does your favorite Jinyong character shows Asexuality or Celibacy?

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    Default Does your favorite Jinyong character shows Asexuality or Celibacy?

    Definition of an asexuality:
    Asexuality is a sexual orientation in which a character experiences little or no sexual attraction to another person and/or no desire for sexual contact.

    Definition of an celibacy:
    The state of abstaining from sexual relations.

    I have been thinking about this topic for many years regarding some of Jinyong's most prominent characters and their asexuality and/or celibacy.

    Three characters that come to my mind are
    Wang Chongyang, Zhang Sanfeng, and Yang Guo.
    Wang Chongyang loves Lin Chaoying but no sexual commitments.
    Zhang Sanfeng loves Guo Xiang but the author does not mention any sexual attractiveness.
    Both characters could be said to show both asexuality and/or celibacy throughout their lives.

    I will discuss in more details regarding Yang Guo since I have more knowledge about him.
    Yang Guo met Xiaolongnu in the Ancient Tomb when he was about 14 years old and she was 18.
    Xiaolongnu's physical appearance was described the author as "skin as white as snow, beautiful and elegant beyond convention."
    Sure, Yang Guo has some attractions toward Xiaolongnu because of her gentle, beautiful complexions.
    However, he spends years living alone with Xiaolongnu, the love of his life, without showing any sexual desires toward her.

    For instance, even during and after they were bare-skinned performing the Jade Maiden Heart Sutra to synchronize their internal energies and doing this will at the same time was to avoid fire-deviation, Yang Guo had no sexual thoughts toward his gugu.

    Throughout the story, Yang Guo met several beautiful women like Gongsun, Lue Lu Wushuang, and Wan Yan Ping who dearly love him.
    However, he has some attractiveness toward them but never in a deliberate sexual way.

    Throughout the story from when he was 14 to 36 years old, Yang Guo never have any deliberate thoughts of sexualilty toward Xiaolongnu or the women that he met.
    As a result, he stayed celibate during the entire story.

    Is Yang Guo showing both asexuality and celibacy or just the latter?

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    Senior Member Athena's Avatar
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    It is only fair that I post in this thread, as I encouraged to write about something else than martial arts comparison. I like the effort.

    This has to do with Jin Yong’s writing style. His wuxia novels have something in common with the medieval courtly love genre; especially ones where physical sexuality is not even mentioned. There is romance and love between characters, but sexuality or the deed of sex is very obscure in his novels. Most of the time, sex is associated with negative characters or lecherous characters: think Ouyang Ke, Yun Zhonghe, Tang Pei, Feng Tiannan, Zheng Zhibing and a more positive one Tian Boguang.

    In all Jin Yong’s novels, none of the characters consummate their love. They have children, but we don’t read the acts. In contrast, Gu Long does have this quite explicitly. We associate Jin Yong novels of being sex-free. That is why the readership is so angry, outraged, and it is blasphemous that Zhen Zhiping raped the Little Dragon Girl. We didn’t expect this. Not even Yang Guo, the hero, of the story got physical with the heroine, and suddenly the Taoist priest defiles her. How dare he!

    Similarly, why is the Duke of Mount Deer so controversial because Wei Xiaobao did rape those girls? But also, because Jin Yong broke his own rule of upholding courtly love in his last novel. His last protagonist was not a hero of courtly love; in fact, he tried to persuade a character named Hu Rizhi who was a crush on Chen Yuanyuan for decades to ‘do something’ instead of quietly protecting her in secrecy.

    I don’t really see it as asexuality, but more as the writer’s belief in this concept of courtly love for his novels. In many ways, Jin Yong is similar to Tolkien, I hate to compare because I find when people say ‘Jin Yong is the Asian Tolkien’ so imperialist. Why can’t Tolkien be the ‘Western Jin Yong’?
    Last edited by Athena; 08-01-21 at 10:49 PM.
    So huge, so hopeless, to conceive
    As these that twice befell
    Parting is all we know of heaven
    And all we need of hell.

    Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athena View Post
    It is only fair that I post in this thread, as I encouraged to write about something else than martial arts comparison. I like the effort.

    This has to do with Jin Yong’s writing style. His wuxia novels have something in common with the medieval courtly love genre; especially ones where physical sexuality is not even mentioned. There is romance and love between characters, but sexuality or the deed of sex is very obscure in his novels. Most of the time, sex is associated with negative characters or lecherous characters: think Ouyang Ke, Yun Zhonghe, Tang Pei, Feng Tiannan, Zheng Zhibing and a more positive one Tian Boguang.

    In all Jin Yong’s novels, none of the characters consummate their love. They have children, but we don’t read the acts. In contrast, Gu Long does have this quite explicitly. We associate Jin Yong novels of being sex-free. That is why the readership is so angry, outraged, and it blasphemous that Zhen Zhiping raped the Little Dragon Girl. We didn’t expect this? Not even Yang Guo, the hero, of the story got physical with the heroine, and suddenly the Taoist priest defiles her. How dare he!

    Similarly, why is the Duke of Mount Deer so controversial because Wei Xiaobao did rape those girls? But also, because Jin Yong broke his own rule of upholding courtly love in his last novel. His last protagonist was not a hero of courtly love; in fact, he tried to persuade a character named Hu Rizhi who was a crush on Chen Yuanyuan for decades to ‘do something’ instead of quietly protecting her in secrecy.

    I don’t really see it as asexuality, but more as the writer’s belief in this concept of courtly love for his novels. In many ways, Jin Yong is similar to Tolkien, I hate to compare because I find when people say ‘Jin Yong is the Asian Tolkien’ so imperialist. Why can’t Tolkien be the ‘Western Jin Yong’?
    I am very appreciative of you replying to this sensitive topic.
    I think the author's style of writing was in a way to emphasize the cultural norms, which are the shared expectations and rules that guide behavior of people within social groups.
    For, example a master must not marry his or her student or no sexual relationship without marriage.
    This is written as a way to make the story more intriguing regarding Xiaolongnu's purity, and after she was sexually violated, everyone was shocked, including the readers.

    I think Jinyong was also thinking about cultural norms of the time when he wrote ROCH and also to reach out to a broader audience by writing conservatively, like the TV ratings of today.
    Writing PG-13, instead of Rated-R to attract a broader audience.

    All in all, thanks @Athena for enriching my curiosity and knowledge with this topic

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