This paper examines the sexual composition of the hero (yingxiong) in traditional China and how this sexuality is projected onto the political plane. Existing scholarship on the Chinese hero has provided Sinology with excellent material on a number of issues, from those which link the hero with Chinese concepts of chivalry, to those which discuss the hero as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘mass-based’. One of the major lacunae in all of these studies, however, has been an analysis of the importance of sexuality to the successful construction of a ‘hero’. Before Chinese studies drew on more recent methodologies, such as those developed by feminist criticism, the yingxiong's sexuality was often casually dismissed. It was asserted that, in contrast to Western chivalric romances, where love is often the most important inspiration for heroic deeds, love (and by implication sex) in traditional Chinese chivalric tales ‘plays no such important part’.