April 6, Today, marks the date for International Asexuality Day. It’s a day to promote avocacy, and celebrate those who identify as asexuals. In short, Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction, low or absent interest in partaking in sexual activities. Many do not identify a need for sexual intercourse and others only take part for reasons relating to child-bearing, or for their romantic counterpart. Yasmine Benoit steps out as the face of Asexuality to promote awareness and reduce stigma around asexuality.
Yasmin Benoit, Face of Asexuality
Yasmin Benoit is a British, Black model. She is also an advocate who hopes to change the face of what Asexuality may look like. Benoit’s most influential idenity is writer and activist for LGBTQ+. Yasmin Benoit, face of Asexuality, is just that an advocate who identifies as Asexual. On this day, advocates work to promote awareness and education on what Asexuality is. Most importantly, advocates have to work to dispel myths.
Benoit hopes to help others look at asexuality differently. There is an ongoing problem of aphobia, and hate directed to Asexuals. The model and advocate uses her social media plaforms to educate and avocate for asexuality, letting her viewers submit questions for her to answer. However, it does open the door for those with negative intentions as she combats aphobia on the regular across her social media platforms.
What is Asexuality?
Asexuality may mean different things to different people who identify with the moniker. It varies in terms with degree. For instance, for some, asexuality may mean experiencing zero desire to engage in sexual activities. For another, it may mean finding a specific person and that person may be what inspires them to engage in sexual activities. Still for others, sex may be a means to an end. For instance, they may engage in sex for a specific reason such as child bearing or to show their higher libido partner that they love and appreciate them.
And, to specify further, having no sexual attraction doesn’t mean a lack of appreciation of other forms of attraction and intimacy. This can include but not limited to cuddling. The degree to which they identify with asexuality may have a lot to do with libido. Libido is the sex drive and desire to have sex and experience sexual pleasure. Some may have no libido or extremely low. Yet, others can have a slightly higher libido that may have them engaging in sex in a much lower frequency then someone with a more developed sexual libido.
Yasmin Benoit, face of Asexuality, Pushes for Representation and Diversification
Yasmin Benoit posts on twitter, “I never thought I’d see asexuality in Buisness Insider. To celebrate, I speak about ace representation, misconceptions, and what asexuality is.” The advocate especially wants to open up a discourse on diversity of asexualty. Benoit puts herself in the spotlight to challenge what asexualty looks like and who can identify as asexual, or “Ace” for short.
Benoit hopes her advocacy on social media inspires more people, in the minority groups, to have the courage to open up about identifying as “Ace.” In 2018, Benoit started the hashtag #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike, encouraging asexual individuals to share their pictures and represent the diverse range of asexuality. By using the hashtag, Yasmin Benoit made herself the face of Asexuality.
Reducing Aphobia and stigma around Asexuality
According to Benoit, asexuality is like a sexual orientation that doesn’t lean towards any specific direction. However, the biggest challenge for Benoit and other asexual individuals is how others perceive and judge them. Many people who don’t grasp the concept ofasexuality tend to label those who identify as asexual as abnormal.
It is important to remember that love and sexuality are on a spectrum.The level of attraction and libido fluctuate on that spectrum depending on the person. Even, for those heterosexuals libido and attraction can fluctuate. Individuals can identify on the lower end and others on the higher end. Most probably fall somewhere in the middle.
Asexuality, A Label but Who Really Identifies with Asexuality?
Yasmin Benoit, the face of asexuality, clarifies “It has nothing to do with how you look—that’s something I get a lot—people are like: ‘Oh but you’re good looking, you don’t need to be asexual,’ which tells me that people think that there is an asexual look and that it isn’t a good one, and two that asexuality is a choice that people take when they can’t get dates or that they can’t get laid.“
Why is it important to have representation around Asexuality?
Benoit continues, “You barely see asexual people as it is, let alone a black asexual person…I think that representation is definitely very important because I think the LGBTQIA+ community in general is pretty whitewashed in its representation…Even in the LGBTQIA community, I find that people tend to cut out the A or think that the A stands for allies.”
In the article, she references above, Benoit gives us statistics and facts to consider about Asexuality.
- Only 1% of the global population identifies as asexual, experiencing minimal or no sexual attraction towards others.
- Misconceptions arise when people assume that asexual individuals are flawed or have not had positive sexual experiences.
- Asexuality is just as valid as other sexual orientations, such as bisexuality or heterosexuality.
For those who are interested in finding more information about asexuality, she is definitely a resource to consider.