Asexual activist Yasmin Benoit explains what it means to be aromantic

‘I don’t fall in love’: Woman, 25, who feels NO romantic or sexual attraction says society places too much ‘pressure’ on finding a partner

  • British model Yasmin Benoit explains what it means to be aromantic 
  • The 25 year old from Reading identifies as both asexual and aromantic
  • She says society places too much importance on finding a life partner 
  • A woman has spoken about her experience of being aromantic-asexual, meaning she feels no romantic or sexual attraction, and insisted it should not be viewed as a ‘negative’.  

    Yasmin Benoit, 25, from Reading, explained: ‘As someone who is aromantic, I don’t experience romantic attraction. I don’t “fall in love” in a romantic sense. I don’t have romantic relationships. I don’t date anyone. I don’t have boyfriends or girlfriends, or any kind of romantic partner.’

    After growing up thinking romantic feelings would happen ‘at some point’, Yasmin, a model, activist and influencer, came out as aromantic-asexual in 2017. 

    She has now become a face for those communities, delivering talks online and around the world to encourage greater understanding, acceptance and inclusion.   

    Yasmin Benoit, pictured, has spoken about her experience of being aromantic-asexual, meaning she feels no romantic or sexual attraction, and says it shouldn't be viewed as a negative

    Yasmin Benoit, pictured, has spoken about her experience of being aromantic-asexual, meaning she feels no romantic or sexual attraction, and says it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative

    After growing up thinking romantic feelings would happen 'at some point', Yasmin came out as aromantic-asexual in 2017

    After growing up thinking romantic feelings would happen ‘at some point’, Yasmin (pictured) came out as aromantic-asexual in 2017 

    She also coined the hashtag #ThisIsWhatASexualLooksLike, as a means to increase visibility and debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding the aromantic and asexual spectrum.

    Speaking to FEMAIL, Yasmin explained there is a misconception that aromantic or asexual people have had a bad experience or battle with ‘self-esteem issues’, when in fact this isn’t the case. 

    The concepts of aromanticism and asexuality, according to the model, are not new and have actually been in literature ‘for decades, from the 1800s.’ 

    Yasmin (pictured in partnership with Pure app) has partnered with many institutions and regularly speaks at universities, globally to debunk the myths surround asexuality

    Yasmin (pictured in partnership with Pure app) has partnered with many institutions and regularly speaks at universities, globally to debunk the myths surround asexuality

    Yet she says it is only recently that we are ‘becoming more inclined to deconstruct things’.

    Yasmin explains that we are often taught sexual and romantic orientations are one and the same when they are not. She argues this means the concept of a romantic orientation isn’t applied as ‘widely’ as it should be.

    She says that for some people, on the basis of gender, it lines up neatly and you can experience romantic attraction to one gender, but sexual to multiple.   

    Or she says that you may not experience sexual attraction at all, but you may still experience romantic attraction.  

    She continued: ‘You wouldn’t think the concept of asexual as something to get wound up about, but people would draw attention to it as it seems like a biological problem.’

    Yasmin says that there is 'more to life' than romantic relations and by not investing so much time and energy into finding a relationship it allows her to 'experience so much'

    Yasmin says that there is ‘more to life’ than romantic relations and by not investing so much time and energy into finding a relationship it allows her to ‘experience so much’

    Whereas, she says, it is easier to hide speaking about aromanticism as a concept, as it seems to manifest itself as ‘being single’.

    The 25-year-old said she has now become an expert in avoiding environments that facilitate romantic or sexual interaction and that if someone does seek her out then she finds ways to turn them away. 

    Sometimes I just emphasise that I’m not interested and that works,’ she continued. 

    ‘I don’t really have the patience to give Ted Talks to random guys all the time. The nuances of my orientation aren’t inherently any of their business.’   

    Yasmin believes that, by not investing so much time and energy into finding a sexual or romantic relationship, she is experiencing ‘so much’. 

    The 25-year-old said she has now become an expert in avoiding environments that facilitate romantic or sexual interaction and that if someone does seek her out then she finds ways to turn them away

    The 25-year-old said she has now become an expert in avoiding environments that facilitate romantic or sexual interaction and that if someone does seek her out then she finds ways to turn them away 

    She tailors her talks to what students would like to discuss. Many of them want advice on how to navigate relationships and want to hear about her experience

    She tailors her talks to what students would like to discuss. Many of them want advice on how to navigate relationships and want to hear about her experience

    ‘There is too much effort, pressure, and emphasis on finding romance,’ she added. 

    Yasmin studied sociology at Queen Mary University, London, before attaining a master’s in Crime Science at University College London. 

    In 2019, she became a board member of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) and in 2020, an asexualities researcher at California State University and made her presenting debut with her ‘Me and My Asexuality’ BBC Sounds series.

    She has spoken at Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and at a Prince’s Trust event.  

    She says that she ‘tailors’ her talks to what the students, or professors, want to discuss. ‘In particular, I look at things through a feminist lens or a historical one.’     

    The first ever aromantic conference took place virtually early in February 2022, in Sweden. 

    For more information about the week please visit www.arospecweek.org. To learn more about Yasmin and her work visit www.yasminbenoit.co.uk.

    She also coined the hashtag #ThisIsWhatASexualLooksLike, as a means to increase visibility and debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding the aromantic and asexual spectrum

    She also coined the hashtag #ThisIsWhatASexualLooksLike, as a means to increase visibility and debunk the myths and misconceptions surrounding the aromantic and asexual spectrum