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Ashnikko answers your Valentine’s Day DMs about sex and love
Photography Lucrecia Taormina

Ashnikko answers your Valentine’s Day DMs about sex and love

The rapper takes on questions about confidence, masturbation, and dating as our sex and relationships guest editor

For those of you rejecting the capitalist hellscape that is Valentine’s DayAshnikko has the perfect soundtrack. “Stupid boy think that I need him,” she spits on her rousing track “Stupid”, singlehandedly creating the perfect break-up anthem.

After dropping her third EP, Hi It’s Me, in July last year, Ashnikko found herself as the accompaniment to the latest TikTok dance craze – even Miley Cyrus had a go – with 2.9 million videos now created with the sound. The rapper has become renowned for her audacious lyrics – which put fuck boys in their place – and eccentric videos, including for “Stupid” which sees her violently murder all of her exes.

With her alien-cowgirl aesthetic and assurance that she’s “working, bitch” and “ain’t got no time for dick”, Ashnikko is the no-bullshit hero we need – especially on Valentine’s Day. So, in honour of this lust-filled holiday, Dazed asked the sharp-tongued rapper to swap bars for advice in our latest sex and relationship column – whose previous advisors include Pamela Anderson and Zara Larsson – as she answers readers’ questions about masturbation, confidence, and difficult dating situations.

Dear Ashnikko, I’m newly single and I’ve never masturbated. I’m in my 20s – where do I start?

Ashnikko: You are in a great position because you have never masturbated and there’s a whole world of things out there – a whole world of pleasure! Honestly, I’d love to go back and masturbate for the first time. That would be sick! That would be like going back and being able to read my favourite book again, and experiencing it again, forgetting all my favorite bits – forgetting them and re-experiencing them. So you’re in a great position, you’ve never read the book. The whole book – you have the whole book! Masturbation is a big book, you can go on discovering new ways to pleasure yourself your whole life. 

Where do you start? Personally, when I really started to masturbate – like take it seriously – it was a time that was for me, and it was a time of power and pleasure. I did a lot of research about the types of sex I thought were interesting; I watched a lot of porn, I bought a few sex toys, and I just played around. I think the key is not to put any pressure on yourself – don’t feel like you need to be doing something, or you need to orgasm, just play around and see what works for you. What works for you might not work for other people, and what works for other people might not work for you, and that’s fine because there’s a whole world out there! Take it easy, you’re single. Masturbate baby!

How are you so confident?

Ashnikko: Well, I make a lot of confident music, because for me, making powerful, confidence-boosting songs really helps me to be confident. It’s like giving myself a little pep talk, writing a song. I’d say on a day-to-day basis, I’m not brimming with confidence, I just put out a lot of confident material and I try to hype myself up to the best of my abilities. I feel confident, but it comes in waves, it’s up and down – I think it’s just that I have insecure days. It’s the ebb and flow of life. I write myself a lot of love letters; if you’re struggling with self-confidence, I’d say the best way to really hype yourself up and try to get to a better place where you feel you’re really feeling yourself, is to write yourself a little love letter. Talk to yourself like you would a lover, because at the end of the day you are your own lover baby! Write yourself a love letter because you deserve it. Write yourself the things that you would write the person you love most in the world. I’m trying to make myself the person I love most!

How do I deal with a guy who says we’re hooking up, but won’t tell people we’re dating?

Ashnikko: I don’t like this, I don’t like this one bit because I know that you’re asking me this because I assume that you’d like this guy to be open about your relationship and tell people you guys are dating. You want to be in a place where you are officially a couple and not just hooking up. You already know what your truth is, you already know you want a relationship, but you are hooking up with someone and giving your energy and your love to someone who doesn’t want that. It sounds like they don’t want that. Honest to god, I’m really bad at doing this, I’m really bad at recognising when I need to leave a situation. It’s really hard, but I think it’s good that you’ve addressed this and are asking this question because you know that you guys want different things, so don’t give your energy to someone who’s not going to give you the same energy that you expect; who’s not going to give you the love that you want and need. It’s all about your wants and needs in 2020 baby. Your wants come first.

How do I stop thinking about a toxic ex?

Ashnikko: This is a question I used to ask myself all the time. I personally wrote a lot of really angry songs and released a lot of anger for this toxic person in those songs. That was my outlet. Find an outlet to release all the negative feelings you have towards this person: I’ve been axe throwing, which was sick; I went to a break room where you smash loads of plates. I go kickboxing! Keep reminding yourself how toxic they are. I’d make a list of all the things you didn’t like about that person, all the things that hurt you, and poisoned you – your mind, your body, make a list! When you start to slip up and think about this person in a positive light – it’s a chilly February night and you’re cuddled up, you start to think about the happy memories with this person, and all the bad things seem a little less bad – you’ve got to pull out this list (and it’s a long list because they were a toxic person in your life), and remind yourself of all their toxic traits and give yourself a little refresher.