Rukiat Ashawe

London, United Kingdom


The award-winning educator, writer and speaker working to help destigmatise sex and sexual health.
Rukiat Ashawe

When South Londoner Rukiat Ashawe was first diagnosed with herpes, her initial reaction was shame. “It took everything to tell just one close friend,” she wrote on Instagram in 2019, “and years to become STIgma-free.” Her journey to acceptance started with a candid conversation with a group of her girlfriends. This not only gave Rukiat the confidence to speak out about her own experience with the sexually-transmitted infection, but also galvanised her to dedicate her career to helping others access the sex education she wishes she’d had growing up.

Now an award-winning sex educator, writer, speaker, and content creator – who’s been featured in the likes of Cosmopolitan, The Face, and on BBC Sounds – Rukiat works to help destigmatise sex and sexual health, and redefine the ways in which we talk about it. A particular focus for her is eradicating the misinformation that she feels thrives in the Black community, largely thanks to the community’s “hush hush culture”, as she calls it, surrounding sex. Her biting cultural commentary and thought-provoking sexual analysis – addressing everything from UTIs and women’s pleasure to dangerous misogynoir myths – has made her a TikTok sensation, and a much-needed voice in the sex positive community.

Text Brit Dawson