The Big Queer Guide To Sliding Into Instagram DMs
Someone once told me that finding a person to date when you’re queer is a lot like finding a job—you either find one online or through a friend. That may be true, but the friend your friend knows is almost always a strikeout with a fatal flaw—whether that be an obsession with Lady Gaga, an “inability to feel anything,” or an affinity for crying while they blow you. I’ve dealt with it all since I moved to New York. It’s a wild place, and trying to find a diamond in the rough sludge of the city streets is tough. Online dating has become the new norm, and it offers an almost endless array of options depending on how horny you are that night. Grindr, Tinder, Scruff, Jack’d, Christian Mingle, J Date, and literally dozens more options await your swiping fingers, but even those have become stale.
Unless you’re moving around the city on the prowl for dick, expect to get hit up by the same four guys in the one-mile radius around your apartment on hookup apps, and definitely expect to run out of guys to swipe. It’s a big queer desert out there, and every new dating app that comes out seems to be more mirage than oasis. But the problem isn’t that there aren’t enough guys to choose from–it’s that you’re only getting a gloryhole-sized peek into their life.
The solution isn’t coming from a dating app. No algorithm or filtering process is going to make royalty ride the information superhighway straight into your heart—or your pants. The absolute best hope for finding that one true bae lies within an app that most people are already using to post selfies and foodporn. That’s right: Instagram. It’s the key to salvation from the Sahara Desert that has become your love life. Ever since I first slid into someone’s DMs, it became the choice app for a little bump n grind. That’s not to say Instagram slides are strictly sexual, either. I’ve met friends and business contacts just as much as I have boyfriends and lovers. But this is about keeping warm for the winter, not networking. Here are my four queer tips for sliding into those DMs like the D train going into a subway tunnel—with fewer delays.
Put On Your Creepers and Check Everything
Before you even consider sliding into those DMs, you better check yourself (and their page) before you wreck yourself. Instagram stretches that glory hole into a nice window for you to peek into someone’s life. It’s easy to curate your IG profile to present your best self, of course, but that’s why God invented tagged photos. Tagged photos tell no lies, because the person you may want to engage in some good ole’ fashioned coitus with can only minimally control what photos they’re tagged in. Get those creepers on, and stomp through their tagged photos like an art ho at a culturally inappropriate gallery opening. Once that’s done and you’ve decided not to abandon all hope, you can take a browse through their feed and check for warning signs that they may be more Kathy Bates in Misery than Prince Charming.
Red flag those food pics and overly filtered selfies, and give bonus points if they have meaningful interests. The more likely they are to have a life and occupation, the better. Take the words of the iconic TLC to heart, and remember to avoid those scrubs hanging out on the passenger side of their best friend’s ride. You want class, not trash. Oh and if they have a personal website, click through. It’s your sex life, girl. Check that CV. Get those references. When you’re absolutely sure that this person is worth the slide, it’s time for the next step.
Write The Perfect First Message (Without Taking Your Clothes Off)
That is actually not the name of a new Fall Out Boy single, but it may as well be. Once you’ve filled your creep quota, it’s time to break out the quill and ink and draft up a perfectly casual but definitely alluring first message. The key here is to take a page from Jennifer Garner and appear thirty, flirty, and thriving—without the thirty. Every slide is different but it’s definitely not a good move to say you love the childhood photo they posted 168 weeks ago. The golden rule of the creep is never like a photo more than a few weeks old. Pull from the more recent material or even just go with a standard, “I like your feed! What do you do?” It’s a hook that’ll never work for me again once this is published, so I’m counting on all of you to work that magic.
Without going full crotchety old man, back in my day you had to send photos alongside messages when you slid into the DMs. Don’t do that now. A message saying you like a certain photo or a nugget of their bio is a lot sexier than a full frontal of your Busch Gardens. Save the photos for your snapchat hoes and bring out the class—not your ass. Sliding into the DMs is an art form.
The best advice I can give is this: when in doubt, don’t pull it out. Shine bright like a diamond, and talk to them like a person rather than a slab of meat you want to tenderize with your… Well, you get it. The formula here is one heaping portion of admiration for their feed, a dose of open-ended question about their life that isn’t too invasive, and a dash of charm. Hit send, and get that conversation flowing like a river thawing out in the spring after a long winter (which also doubles as a metaphor for your sex life).
Break Out the Beaker and Analyze The Thirst Levels
It’s time to slip on that sexy scientist outfit you’ve had tucked away in your closet, and put the anal in analyze. Thirst levels are the best scientific measure of the likelihood of things going more coffee date than Netflix and chill—or vice versa. The thing to note here is that a coffee date (or beer or dinner) is something you’re going to want to work up to if the Slide wants to spend time talking for hours rather than fucking for hours.
It’s an emoji world and we’re just living in it, so be on the lookout for winking faces and the infamous sly grin face. If you get that, it’s an automatic DTF. It’s a “Get Out Of The DMs and Into The Bedroom” card. If you’re into rigid objects that you throw little balls at, think of every Slide as a board game. Probably more Risk than The Game of Life, but you do you. Pour that thirst into a beaker and extract a dose of courage because if you’ve made it this far, you only have one step left in the Slide.
Slip In Those Digits And Prepare Your Body
If you’ve determined that this person is (1) not going to harvest your organs, (2) not going to kidnap you and marry you off to their cousin, and (3) not going to fall in love with you the moment they see you and not stop texting you until you change numbers and boroughs, it’s time to slip in those digits. Don’t go full force into it and slam your number down on the table like your seventh empty shot glass at the bar last night. Ease into it, and say that Instagram DMs is not an ideal method of communication because, well, it isn’t. A girl’s got data usage to consider, and unlimited texting is cheaper.
Ask the Slide on a date to either meet and greet at your fav coffee shop or—excuse the vulgarity here—invite them over to your bedroom to suck and fuck. It’s 2015. We’ve all got busy lives, and the best thing you can possibly do for your sex life is to be direct. Don’t waste time getting to know someone over coffee and croissants if the only heat you want to feel is their body against yours. Once numbers are exchanged and plans are made, it’s time to shed the safety blanket of Instagram and venture into the real world. Your Slide awaits.
Images via Tumblr, Cruel Intentions, and SNL.
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