A Guide To Successfully Sliding In The DMs

Plus, hear from 5 ladies who did it.


Men don't get enough credit for the courage it takes to approach women, especially in a world where we have been known to clown the hell out of them depending on their approach. But as someone who has tried to approach the opposite sex, I can attest to the fact that you tend to say thoughtless or weird shit when you're under the type of anxiety-inducing pressure that comes with making the first move.

However, as we continue to create a new world order — a world that consists of the direct message approach — it's not so uncommon for women to shoot their shot. There's no question that women are shooting their shot, only question is are they setting themselves up for a nice little "oop" or just traveling with zero direction?

Well. Not only did we get some expert-approved tips on sliding in the DMs, and, we even have some stories from ladies who have successfully approached the sex of their choice. And by successful, we mean anything that made it outside of the DMs — from casual sex to sending out wedding announcements.


If you're anything like me, you may have wondered or even feared that approaching men might be a turn-off. But two things to consider are this: 1) is a man who is turned off the right one for you, and 2) some men might find being approached a relief. Shadeen Francis, licensed sex and relationship therapist points out, "many men worry about unintentionally seeming aggressive or abusive," as they should be.

As I said before, I have grown to have hella respect for the guts men have to have when they are interested and must be the first to pursue a woman. In addition to the pressure to not seem aggressive, Francis makes note of "social pressure put on men to initiate conversation." She expounded, "From the stereotype of the smooth R&B 'excuse me miss' to the confident 'let me holla at you for a second', there is the expectation that men who are interested in someone will know what to say and how to say it. They are taught to 'make' others want them."

By making the first move, "It can feel like a nice change of pace for men to be approached…It takes less vulnerability, and can make them feel desired."

Men have been doing this since the dawn of time, before the comfortability of the DMs. Meaning, there's a lot to be learned from them, because why fix what's broken? Eh. This is not to say the system isn't flawed. However, being a student of life means we're also learning from the failures that are interesting gone bad, i.e. catcalling and street harassment. Francis advised, "Do not assume that just because you are a catch, that others need to be interested or available. If someone does not engage, the response is not to be persistent or to fight for it, but to leave room for the other person to choose whether or not to participate. Only a non-coerced yes is a yes, and as always, no means no."

Now that we've covered consent and amped you up Flava-Flav-style...how do we seductively lace it all together and execute? Well it's actually quite simple — be direct! Far too often, myself and other women swear that men can read minds or receive bat signals. We will do everything except be direct, from liking several pictures or commenting on every Insta story to convey interest. Francis says it's best to be clear. Rather than giving nothing but weird indirect vibes, Francis recommends that you "start your engagement on their page with intention."


Ask yourself, "What about them is interesting or attractive to you? Maybe you like their thoughtful captions, or the mission of organization they promote, or their calf muscles. Engage (like, comment, interact in the stories) only with the content that demonstrates that, and then follow up in their DMs. Good conversation makes people feel interesting and it gives them something clear to respond to. That could be a question, or a call-to-action."

Francis suggests using the following formula for crafting your message with intention: 

  • A greeting

Hey, hi there, etc.

  • A compliment

You have great calf muscles, you must train a lot

  • An invitation

I'd love to know more about you, hit me up if you're down to talk.

In fact, the formula can be found throughout the stories of these 5 ladies who slid in the DMs oh-so-successfully:

1. Kamila

"I was very nervous. He was someone I had seen around in high school and even then we hadn't really spoken besides the passing 'Hi,' so I was worried I would look like a ridiculous stalker. But, besides that I figured what was the worst that could happen? I hadn't ever slid into his or anyone else's DMs before that. I had the hope that if someone wanted to speak to me they would, so to slide in his DMs and take that first step was a ballsy move on my part.

"I started out with something like, 'Hey, I don't know if you remember me from high school, but you are handsome as ever.' To which he said something along the lines of, 'Thank you beautiful, how have you been?' And that conversation lasted for a couple days until he finally asked for my number. It still amazes me to this day that one bold move that I decided to make has led to a thriving, happy, five-year long relationship. This man really is my best friend and if I hadn't mustered up the courage, I could have missed out on my blessing!"

2. Laila

"I was on this HBCU site and they shouted him out for paying off his student loans and I was like, 'WOW, he's kinda cute.' He was tagged, so I went to his page and I was like, 'Oh my God, I think he's cute.' So, I just sent him a message. I don't remember what the message was but we just started flirting back and forth. He was in the DC area, so I told him I'd be home in a few weeks and we set up a date. For our first date, he picked me up from our parents' house and he took me to The Cheesecake Factory and then he took me to smoke hookah and have a drink. I made him wait to have sex with me, maybe one and half, two years and I was so, so disappointed."


3. Meagan

"When Brian and I first met, I was nervous a bit. Sure, we bonded over tacos (I'm indecisive, so I swooned when he said, 'just get one of everything!') but I was mainly nervous because it felt different to me. When we parted ways, and I came back to LA, all I could think about was seeing him again. He had never dated anyone long-distance and saw it as a challenge. I, on the other hand, had dated long-distance. I also knew if the person was worth it, you'd work for it. Besides, Phoenix and LA are not too far apart.

"I kept sending him DMs, which were pretty dry. The conversation wouldn't carry on far beyond the usual, 'How was your day?' So, in a last attempt, I decided to invite him to Las Vegas for the 4th of July. If there's anywhere that can help you take the edge off and get to know a stranger, while being surrounded by strangers – it's Vegas! I was already going with a couple of my girlfriends, so I asked if he'd like to get some friends and meet us. When we met up, all of our friends left us (not together) and he and I gallivanted all throughout Vegas together. We stayed up so late walking around casinos, laughing and talking that we got brunch the next morning.

"His response to me reaching out was receptive, but in a way he surprised himself as well. He normally wouldn't have gone to Vegas, but he took a chance. After Vegas, we both felt something was there and were curious. I'm very spontaneous, so the next month I invited him to Cabo! He didn't have a passport, so he had to rush to order a passport. He thought it was crazy, but he liked the connection and thrill as much as I did.

"I had never slid into anyone's DMs before and I never made the first move. Typically, if a guy doesn't prove that he is interested, I move on. I stepped out of my comfort zone and followed my heart with him, and I'm beyond glad that I did because I knew something was different about him. Now we have been together for 4.5 years!"

"My mom always says 'closed mouths don't get fed.' So, I'm a strong advocate for going after what you want in life (career, love, personally) ALWAYS! Sliding into someone's DMs can be nerve-wracking, but it can work out, especially if you are clear with what you want (and honest with yourself) and set your intentions.'"

4. Veronica

"Slid in...met them and we went on a date (my treat) that weekend. It felt powerful for me. I knew what I wanted and I went for it. I was a little nervous before he responded -- worried that he would think I was too aggressive, but it worked out--he was flattered that I made the first move. Shortly after, we got into a relationship. It turned out OK. He was great with my son. I wish more women would go for it. The stigma should be gone, and women should be able to go for whatever they want without it being taboo."


5. Morgan 

"Just do it. The worst they can say is 'no'. And most men won't say 'no' if they are available. Shoot, some will still entertain even if they aren't 100% available. I've done it twice. Once many years ago, and the other was about a year ago. The last time worked in my favor, but we aren't talking anymore -- just weren't compatible."

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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