Rayna Greenberg and Ashley Hesseltine from 'Girls Gotta Eat' podcast

The Art Of The Perfect DM Slide With Girls Gotta Eat

“If you’re just trying to f*ck... Send every eggplant emoji in the world.”

Lindsay Hattrick/Elite Daily; Jordan Frey

Rayna Greenberg is already planning her next DM slide. “There’s this guy who’s pretty famous and owns a tattoo parlor in Florida,” she tells Elite Daily. “I’m going to DM him about coming in to get a tattoo. I’ve got it locked and loaded.” She and Ashley Hesseltine, her co-host on the sex and dating podcast Girls Gotta Eat, are headed to Florida in March to do a series of live shows, and Greenberg is ready to try to score a date (or two) while she’s there.

If you’re familiar with Greenberg and Hesseltine’s podcast, this bold approach to dating is nothing new. The two regularly share advice and hear from listeners about everything from f*ckboys to masturbation habits, and their no-holds-barred vibe has gained them a dedicated following of “snackheads.” GGE has earned more than 100 million downloads since its inception in 2018, with guests ranging from actor Jameela Jamil to porn star Asa Akira to politician Elizabeth Warren. (Girls gotta have range.)

Greenberg and Hesseltine recently moved from New York to Los Angeles, and business is booming. In June 2022, they launched Vibes Only, a sex toy company with a corresponding mobile app, and now the duo is traveling across the United States to do live podcast recordings from Miami to Boston. As they get settled into their new city, they’re ready to dial up the DM slides. “I think this is the perfect time to DM somebody,” Greenberg says. “It’s less intimidating to send that message because anyone who moves to a new city wants people to hang out with.”

Below, they share their best advice for crafting the perfect DM — and transitioning an online convo to an IRL date.

Elite Daily: You joked in a recent podcast episode that dating apps are out in 2023 and people are hoping to meet in other ways. Are DM slides in or out this year?

Ashley Hesseltine: They’re always in. We recommend Instagram over the apps any day.

Rayna Greenberg: DM slides are such a good way to connect with somebody, and you also can get a nice amount of background info. I like to see who a person follows — do we follow the same news, comedians, and funny accounts? It’s a really interesting window into somebody without them having to write a dating profile. It takes the pressure off, and you get this really fun 360-degree view of who a person is.

ED: What’s your advice for sliding into someone’s DMs without sounding cringe?

RG: My favorite way is to either compliment something or ask for advice. Maybe they traveled to a place you want to go to or they’re reading a book you want to know about. I like to say, “I’ve never been there, but I’m thinking about a trip. How did you like it?” Or “That book looks really great.” People are excited to share, and you’re also complimenting their taste.

AH: If you can respond to an Instagram story, that’s such an easy way in. Once when I was interested in someone, I waited until he posted something I could respond flirtatiously to, and it worked like a charm. When you’re responding to a story, what you’re discussing is already right in front of you.

ED: In your experience, what are some common mistakes people make in the DMs?

RG: Some people get caught up in trying to be funny and they might neg or be sarcastic, and it’s never positive to start with something negative. Try to strike a balance between being friendly and flirty because you never know what someone has going on — they might have a significant other and you don’t realize it. I see this from men a lot: They go in too hot and too flirty, and that feels really cringe to me. It’s nice to make the first interaction a little less sexually charged.

AH: Also, if you’re private on Instagram, keep in mind that the person may never respond because they can’t see what you look like. Make sure your face is super prominent in your profile photo. I once had a guy who DMed me, and I liked his message, but I went to his account and there were no pictures of him. He said, “I know my account doesn’t have any photos of me, but here’s my dating app screenshots.” It was pretty cute and I appreciated it.

If you have the word ‘suck’ in an initial DM, it’s probably worth rethinking it.

ED: And what’s the protocol if the person doesn’t answer?

RG: If somebody doesn’t respond, I think you always get a second chance, and you can get in there one more time. After two messages, I wouldn’t keep going. No response is a response. A polite response is a response. So just be socially aware of the tone.

AH: Don’t send someone three unanswered DMs and then go comment on their photo. Check your DMs. Your answer is right in front of you.

ED: Have you ever been left on read or rejected in the DMs?

RG: Of course it’s happened to me, but I don’t take it personally. If somebody felt like responding to your DM, they would, but I also think people are busy. They might be in a relationship or have other things going on. You really never know. Sometimes I leave my best friends in the world on read for days. I don’t think it’s that deep.

I also think life is long, and even if somebody doesn’t respond to you now, they might in a week or a month or a year. You can’t tie any part of your self-worth to somebody not responding to a DM.

AH: Give yourself a quick pep talk and move on.

ED: What are the wildest lines people have used to DM you?

RG: Nothing really bothers me except for extreme sexuality right out of the gate. I’m open-minded about everybody’s different flirting styles, but I don’t really like overt sexuality like “I wish those clothes were on the floor” or “I would love to see those feet.”

AH: We always joke and say, “It’s not creepy if you’re hot.” But still, too much is too much. If a cute guy DMed me something like “Girl, don’t be giving away the feet for free,” that would be flirty to me. That’s better than, “Let me suck your toes tonight. Here’s my address.” If you have the word “suck” in an initial DM, it’s probably worth rethinking it.

ED: Let’s talk emoji. What’s the flirtiest one for a DM? Which should you avoid at all costs?

AH: The side eyes convey flirting for sure. To me, they say, “I’m checking you out,” and they’re a little more discreet than the full-blown heart eyes or the flames (which I’ll still take any day). I’d typically avoid overly sexual emojis like the eggplant or water droplets.

RG: It depends what your goal is. If you’re just trying to f*ck, more power to you. Send every eggplant emoji in the world, but it’s definitely going to convey a specific message, so make sure that’s what you want to convey.

ED: If you’re sliding into a celebrity’s DMs, how does the approach change?

AH: With a celebrity, a lot of times you can’t respond to their story, so you have to start from scratch. Famous people get a lot of DMs, and they’re only going to respond if they got a vibe from your profile picture, then went to your profile and liked what they saw. You don’t have to worry so much about sending the wittiest thing you can think of.

RG: I’ll DM any celebrity I think is cute. The stakes are so much lower. There’s more to work with because they’re usually putting their art out there — whether it’s comedy, music, or movies. And there are so many ways you can compliment somebody’s art or ask them about it. So if there is a celebrity you’re into, get in there. If they don’t respond, you can just tell yourself they didn’t see it.

ED: What are ways you can get someone’s attention through your Instagram profile without just posting a bunch of thirst traps?

AH: I think about when I go to someone’s profile, what do I like to see? I like to see if they have friends and hobbies. I still love a thirst trap here and there, but anything you can do to convey that you have hobbies, things you’re proud of, people you’re close to — that’s all really great.

At the end of the day, you should be curating your Instagram profile for you, and if you’re somebody who loves thirst trapping, then you should post that. But it can also give the wrong impression if you’re not just looking to hook up. If you're a well-rounded person, why should your profile not convey that?

ED: Let’s say you slid into someone’s DMs successfully, and now you’re messaging. How do you transition that conversation to text?

AH: I am usually pretty forward with it. One time I said, “Here’s my number unless you want to live in my DMs forever.” And I added a winky face. It’s a little spicy, but it worked. He texted me within seconds.

RG: You can take it a step further by saying “I’m looking for a bar in this area, maybe you could show me.” And then the next natural step is “Here’s my cellphone number.”

ED: Any final words of wisdom?

RG: I want people to walk away feeling really positive about doing this. It’s a fun way to flirt and get someone’s attention, and it’s not that deep. If you’re into somebody, slide in there. And if it fails miserably, you have a fun story for brunch.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.