Gizzi Erskine and Sydney Lima use their new Spotify podcast to get very real about the sex, dating and social media landscape in 2020 . Here, the two friends talk to Stylist about what to expect from Sex, Lies & DM Slides.
The two friends – who are also sitting with Erskine’s new kitten, Mochi – are talking to Stylist over video chat about their new podcast, Sex, Lies & DM Slides: a series that explores the new dating and sex landscape through frank and honest conversations.
Along with guests such as Jon Ronson, Ruby Wax, Miquita and Andi Oliver and Rose McGowan, they help navigate the world of issues we don’t talk about enough: from dick pics, to financial slavery and abusive threats.
While Erskine has been on the receiving end of unsolicited dick pics since smartphones were invented, Lima has never been sent one – but she is regularly propositioned for sex by people in her DMs. The pair started chatting about these issues in conversations around the kitchen table before deciding to discuss them more in a podcast.
“Sydney and I are from different generations: I’m 41, Sydney’s 27,” Erskine explains. “I definitely came from the school of thought of ‘boys will be boys’ and finding it ‘annoying’… We sat down and started talking about this and realised our attitudes were very, very different.
“I’ve had to learn so much, it’s really weird because my toleration had been so much higher. We’re having to have this awakening and realise ‘yeah this is really shit and we shouldn’t have had to put up with this kind of thing for so long’ and really reassessing it.”
Lima has talked before about how “sliding into your DMs” has a comical connotation, even though they can lead to more serious actions including abuse.
“People can send you messages basically that are basically death threats or very abusive sexual threats and it’s under the umbrella term of ‘sliding into your DMs’ but it needs to be reported because it’s abuse,” she says.“With social media, everything feels so unpoliced, so people can get away with sending all these things and they’re never held to account. So it’s something that needs conversation around it to get more progression.”
Illustrating this, Erskine references the recent themes in TV drama I May Destroy You, such as the male rape scene that happens after two men meet on a dating app, and non-consensual condom removal: “We have to face that idea of ‘fuck this is where we’re at the moment. In I May Destroy You, there’s stuff that’s illegally happening that we don’t even know about: this is everyday abuse.”
But the hosts agree that, despite the dark sides, there is still room for humour and lightheartedness in the wider realm of sex in this day and age. Think of the conversations you have with close friends, the ones where you come away having learned something after asking frank questions about issues perhaps considered taboo. It’s this kind of honesty – sharing what they really think rather than saying what is considered ‘right’ – that makes the podcast a refreshing listen in 2020.
“I’m probably a bit ‘old fashioned’ and like ‘can people say that these days?’ and Sydney will take me down,” says Erskine. “I think the tone is really important. What we’ve tried to achieve is something that is an education: we’re learning throughout.”
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…