Stephanie Sokolinski, the 30-year-old French actress, singer, and newly-appointed fashion week style star, may be most notorious, however, for her Instagram account, @sokothecat. Her handle name was the only one available at the time, and she thought, "Why not? I'll only be on the platform for a few weeks." Well, 2,941 posts and 108,000 followers later, she's able to fill an entire zine with the hundreds of racy direct messages she gets from fans on a daily basis. "Sextagram" is a more opt word she uses to describe such messages, which tend arrive in her inbox with salacious intentions. Yes, she's gotten some dates out of flirty DMs, (not with reported girlfriend, Kristen Stewart though), but for the most part she doesn't interact. One night she decided to flip the script and took screen shots of her favorite, x-rated DMs, which she has compiled with Autre magazine for publication. Finally, what "goes down in the DM" is exposed.
What was the impetus for compiling your most intimate DMs into a zine?
I don’t really read my Instagram DMs that often, but one night I decided to. Most of them were like, “Sit on my face!” or “Date me! I’m in love with you!” Like, weird things that came with a lot of pictures, too. But I got one that said, “Please notice me!” So I took a screen shot and posted it. And then all these people responded like, “That’s so crazy that people write s--- like that!” My inbox was flooded within the next few hours with pictures and messages like, “Send me a pic of your tits back!” The more DMs I posted, the more I got. I think I got like a thousand more followers that night. Autre magazine saw the whole thing go down and they were like, “Is there enough to publish?” And I was like, 'Dude, there are literally hundreds. We then sorted them by theme - like ass pictures, tits pictures, awkward pictures, people with my name written on their ass, etc. Some were really cute though, like “I’ve been wanting to kiss you since I was fourteen!”
How do these DMs make you feel?
I can’t help but laugh at the whole thing. When people are behind their phones, they don’t think that they can be seen. They think they can be as mean as they want and nothing’s gonna happen. Words still matter. Words still have meaning. Whether you’re an a------ in real life or an a------ via direct message on Instagram, or a pervert, it still means something and defines your character. People feel protected by social media and treat it almost as though it’s not real life. But it’s so deeply rooted in our society now that it is real life. It’s just as real as you and I talking on the phone right now, or you and I having a coffee.
Do men DM you more often? Or is it both men and women?
No, no. I’ve always been open with my sexuality, meaning I don’t really care about gender. So yeah, ladies have definitely been crass, too. I prefer when it’s girls saying things like that than guys. But also I’m up for it. Sex for so long was such a taboo thing. You couldn’t be free with your sexuality and say that you like it. But it’s one of the biggest joys of life. If you find one partner who you love having sex with, it’s the best! This new generation is a lot more liquid with sexuality and it’s really refreshing.
Have you ever gotten a DM from someone and then met up with them?
Yep. Yep. Yep. Totally successful date. Actually, It’s happened a couple of times, and it was great. Both girls. Except I didn’t know that this one girl was that young and it really tripped me out. On her Instagram, she said she was my age. But then it turned out she was like ten years younger, so it was a bit disturbing. She was very forward.
If you were to DM someone about going on a date, how would you phrase it?
Oh man, I have no idea. I think if I was in the need of doing that right now, I would totally be able to come up with something. But I’m very, very, very in love and very happy in a relationship, so I don’t have that urge.
I’m assuming you didn’t meet your current girlfriend (Kristen Stewart) through a DM, though?
No! No. [Laughs]. It was very OG.
Do you still read your DMs? How many do you have?
It just says 99+, so it stops counting. Most of them right now are just really, really crazy, so I don’t even open them anymore.
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