When you’re in a relationship (or even dating around), you’ve probably thought to yourself a few dozen times: If only I could read her mind. This is true when she’s saying the 10th crazy thing of the day — but also in the bedroom. This way or that way? Harder, faster, neither or both? This spot or another? Is that ‘Oooh’ a good one or a bad one?
In an effort to dive into the x-rated portion of women’s brains researchers asked women about their fetishes and published the results in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. And yes, they appropriately called it: ‘‘Kinky Women Research Study.’ After surveying 1,580 women about 126 erotic and sexual behaviors, study author and relationship therapist Jennifer Eve Rehor, M.A. concluded some unsurprising but super-strange, out-of-this-world discoveries.
Here are some interesting findings — and soundbites from Rehor’s interview with Men’s Health.
Most women dig spanking, bondage and biting
If you’ve been with a lady who gets turned on by a consensual smack here and there, that’s pretty normal, since 85 percent reported it as enjoyable. Another 85 percent were fans of giving, receiving and observing G-rated bondage. Does your girlfriend ever playfully nibble you? It could be that she’s in the mood, since 75 percent enjoy biting their lovers.
More than half like fire play
We’re not exactly sure what this means — but apparently, 54 percent of women are into it. Our best bet is that it involves some sort of oil pouring or perhaps, a room filled with candles? We hope it isn’t burning of the skin (especially the foreskin).
But then it starts to get weird. Almost 54 percent like “fire play”? What in the actual hell is fire play? (Burns are painful enough, but a burn on your balls? The mind boggles.)
Knives are a turn on, maybe
Never have we ever considered knives to um, be kinky, but 38 percent of women were into it. Rehor set up the scene for in an interview: “A way to set something up would be, you show your partner a really sharp, scary knife. And then you blindfold them.You lay them down. You put that really sharp, scary knife aside, and you get like a pie server. Something that’s got like a rounded edge. But it’s made out of metal, so it’s going to feel cold.”
Cross-dressing and blood can be part of the action, too
Another 36 percent are into blood (ew). Rehor explained this type of interaction sort of like getting inked. “When you get a tattoo, there’s a little bit of bleeding that’s involved. It’s similar to that. You’re taking a really sharp razor and cutting, but just enough to get a couple drops of blood.” And a whopping 35 percent like the idea of forced cross-dressing. We’re not sure if that’s giving or receiving, but either way, it seems like an interesting way to put on — and take off — clothes.
Tune in to — literally — any movie or TV show and the same ‘ole story will play out. Man wants to have sex. Woman isn’t feeling it. Man gets frustrated. Woman eventually decides she wants to. And boom-shack-a-lak. Considering much of the conversations surrounding gender roles are being challenged and transformed these days, the dynamic of sex within a long-term relationships is no different.
In fact, as younger generations accept casual sex as a norm, once they commit to a monogamous duo, what it takes to get ‘em in the mood has shifted, according to new research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. They’ve found that while, sure, men initiate sex three times as often as women do within a couplehood, there’s one huge, important factor on what makes intercourse more likely:
They contribute this to a few — interesting — aspects. Since women who are entering committed relationships these days are more likely to have experience a no-strings-attached affair, they are able to separate the physical from the emotional. In other words: if you leave the garbage in the apartment all day and it stinks up the place, that doesn’t necessarily mean your lady will use it as an excuse for not getting jiggy with it. In fact, if she’s in the mood, she could be more likely to be angry — and still have sex — because she is actively distinguishing between carnal desires and her feelings of love.
But — and this is a big but — this is only true if you remain passionate.
As researchers shared your level of passion could make or break how many times you’re stripping down to your birthday suit. “Passion is actually the only one of these factors that matters. We didn’t find any association between any of the other aspects and how often people have sex in couple relationships,” they shared in their academic findings.
Bottom line? Don’t skip the foreplay, the flowers or any of the moves. They’re not only important — they’re required.
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If you’ve ever chatted with your female friends about their dating lives, you’ve probably been amazed at how much they’re willing to share. Generally speaking, men are a little more tight-lipped about dating issues they’re facing, especially with other dudes. However, talking through your dilemmas is part of the process — and the inspiration behind a new dating service from Match.com, AskMatch.
How’s it work? When you’re stressing about what to wear on a first date, how to write your online bio or you’re going through a tough time after a woman you liked ghosted or catfished you — you can ring up an expert. Whether it’s a dating coach or online profile writer, they can chat, in real time, to help you out. This is usually via phone since Match.com has always encouraged a text-free dating experience, and encourages users to get face-to-face, ASAP.
While the service is free to all Match members, both male and female, the CEO of Match.com, Hesam Hosseini said their data so far has shown dudes are twice as likely to use it. This is probably because when the ladies are worried about matters tied to the heart, they text up their girlfriends.
“I think in general, men are half as likely as women to talk to family and friends about their relationships because they struggle with opening up. We see that women want a second opinion and validation for the path they’re on, and men are just asking advice,” Hosseini shared in an interview.
The concept behind this new addition is based on Match’s growing millennial user base. As part of this generation himself, Hosseini says folks from their 20s to 40s have an expert for everything: the gym, nutrition, career, you name it. With this, you now have a dating mentor to reach out to when you want to talk about the messy, complicated hiccups of finding love.
Though you can only use AskMatch in New York City currently, it’s expected to roll out to all other areas by 2020.
New York City is legendary for being a tough place to find a meaningful relationship. Not only are many residents in love with the city, they’re also hyperfocused on their careers making it seemingly impossible to dedicate the time a couplehood requires. Plenty of city-slickers are also notorious for dating the same unavailable person over and over again — or can’t let go of a former crush who doesn’t feel the same way. Whatever your hurdle in the attraction process, there is an expert who can guide your path. From wingmen (and women) to matchmakers and online video gurus, check out these top-rated dating coaches in the one-and-only, NYC:
You’ve probably heard of male wingman before (hello, Hitch) — but what about a lady who steps up to the plate? Sort of like the Robin to your Ted, this professional wingwoman has built a career of coaching men on how to be better. Her hands-on approach guides dudes through their weakness, encouraging them to build confidence and actually find a gal worth their time.
What she offers: She starts with an introductory session — and then the rest figures itself out. Once she understands your barriers and what’s keeping you from meeting someone or encouraging you to make the same mistakes, she can map out your game plan. This may include more one-on-one coaching, or even going to a bar to practice your skills. She caters each experience to the client, which is a mega-bonus for those men who need the attention. And if you’re not in NYC? No biggie. She also offers video chats.
What clients rave about: “I’ve said it a million times but I really do want to thank you. I’m extremely appreciative of your help. Hiring someone to coach me was a huge step for me, but I’m glad I did it. I thank you for all your support Cher. You’ve been a great coach and a caring friend. You’ve def made an impact. I am very appreciative of your help. I will 100% recommend your Wingwoman service!”
Read more about her here: She’s a regular on plenty of television programs — from Inside Edition to Fox 5, among others. Her advice has been quoted in top-tier publications, too — including Paper magazine and Bustle. Check out her wisdom here.
The purpose behind hiring a dating coach is to change. Otherwise, why would it be worth your time and investment? That’s where this male dating coach got the inspiration for his company, Dating Transformation. His mission is to help guys who are usually put in the ‘friend zone’ meet and attract incredible women. He’s worked with hundreds of men but he’s also been in their shoes. In fact, he even married a girl only for her to leave him nine weeks later. Now, he takes his experience and turns it into success for others.
What he offers: To get things started, he offers a free one-on-one coaching session to better understand your struggles. From there, he’ll map out the most effective strategy for your pitfalls. He will continue working with you until you achieve the results you want, serving as your coach, wingman and well, friend.
What clients rave about: “I had taken a program with a popular dating company, and my results had gotten worse. When I reached out to Connell, I hadn’t had any luck in two months. I’d heard his coaching is very personalized, and it’s true. He gives guys a system designed just for them. I went out with Connell and damn – what a night! I hadn’t connected with a great girl in months, and my first night out with Connell, it all clicked. And within a week, I was dating three girls. Slump over!” —Brad
Read about him here: Though he’s been quoted in plenty of articles and writes his own blog on Medium — he’s most known for his appearance on Access Hollywood where he shed some insights. You can watch it here.
Lori Zaslow and Jenn Zucher
This dynamic duo could be best described as unfiltered. They hit the topics that other coaches may shy away from, like explaining — point-blank — why you’re still single. Their company, Project Soulmate has a clear mission: help people cut through the toxic bull that’s keeping them from creating a solid, healthy relationship. No, they don’t promise it will be easy, but they do provide the tools to make it at least a little less painful.
What they offer: As they explain on their site, the process is well, simple. After meeting one-on-one with a potential client, they hand-select from their exclusive database of singles and set up the date — all you have to do is show up. They stress they’re more than a matchmaking service though: they also offer unlimited online dating advice and relationship support from the get-go.
What clients have raved about: “During my single days in Manhattan, I found it almost impossible to meet “the one”. Well, Jenn and Lori certainly solved my problem. I highly recommend them to all of the single people out there looking to get married. One day they may put all of the dating websites out of business!! We are thankful everyday for not only your friendship over the years but introducing the two of us. November 30, 2013 was the happiest day of our lives and we owe it all to you Jenn and Lori. We love you! —Jeff E. & Farrah F.
Read about them here: They’ve been featured in quite a few notable publications — from The New York Times and Forbes to Buzzfeed. You can read a plethora of their featured advice here.
If you’re looking for a ray of sunshine, this coach is your girl. Bubbly and enthusiastic, she helps her clients break through the endless, mindless game of swiping and hook-ups to find meaningful connections. How does she do this? Through her own experience: she’s a veteran of the cut-throat NYC dating scene and knows exactly what it’s like to find love in the city that is known for sleeping around. Did we mention she’s been doing this since she was 16 years old?
What she offers: She has two offers, depending on your budget, timeline and intention. You can either join her Date-A-Base (get it?) or sign up for custom matchmaking services. Either way, she’ll help you bring a bit more promise into an otherwise bleak dating experience.
What clients have raved about: “Bonnie Winston knows men and women and what works between them. She is great in getting to know her clients and what their needs and wants may be. She gives great advice along the way to lead you into the relationship you desire. She is a gem and great at what she does!” —Janie
Read about her here: Her list of press accolades is impressive to say the least: Hollywood Life, New York Post, Bustle and countless others. To browse through posts, check this out.
Matchmaking runs in this dating coaches blood. In fact, she’s a fourth-generation matchmaker who has evolved traditional techniques into a modern world. Her company — Agape Matchmaking — has won several awards in a highly-competitive space. They’ve been in business for more than ten years and prescribe to the New Yorker’s lifestyle that’s overworked, stressed and fast-paced. Especially for those who feel burnt out of dating apps, Avgitidis and her team can step in and truly make a difference in your romantic fulfillment. After all, part of her genius is well, inherent.
What she offers: Starting from a meet-and-greet, Avgitidis will take the time to get to know you before diving into her vast pool of singles. With a robust, coveted network, she’s made hundreds of successful matches for her clients. In addition to her high-end matchmaking services, she also offers a ‘dating refresh’ that’s a little less intense or experience. If you’re worried about your style, her work also includes a wardrobe consultation and upgrade. Not sure about your online dating photos? She can also arrange a photoshoot.
What clients rave about: “Maria and the Agape match team are great! I cannot say enough! Working with Maria will change your life! She is not just a dating coach but a life coach! She is no-nonsense but she is very compassionate as well. With Maria, I really stepped up my game. I was not only proactive but I dated smarter which lead to meeting my fiancé. I cannot thank Maria enough for everything!” —Mary
Read about her here: Considering her tenure, it’s no surprise she’s been featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Thrillist, Fast Company — and countless others. To read a few, click here.
Number of Members: Not public information/released.
Countries Available:United States
Men/Women Ratio:Not Available
If you’ve tried dating online or IRL, chances are that you’ve leaned on your closest friends for their thoughts, opinions, and well, pick-up-line advice. There’s a reason why we call them wingmen (ahem, wingwomen), after all. But, what if there was an app out there that introduced you to hot singles that your besties approved of without having to deal with late-night phone calls, panicked text messages, or awkward screenshots? Enter Wingman.
The app, which launched in early 2018, combines the two things people need most: a new S.O. that their BFF not only approves of, but loves. Although it’s still new, the app is gaining traction: Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Mashable, and Bustle can’t stop raving about it. Some even call it “21st century matchmaking” at its finest.
The idea is simple: After creating an account for yourself, sign up your single, taken, or married friend and have them take the reigns. They’ll help find your diamond in the rough, introduce you, and let the magic happen. And sure, you’ll probably consult your friend for top tips on how to break the ice or what to wear on their inevitable first date, but that’s nothing your #1 matchmaker can’t handle, yeah? Because “friends know you best” — at least that’s what Wingman believes.
How to Sign Up
Wingman makes it easy to set up an account — but, really. First, set up an account for yourself: Connect your account with Facebook (This speeds up the process!) or go old-school by using your phone number. Before you can customize your profile, you must verify your account with an SMS code. As you fill out the information on your profile — name, birthday, email, and photo — the app notifies you that information will not be shared “until you decide otherwise.”
And, now it’s time for the fun part. Next, the app asks: “Are you finding a match for your friend … or yourself?” If you’re looking for a friend, add them by name or number. For yourself, choose a wingman, whether they’re already on the app or otherwise. Then amp up your profile by selecting your gender, gender preference, city, and filling in the about me section. And if you’re matchmaking for a friend, then you’re in charge of making their profile so, choose your words wisely.
What to Expect With Wingman
At first glance, the app is extremely straightforward and visually appealing. Some older apps and dating websites (think: eharmony and Match.com) have more steps between you and your future beau. While some may like the lengthy questionnaires, Wingman uses it a fast-approach so that you (and your friends!) don’t have to waste any more time. The structure itself is similar to Tinder: While swiping through your potential mates, swipe right if you’re interested or left if it’s a no-go. And if you accidentally pass through a profile before you give it a good look, simply shake the phone to bring the profile back to your screen. Although you initially only see the person’s name, age, location, and photo, you can click on the photo for an expanded profile.
Pro: Unique friend-focused approach
This app is clearly made by friends for friends. Even though the app is about finding love (or a hookup, your call), it also encourages friends to compete to be the best matchmaker. Friendly competition, don’t ya say? When you wingman (or wingwoman) sets up matches, they’ll earn a point on the leaderboard. Along the same lines, if you’re supposed to be matchmaking for a friend but find someone that catches your eye (It happens, okay?), you can “nudge” your friend to suggest a match. That way it takes the ball out of your court, and lets you lean on your #1 pals to do the dirty work.
Pro: Friends = your biggest advocates
If someone asked you to describe your best friend, you could talk for days. When it comes to yourself? That’s a different story. Since, sadly, you didn’t take a college course in Dating Profiles 101, Wingman gets your friends to take on the toughest task. And trust us, they won’t have as hard of a time finding a million and one ways to describe just how awesome you are. Once your profile is set, they’ll even introduce you to any potential mates, which means it’s entirely up to them whether they’re #teampickupline or #teamnopickupline.
Con: Users Report Bugs (like, a lot of them)
Since the app is still fairly new, several users report that they’ve experienced a number of bugs. The most common complaints are: The app randomly closes, changes location, or doesn’t narrow the location or age even after being prompted. While the higher ups at Wingman claim they’re working hard at resolving these issues, it’s annoying nonetheless. (For what it’s worth, I signed up for the app and haven’t experienced any bugs … yet.)
Con: Small Pool to Pick From
Let’s just say after swiping through 11 — count ‘em, 11 — guys, I had already exhausted my options for the afternoon. Depending on your location, Wingman might not necessarily have a huge presence. That means there will be less potential matches. FYI, I live in New York City so, there’s that.
Con: Can’t Choose Your Own Matches — Ever
Even if you swiped by the man of your dreams, you have no control over the situation. And while it makes sense that you’d sign up for the app to let your friends take the wheel, it’s still frustrating when you don’t even have the chance to match yourself. No one knows you better than you know yourself, right? Right.
What Users are Saying
“This is such an interactive app that allows both single and married individuals to take the part in the art of matchmaking. Not only have I met my longtime girlfriend through it, but I’ve set up a few of my friends through it who are still going strong in their relationships. It works!”
“I want to love this app but it has some kinks that need to be worked out. It’s not very user-friendly. They should do more advertising to get people on the app!”
“Great app! Everyone here has a kind purpose: to help their own friends find love. There are no scams or fake profiles.”
Tips for Success
Choose your friends wisely.
Unlike other dating apps, Wingman isn’t about what you want — it’s about what your friends want for you. That means that if you want a top-notch lover, you have to pick the best matchmakers. Only choose matchmakers that you’d listen to IRL. You know, the ones that you’ve turned to for dating and relationship advice in the past.
Because there’s a smaller pool to pick from, it’s important to not give up just because your wingman (or wingwoman) isn’t finding your perfect someone. True love — and dare we say, matchmaking — takes time. As the community grows, so will your opportunity to find a soulmate. In the meantime, you never know who you’ll stumble across.
From the traffic and the smog to the ever-ending quest after ‘perfect’ — the City of Angels isn’t heaven for singles. In fact, it can feel quite the opposite as you compete against the beauty and brazen of the land. No matter if you live in Orange County, West Hollywood or Downtown, it can sometimes feel like no one of interest is ever within an Uber ride away. Luckily, this California city for the stars has dating coaches on hand to help you align your own. Matchmakers, wingmen, wingwomen and gurus like these are a smart place to turn if you feel like you keep hitting a wall. Perhaps one of these five superstars could be the answer you’ve been looking for:
For many men who keep striking out in the dating scene, the first step in making progress is swallowing their pride and admitting they need help. That’s where this dating coach got his inspiration for his company, Art of Charm. He adopts a ‘no shame’ approach to coaching men: encouraging them to dig deep and be candid about what’s holding them back. He helps men develop what he calls ‘Advanced Social Skills’ that are definitely appropriate for dating.
What he offers: While he does offer one-on-one coaching, he also hosts a ‘Bootcamp’ with many other dudes. This can be a little less intense and more interactive, making men feel less alone in their quest for a partner. You will not only live with these guys, but you’ll also learn from them and improve your charm factor together. If you aren’t in Los Angeles but still want to dip into his genius,
What clients rave about: ““Before I went to the Art of Charm, I went to Tony Robbins, I went to a few other self help seminars, and nothing compared to how great the Art of Charm was.” —Dave F.
Read more about him here: His bootcamp has been featured on NBC, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health and many others. Learn more about his success here.
As a perpetually single dater in Los Angeles for many years, Leadingham finally realized her ‘dater picker’ was broken. She wasn’t self-aware enough to select the right types of men and thus, kept coming up empty-handed. That’s when she took a break and discovered the concept of Conscious Dating. With this new approach, she stopped wasting her time on flakes and her confidence skyrocketed. Soon after, she met the love of her life. Through her company, Amie the Dating Coach, she helps others make the same transformation.
What she offers: Depending on your budget and goals, Amie offers a slew of options. These include live online dating classes, group coaching sessions and at the top-tier, private coaching. She also has a series of free videos that will get you inspired to dig deeper and be more mindful about who you say ‘yes’ to.
What clients rave about: “Amie is more than my dating coach, she is my life coach. She speaks very openly and honestly about all aspects of my life and constantly challenges me to grow as an individual. Within a month of working with Amie, I met the man of my dreams and now, two years later, he and I are awaiting the arrival of our twin daughters. Now, I reach out to Amie for ongoing advice about my career, family and relationship and truly don’t know where I would be without her. One session with Amie and you will see for yourself just how incredible she is.” —Nicole
Read more about her here: She’s been interviewed by Fox and People on-camera, and quoted in dozens of articles in Cosmo, Bustle and many others. Read more of her street cred here.
For 20 years, April has been coaching and matchmaking elite men in Los Angeles. Though they were all relationship-minded, they somehow couldn’t snag the right woman to build their lives with. Blame it on a busy schedule, a toxic pattern or both, but with April’s help, 89 percent of her clients find love. To make a match, her company, Level Connections, factors in physical, emotional, intellectual and sexual chemistry, as well as lifestyle preferences and goals. Bottom line? It seems to be working.
What she offers: She offers services to both men and women, but only matchmaking to the guys. When the ladies join, they are screened and placed into an impressive database where they will only be paired with men who want to be in a relationship. Her one-on-one sessions provide guidance, break through mental hiccups and deliver results. In other words: with her catered help to your unique needs, you’ll be going on dates ASAP.
What clients rave about: “I’ve never been happier, April. Bulls-eye. Thank you with all my heart. Nicole is AMAZING.” —Jaiver
Read more about her here: April is known for her appearances on 20/20, Dr. Phil, VH1 and other talk shows. You can see some of her chats here.
Part dating coach, part intimacy guru — Allana Pratt’s ethos on finding love is a bit untraditional. She believes that being fully in-tune with your desires, accepting of your individual sensuality and open to vulnerabilities is what makes or breaks your success in love. She’s a sought-after commentary for numerous on-air shows and a best-selling author. Her YouTube videos inspire both men and women to let their freaky little flags fly.
What she offers: Though she’s Los Angeles-based, she offers services to men and women globally. Via video or phone chats, she pushes her clients to breakthrough barriers and open themselves up to the ‘radical power of sexy love.’ If you’re someone who has been anxious about truly working through your issues, she can be your guide.
What clients rave about: “After 2 calls with Allana I have experienced a new sense of power and confidence that has changed my perspective on life and allowed me to move through the world in a more direct and powerful way. You’re amazing Allana, thank you for your playful attitude and helping me to be true to who I am.” —Ian
Read more about her here: She speaks to TLC, Fox and CBS, to name a few. To learn more about her long-winded quoting history in media, check this out.
Remember when AOL was a thing? Gina Stewart does — and that’s how long she’s been coaching singles online. Her company, appropriately titled Expert Onl ine Dating has become a valuable resource for singles near and far. Based in Los Angeles, she offers solutions to men and women, no matter where they are. The idea is to help folks strategize the blazing world of digital dating — and help all of those matches translate into love.
What she offers: In addition to a wide variety of guides, multi-week classes and other curriculum, Stewart also offers one-on-one coaching, profile makeovers and evaluations on and offline. Ideal for both sexes, she can coach every aspect of your interaction with a could-be partner: starting with the photos you pick, the words you write, the pick-up line you use and how you end the first date.
What clients rave about: “I trust Expert Online Dating expertise in the online dating landscape since without an online dating coach that landscape is an exponentially growing jungle maze that is mind confusing, emotionally draining, and sensory overload experience. EOD has been honest, reliable, responsible, responsive, accountable, dedicated and consistent with its professional services.” —Undisclosed name
Read more about her here: She’s been on GMA and quoted around the web. See more of her expertise here.
For most modern singles, it’s hard to imagine a time before online dating apps. But as technology advances with the hope of making finding loves a flick of the finger, things can get creepy… fast. Or how should we put it? Stalkerish.
As more and more apps integrate social media — like Facebook, Spotify and Instagram — it makes it easier to find people. In fact, if you ask anyone who has made their rounds on Bumble, Tinder or any other app, and they will likely admit to Googling their date before meeting up with them in person. This may be common practice these days but the latest dating trend, ‘Tindstagramming’ takes things to another level in terms of unwanted (or unwarranted) attention.
You can probably guess from the name, but this is when a person you didn’t swipe on Tinder (or another app) finds your Instagram and then ‘slides into your DMs.’ It’s a way of working around the dating site itself — and is a pretty gross invasion of privacy. Since you already said ‘nadda’ to him or her once, searching for your personal profiles online is a form of cyberstalking that’s technically punishable by law. Luckily anyone you aren’t following will show up in your ‘other’ folder on Instagram, so you probably won’t know right away.
Even so, the trend challenges daters to well, check themselves. After all, how many times have you searched endlessly for someone before you met them IRL? And perhaps, you have even found someone on Instagram and messaged them?
As tempting as it is to find every little thing about your match before you meet them — or to ease the sting of rejection by trying again — the greatest lesson of the dating game is patience. Considering generations before us didn’t even have the ability to text, much less use the internet, before a first date, you probably can muster up the courage to sit pretty.
Instead of stressing about who your date could be and attempting to make assumptions based off world-wide-web data, we suggest investing in the meet-up planning. Find the coolest, hippest bar in town. Or strategize your conversation topics and come up with some engaging convos that dig deep into your match’s character.
Or, you know, tune-in to what you should be doing that you’re likely avoiding… working. Your boss will thank you.
We aren’t going to lie, it’s tough out there. Along with classic challenges of coupling, you’ve got people swiping right and left on you, a sexting “game” to maintain, and a whole new dating language to learn. “Catfishing” used to be something done with a pole and “Ghosting” might have been something you would do to your neighbours at Halloween. Things are getting complicated.
To manage the anxiety of modern day dating, sex and relationships, you need quality help and advice that only comes from experts. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the most influential experts with wisdom on how to find that special someone, get the most out of your relationships and lead a fulfilled sex life. Welcome to Datezie’s Most Influential Dating Experts of 2019.
The dating coach who wants men to let go of the fear of rejection.
Street cred: Ten years of experience and more than 20,000 hours of interpersonal coaching, usually 1:1 on with clients. He’s also published three books, spoken at SXSW, and been a guest on the Steve Harvey Show, MTV, MTV2, ABC’s Nightline — and more.
His ethos, in his own words: “Everyone has a shot at attracting long-lasting love with an attractive, compatible, quality woman. However, it’s the effort you put into making you and your life worthy of attracting such a thing that will make the difference.”
What he’s trying to change: Though Edwards says most people want love and connection, they’re also part of a world that depends on technology and instant gratification, so they end up seeking the easiest path. With digital dating, that usually means tons of rejections before you find the right thing. For men, this can foster an unhealthy fear. “This causes their social skills to become underdeveloped, affecting how they’re showing up on dates, in their relationships, at work, and in life. As this becomes a bigger issue, their desire for real human connection will increase, making our responsibility as coaches even more important,” he shares.
What’s next: He’s taking a holistic approach to helping his clients find love by focusing on the four key zones in a man’s life: love, lifestyle, leadership and legacy. Through this, he offers catered programs and journeys that help men break through their anxieties — and score a lifelong partner.
Her ethos, in her own words: “Don’t settle for mediocre crap. Too many people are so afraid of being alone that they wind up taking whatever they can get instead of doing the inner work to go out there and find a person who is truly worthwhile.”
What she’s trying to change: Her main goal — through humor and cheeky-commentary — is to provide a no-nonsense, shame-free guide for everyone to lead their sexiest, healthiest life. She’s blowing through the stigma attached to sex questions (no matter how strange) through her Instagram’s advice column, Ask Gigi. She is vulnerable, to the point and honest, or as she puts it, “I don’t do baby-hands and I give real-ass advice” — which some people love and others can’t handle. Her hope is to zero-in people’s focus in a world where many have developed ‘dating ADD.’ With the right advice — and tough love — she hopes folks will realize what’s at the crux of everything (in and out of the sheets): one, big, great love. “No matter how nonchalant everyone wants to seem, we all crave belonging and love.”
What’s next: Another books might be in the works — but it’s hush-hush for now. She’s the keynote speaker at the 2019 Sex Expo in Brooklyn, with other engagements planned too. Including… her own! She’s stoked to get married this summer and moving to London.
Los-Angeles based licensed marriage and family therapist
Street cred: She founded the Los Angeles Women’s Therapy Center, and she’s served on the Board of Imago Relational International for six years. She also owns her own bustling private practice, and is regularly asked to be a guest speaker at events. Many of her couples workshops have been featured in national publications, too.
Her ethos, in her own words: “We should use our relationship as a way to make the world a better place. If we give up the warfare and replace it with compassionate, kind interactions it helps everyone, especially our children if we have them. Lofty, I know, but if enough couples did this, I believe it’s one place we can bring peace to our world.”
What she’s trying to change: Shafner refers to herself as an ‘Imago Therapist’ which means she centers her work around how to stop all reactivity and harmful communication, encouraging couples to better communicate. At the core of many divorces is the inability to express what’s wrong, what needs help and how to change. For Shafner, it comes down to a no-duh reality that too many couples forget about: “The very things that attracted us to our partner are what make us nuts later on — and that is supposed to happen! It’s how we grow up and heal and change old patterns.” Her clients rave she’s a safe person to talk with — and she’s helped numerous duos find their footing and heal their partnership.
What’s next: She’s holding two Imago Relationship Therapy Couples workshops, and doing in-depth clinical work in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology. This will look at how everything in the relationship field connects with brain research.
Street cred: She’s the first certified coactive Asian female coach in the world. She’s also the author of the Amazon best-seller, The Divorced Mom’s Guide to Dating. In addition to coaching hundreds of clients herself, she’s also helped two international coaching schools certify more than 1,000 coaches. Her clients are located from California to Sweden — and beyond.
Her ethos, in her own words: “I have my signature concept that I spelled out in my book that most people date from their ‘peasant’ place: disempowered, manipulative, and starving for love. When you are in this state — and looking for love — you are doomed to repeat your old patterns, attracting men who will manipulate you, and use you. After a series of bad dating experiences, you come out more hurt, more bitter, and more confused. Instead, if you are connected with your other ‘2 Ps’, you will learn to date and be in relationship from a Princess and Priestess place, which allows you to be soft, and vulnerable, accessible to love, while being in your power and calling forth the kind of men who will love, adore, and cherish you.”
What she’s trying to change: It may seem counterproductive to the purpose of a dating coach Vu hates dating. And she wants people to do less of it, so they can find the right match. As she puts it, the goal isn’t to be rescued or smitten — it’s to bring your best self forward and thus, meet a partner. “I am anti ‘I think I’m in love’. It is the worst state a woman can be in. It’s mostly addiction talking, instead of real love. Most women want to find love, yet they don’t love themselves, and they don’t know what they truly want when it comes to sex, love and relationships.” That’s where she comes in — teaching singles how to value themselves and attract the right type of person to share their life with. No white horse required.
What’s next: She’s working on her second book. She is also expanding her coaching business to Asia, starting in Vietnam — her home country she escaped decades ago to build a new life.
The life coach who got divorced — and changed her life.
Truly, lemonade from lemons.
A certified International Coach Federation Life Coach, specializing in relationships and family recovery. Founder of Families United for Recovery.
Street cred: She’s been a guest on The Doctors many times, and completed the legendary ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ Dr. Pat Allen’s three-year relationship training. She’s also a Transactional Analysis Practitioner.
Her ethos, in her own words: “First and foremost we cannot honestly be in love with another until we cultivate a powerful sense of self love and respect. This takes a serious commitment to self-study, including spiritual and mental health tools and techniques for cultivating self-love and esteem. We also think with words. When we change our words in our own minds and that which comes out of our mouth, we change the thoughts we have about our relationship, our partner, ourselves. This change in our thoughts, changes the emotional experience we have when interacting with each other. The change in our emotions, changes the outcome of our relationships. Communicating with conscious language requires work but changes the paradigm of how we view our relationship, our partner and ourselves. Understanding the power of words in our relationships, how they can take us and our partner from a feeling of contempt and dissatisfaction to compassion and connection, determines the quality and success of our relationships.”
What she’s trying to change: Arlington has been married and divorced three times — and after the last breakup, she knew she needed to make a big change. She sought counseling from Dr. Pat Allen and realized she truly needed to improve her self-esteem and self-love so she wouldn’t be ‘addicted’ to her husband. This meant letting go of her fear of ‘not being in control’ — and instead, being vulnerable. She prescribes to the notion that too much masculine energy in a woman is emasculating to men, sort of like two batteries facing head-to-head shooting off sparks and blowing up. “There needs to be both feminine and masculine to do the dance of a healthy relationship. I realized how I’d contributed to destroying my marriages based on my own dysfunctional ego states, and my masculine approach to communication. I learned how to be respectful and appreciative in communication even when I was angry and upset and have helped dozens of couples heal their own relationships using these tools and strategies.” And now, she counsels others on how to achieve this equalibrum, too.
What’s next: Newly engaged, she’s building her new company, Families United For Recovery, offering free Family Recovery group coaching. This helps family members who have a loved one struggling with substance abuse.
Her ethos, in her own words: “I realize there isn’t a one-size fits all formula, and I teach singles how to date better, how to attract more quality dates, how to have a better experience on a date, how to move from online to offline, how to go from the first date to a second one, and how to move from dating to dating exclusively.”
What she’s trying to change: She was one of the original — if not the very first — online dating expert, starting 25 years ago when the concept was still taboo. As the market has grown, so has Spira, coaching everyone from Baby Boomers to college-aged hopefuls. For Spira, it boils down where to authenticity and technology meet. “As a former technology executive, I could foresee the impact of digital communications, and how important mobile phones would be to the courting process. I love the fact that singles can cast a wider net, meet someone down the street, across the country, or in a different continent,” she explains. “Modern love and dating is occurring at rapid-fire speed. Singles are swiping more frequently and are able to schedule dates on the fly, in the same day, or within days, dependence on the distance. The challenge is in finding your needle in a digital haystack with the enormous amount of people using dating apps.”
What’s next: Her next book — Love in the Age Of Trump — will be released in 2019, and highlights her extensive research on how the current political climate has impacted romantic relationships. She’s also working on several television projects, and the film adaptation of her first book.
Her ethos, in her own words: “I have a more pragmatic than romantic view of relationships and love: I don’t believe one person can meet all the needs of another person or that there is only one true love for everyone. If two people choose to be exclusive, I do believe that can work though each person needs to be clear about their needs in a relationship and if they can provide their partner’s stated needs as well. If not, then they need to discuss what needs to happen for needs to be met. This is why we have friends and family. At times, those people can meet needs that our partner can’t meet and this helps to keep our relationship satisfactory. This is why I also support ethical, non-monogamy, too. If two or more people decide that others can help provide satisfaction to their relationship, then I am not one to judge otherwise.”
What she’s trying to change: She challenges her clients to start by really digging deep into what they want and need out of a partnership — and if perhaps, a monogamous relationship is for them. As the years pass, Geter sees more couples exploring non-traditional approaches to love, realizing there is no one-size-fits-all model. She also wants people — duos or trios — to spend less time with technology and more time expressing how we feel. She primarily works with younger couples and she sees a big need to focus on communication, since they weren’t raised to speak, as opposed to type. “I think it’s great that people want to learn relationship skills, though I find it fascinating that they haven’t learned the skills of determining when a relationship is not compatible and accepting it is not compatible.” That’s where she comes in.
What’s next: She’s expanding her private practice to include educational workshops, group therapy, consultation services and more. She’s starting a ‘What the App?!?’ dating group to help singles navigate digital culture, too.
If you want to collect passport stamps and catch feelings, your wanderlust could be causing a major delay in the takeoff of a new relationship. At least, according to recent research conducted at Harvard University. How come? Well, no one wants to hear about your trips. (Sorry.)
If you’ve traveled far and wide — or at least make an effort to take a long vacation every year — you know how the story goes. Once you return home, you’re pumped to show your friends and loved ones your photos, perform the funniest experience and even gift a trinket you found for them. Those who love you will tolerate your rambling for a hot second, but if you pay attention, their eyes will quickly gloss over as they lose interest. More often than not, they’ll come across bored… because they are.
Psychologists at Harvard speculate this has a lot to do with how unaccessible some travel seems. Sure, to you, trekking Machu Picchu or making it to the land down under was only a matter of time on your bucket list. For others though, it seems so far-fetched and impossible, it’s hard to relate or feign interest. And in some cases, researchers share even well-meaning and loving pals can harbor jealousy if they aren’t able to get out of town like you are.
To test this theory, they divided participants into small groups, where one person was given a hilarious clip of a street performer to watch alone, while everyone else watched a not-so-great video together. Right after the viewing, they asked everyone to rate how happy they felt in that moment. Then, they joined everyone together to discuss their experience before separating them. Lastly, they asked them how happy they felt now and how included they felt amongst the group. While the solo-watchers felt more joy, they didn’t feel included.
What glimpse does this give us into dating? Unless the person you’re sitting across from at the bar or dinner table is also a globe-trotter, you may bore them with your ‘This one time I was in Thailand…’ tales. And better yet? Researchers stress the immense benefit of investing in friendships — and relationships — where you can nomad well together. If you’re online dating, make sure your profile illustrates what role traveling plays in your life, and only swipe ‘yep’ on those who match your interests. If you’re seeking love IRL, consider joining traveling communities or signing up for a language class to potentially meet a partner.
And if you happen to order a glass of your favorite red wine from Chile, and your date perks up, sharing she has toured vineyards there before? Jackpot.