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 on dating apps, 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.
1The dating coach who wants men to let go of the fear of rejection.
Thomas Edwards, Jr.,
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.
|Where to find him:|
2The sex coach that thinks you should never settle — on anything.
Not having an orgasm? Not giving your partner one? Um, hell no.
certified sex coach, clinical sexologist and feminist writer
Street cred: Her debut book comes out this January — All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love and Life. She calls it a ‘slutty’ girl’s guide that includes many of her own failures. She has a sex column for Brides.com, and writes regularly for Teen Vogue, SELF and others. She’s also the resident sexuality educator at The Alexander Institute, and works as a Pleasure Professional with O.School.
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.
|Where to find her:|
3The therapist that challenges couples to go the long haul.
Relationships are work — and that’s the point.
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.
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4The dating coach that hates dating.
relationship guru and coach
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.
|Where to find her:|
5The 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.
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6The pioneer of online dating — who is now challenging Trump.
She’s been online dating for 25 years.
Online dating expert and the CEO and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert
Street cred: She’s best-selling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions Of a Hopeful Romantic Looking For Love Online. She was also awarded ‘Best Dating Coach of the Year’ by iDate Awards, the industry’s most-recognized awards ceremony in 2017. She’s appeared in a documentary for Vice and another documentary film, The Lonely Italian. Her advice has appeared in CNN, BBC, Boston Globe, The New YOrk Times, USA Today and many others. She’s also a dating expert for Match.
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.
|Where to find her:|
7The relationship expert who doesn’t think there is one person for everyone.
In fact, why not have many?
LMFT, CST, an Atlanta-based sex and relationship therapist.
Street cred: She opened her own business in 2014, and has been growing ever since. She launched the ‘Let’s Talk Sex’ podcast in 2016, and became certified in sex therapy in 2017. She frequently speaks at events in Georgia, as well as the The National Sex Ed Conference. She’s also a sex educator for My Secret Soiree.
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.
|Where to find her:|
8The man whisperer who doesn’t find anything weird.
Bring it on.
A celebrity dating coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast.
Street cred: She’s a five-times published author, a Match.com dating expert who regularly hosts webinars and the dating coach for E!’s Famously Single. She’s also the go-to dating coach for KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles, and a frequent expert for Oprah, Vogue, The Washington Post and more. Her YouTube channel has 83,000 subscribers — and more than 25 million views.
Her ethos, in her own words: “Don’t do or say what you think you should or what anyone else tells you is right. Do and say what feels right and is authentic to you.
“Be fully you — confidently, vulnerably, unapologetically, and without judgment. Because you attract how you act, and you should expect and accept nothing less.”
What she’s trying to change: She wants to break down the mental barriers that many people have built around dating and to — once and for all! — stop considering anything is strange. Or too much. Or weird. “We all have our individual preferences, fears, insecurities, likes, dislikes, experiences, and perspectives, so nothing is ‘weird.’ It might be different, but not ‘weird.’ And I think that’s a big part of my coaching and why both male and female clients from the age of 22 to 75 come to me for coaching,” she continues. “I won’t judge you. What I will do, is work with you so that you stop judging, shaming, hiding, and faking yourself.” She adopts at 24/7 availability to her clients, as well as a no-BS, straightforward approach to helping them be their best self via Skype video sessions. She’s excited to see a shift in the dating world, where many are returning to authenticity, allowing their red, orange, pink or yellow flags fly. “You can be your quirky, geeky, different you. There is no longer a box that you must conform to.”
What’s next: She can’t share yet — but she’s soon announcing a partnership with a new dating company. She’s also creating The Dating Academy video product for dates that will offer more than 20 hours of video dating advice — from how to break up with someone to how to let yourself love another person, fully.
|Where to find her:|
9The online dating coach who wants you to stop dating the same person already.
Looking at you, Mr. and Ms. Unavailable.
Dr. Sarah Schewitz
A psychologist specializing in online couples therapy
Street cred: She has a stellar review on Yelp and Google from clients around the world. She’s also a contributing expert to a slew of publications, including Refinery29, Bustle, AskMen, Self, Teen Vogue and others.
Her ethos, in her own words: “You repeat what you don’t repair. Most of us carry around unconscious limiting beliefs about love and relationships that we created in childhood and are not even aware of as adults. We are attracted to a certain type of partner based on those beliefs and they also impact how we show up as partners once in relationships. If you had a less than ideal model of love growing up, you are likely repeating some of those unhealthy patterns in your own love life without even realizing it.”
What she’s trying to change: Though it looks dazzling — and is definitely entertaining — to watch an on-and-off again relationship on television, it isn’t healthy. Like Carrie and Mr. Big, going after the same type of unavailable person (or egotistical single or toxic bachelorette) will only lead you down the wrong path. Dr. Schewitz teaches her clients how to stop swiping right on the wrong person and thus, find love. “The work I do with individuals and couples helps bring the unconscious to the conscious so that you can make intentional and healthy decisions about who to date and how you want to show up in relationships.” She does this primarily through online sessions — giving her access to singles anywhere and everywhere.
What’s next: She’s growing her business and plans to hire many therapists to expand her reach. She’s working on an online course and a podcast launch, too.
|Where to find her:|
10The coach who is responsible for 200 marriages — and counting.
Could yours be next?
Laurie Davis Edwards
Love coach and founder of The Worthy One
Street cred: To start, she’s helped more than 200 people walk down the aisle. Her advice has been featured more than 1,000 times in The New York Times, Good Morning America, Refinery29, The Wall Street Journal and many others. She’s also the author of Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating.
Her ethos, in her own words: “Love begins within. Often, we look outside of ourselves to feel loved — and yes, love from others is an important part of life. And you get to have a brilliant, passionate, lasting love in this lifetime! But your relationship with yourself comes first. When you deepen your relationship with yourself, you’ll attract depth in all the relationships in your life … including your love life.”
What she’s trying to change: Though, yes, she’s a coach — Edwards doesn’t consider herself a guru. Instead, she’s a guide — and teaches her clients how they are the masters of matters of the heart. “YOU are the expert on yourself. My approach is to connect you to your intuition and all the superpowers that are within you but may not be fully accessed,” she explains. By taking a multi-sensory approach, she’s helping people to let go of the fear that causes us to overthink everything. “I’ve studied this a lot in my practice over the last decade and find that, underneath it all, we have a very strong scarcity complex when it comes to love. We say things like, ‘There are no good men out there’ or, ‘He’ll probably leave me.’ Rarely do we look at love as abundant, and that’s why my coaching reflects supporting society in creating this shift.”
What’s next: She’s hosting her signature weekend workshop, Abundant Love Live, in New York City. It’s a three-day transformative experience that teaches singles to fall in love with themselves and learn how to create deep, authentic connections in your love life.
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11The on-air pro who wants millennials to adapt some traditional mindsets…
…without forgoing gender equality.
A Beverly Hills-based family and relationship psychotherapist and author
Street cred: She is a best-selling author, and served as the resident psychology expert on the WE TV series, Sex Box. She’s appeared on 20 episodes of The Robert Irvine Show, and is a regular on-camera expert contributor for CBS2 News, FOX News in Los Angeles, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, and more. Her advice has been quoted in a slew of publications — from Ladies Home Journal and People to The Chicago Tribune and more.
Her ethos, in her own words: “I am a diehard true romantic who believes in love. I’ve also had my share of personal disappointments, heartache and heartbreak. Still, I believe that love is available to all those who are open to giving themselves fully to another person. That requires two willing partners who are ready for a sustained commitment with continuity. Once you have that, trust can be established and built step by step laying the bricks and mortar of a foundation for lasting enduring success. Enduring success means that the partners are committed to staying together no matter what obstacles they face. Of course, this requires well-honed listening and conflict resolution skills.”
What she’s trying to change: Dr. Walfish says today, people have veered away from dating — and into the bedroom. As the hook-up culture has dominated most of mainstream, it’s created a barrier to find meaningful, romantic and lasting partnerships. With a straight-talk, easy-to-digest method of speaking, she wants to shift the conversation back a little. That is, without sacrificing the progress of equality among the sexes. “Hook-ups have replaced dating and, therefore, have deterred from practicing communication skills and the give-and-take required in healthy relationships. My mission is to educate the modern generation on how to incorporate some of the old-fashioned male and female etiquette without compromising gender equality.”
What’s next: She’s in development of her own network TV series, while continuing to run her full-time private practice.
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12The comedian who is professionally bad at dating.
And funny as hell.
Comedian and host of The Manwhore Podcast.
Street cred: Esquire and Uproxx named his popular podcast in the Top 10 of all sex-themed downloads. It features a 4.5 rating and a major following. He also hosts a ManwhoreCon in New York City for fans to hang out with him in NYC. This year will be his third.
His ethos, in his own words: “You do you, boo boo! A relationship is whatever two—or three or four or twelve—people want that one relationship to be. I’m saving pegging for marriage.”
What he’s trying to change: Truth be told, he’s not a dating expert but he does say he’s likely the only person on our list to be ‘professionally bad at dating.’ As he shares his crazy and interesting experiences with readers, he also touches on tough topics and challenges societal norms. For listeners, these tales make them feel less insane — and perhaps more importantly, not alone in the journey. “I just know how to shamelessly overshare my experiences. By hearing me talk to past partners about why we didn’t work out, listeners tell me they’ve been able to learn from my mistakes, relate to my guests’ experiences, and feel encouraged to try new things and embrace their sluttyness,” he shares. “I hear from women, queers, conservatives, vanilla folks, lifelong kinksters, and poly-pockets about how the show has helped them or made them think.”
What’s next: His third ManwhoreCon in New York City. He also taking the ‘live show experience’ to other cities this year — with San Francisco next in line.
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13The sex-pert who embraces new rules.
And will teach you about super X-rated sex positions.
Psychologist, relationship expert and author.
Street cred: Her book — The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life — has won several awards and tons of rave reviews from readers. She also has popular Sexy Little Guide series where she gives advice on fisting, squirting and other sex-positive topics.
Her ethos, in her own words: “We all deserve a healthy, fulfilling and loving relationship. We attract what we believe, and put out into the world, so it’s just as important to look within as it is to look out into the world. When you’re secure within yourself, you’ll create better for yourself.”
What she’s trying to change: She considers herself a compassionate — yet honest — guide for her clients as they navigate relationship dynamics, dating and sex. Considering the name of her best-seller, she wants everyone to lead a more fulfilling under-the-sheets and out-of-the-sheets life, which requires communication, vulnerability and self-awareness. With generational shifts and the influx of digital dating, she doesn’t look at new trends as bad. Instead, they’re an opportunity to expand and grow. “These are fascinating times because we’re navigating new domains, the way we meet and interact, creating new rules as we go along.”
What’s next: She’ll be interviewing experts to feature on her site. And her Sexy Little Guides will soon be available in print.
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14The stripper turned witch, sex expert and CEO who believes in super-powered confidence.
CEO of This Way Adventures. Also known as: Kitty Kat DeMille, the Pink Witch
Street cred: Life coach, dating expert, sex guru, burlesque dancer and witch are all Kat Thomas’s titles. Through her creative media company, she produces events that focus on symbology, sensuality and spirituality, all helping folks to connect with their best inner selves. Her work has been featured on BravoTV, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Thrillist, The Daily Mail and many others. She’s also performed in more than 30 states — and counting.
Her ethos, in her own words: “Love is love and you get what you give. My first mission is to fully love myself and stand in my truth. After that goal is met, my next mission is to give as much love as possible to those who are willing to receive it and embrace all the forms in which it’s reciprocated. I am polyamorous, so I believe love is not limited to one person or experience. Master practitioners of the art of seduction understand that love is not limited to the bedroom. Love runs the gamut: from just making people smile when they’ve had a bad day to good old fashioned flirting to sexual relationships with those special someones. Love is love.”
What she’s trying to change: In her lifetime, Thomas has had plenty of careers, including being a stripper in Las Vegas and New Orleans. She’s also been a tarot card reader — which she feels is similar to stripping, since they both have the goal of healing. These past experiences mean she looks at dating through what she calls ‘the prism of energetics’ and believes people get what they put out. That’s why she recommends a three-step process to finding the right partner: self-awareness, super-powered confidence and reverse engineering experiences. When these are accomplished — love and sex can be at their happiest state because you’re satisfied but not selfish. “When you read the Art of Seduction, you learn Casanova was the best lover because he figured out what his lovers wanted and gave it to them. He didn’t think about himself — because he already know what made him happy through self-awareness and was completely grounded with super-powered confidence, and because of this he could seduce and delight any woman he wanted.”
What’s next: She’s writing a supernatural stripper detective novel series set in Las Vegas titled ‘Is That a Gun In Your G-String?’ This year, she’ll also produce a large series of events across the country, all focused on sensuality.
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15The breakup expert who wants you to take the whole love thing less seriously.
No, they aren’t the one who got away. Let it go.
Self-help writer and speaker and breakup expert.
Street cred: She’s the author of the best-selling book, Breakup Positive. She’s a frequent guest on a variety of on-air programing, including Inside Edition, and will also be speaking at Alt Summit about toxic relationships.
Her ethos, in her own words: “I think we all tend to take dating so seriously: like we are hunting for our husband/wife. And although that may be the end game, sometimes a dinner can just be a dinner. Use a date as an opportunity to get to know someone new and that’s it. Then, if they don’t seem to be long term potential for you, move on quickly and don’t be upset about it. We tend to get so emotionally involved so quickly, when really it doesn’t need to be like that.”
What she’s trying to change: Really, she wants everyone to calm down. And let go of toxic, terrible people that are keeping you from investing in the right folks. In fact, she thinks sometimes, a breakup can be the best thing to ever happen to you. “It can provide you with an opportunity to change yourself for the better, to be happier afterwards. I think that’s a really unique point of view because we are always taught that breakups have to be these devastating points in our lives, when really they can be an incredible impetus for change,” she shares. She also wants singles to look up — since love can also be sourced offline. “Be open to meeting people in real life situations: get off of your phone and pay attention to the people around you.”
What’s next: She’s launching a new wellness website — and booking more speaking gigs.
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16Oprah’s friend who wants us to stop ‘should’ing
You get love! You get love! Everyone gets love!
Best-selling author and relationship expert
Street cred: In addition to being an international best-selling author, she’s also an ongoing guest in a number of publications, television and radio shows. Her YouTube channel has surpassed 10 million views — and Oprah is a personal fan of her work. She’s also tripled her income since day one of her career.
Her ethos, in her own words: “My personal belief is that we already know the answers to the questions we seek, but uncovering those truths requires disconnecting from the sea of external voices that would lead us astray. I seek to reconnect my clients with their own internal compass and innate power. In doing so, they learn to trust themselves as they move through the often turbulent waters of love and dating. Love becomes a journey of excitement, adventure and exploration rather than fear and distrust. When we know we can trust ourselves, we release the fearful need to trust others to take care of our heart.”
What she’s trying to change: Winter calls this time a period of ‘tremendous upheaval.’ With the influx of online dating, a delayed start to marriage and shifting gender roles, she believes it’s the chance to really shake things up. “The roles of what a partner ‘should be’ and ‘should do’ have been eliminated, and we have a great opportunity to create something better. We have the ability to create our own authentic love model; one that works for us because it’s in agreement with our disposition and values.” She discusses her views, her advice and other interesting trends via her popular podcast and via YouTube.
What’s next: She’s rolling out a new audio book, and speaking at many events and conference. She’s also working on new monthly consultation packages for clients near and far, and is in talks with a legacy television networks for opportunities in her field.
|Where to find her:|
17The Canadian dating strategist who is teaching men what women want.
….and encouraging them to let go of the idea of perfect.
A dating strategist and matchmaker.
Street cred: She’s a regular media personality for a variety of talk shows — from Breakfast Television to Global Morning. She’s also hosted her own TV show, Single in the City for two seasons. She’s the host of The Dating and Relationship Show on AM40, which airs weekly and is available on Apple iTunes, too. Did we mention she also wrote a highly-rated book?
Her ethos, in her own words: “Love doesn’t always find you, sometimes you need to be willing to get out there and look for it! It is so important to be open when dating and to give people chances and to stop looking for perfection. Perfection does not exist: you are not perfect so you can’t expect anyone else to be. You want people to accept your flaws so you must first be willing to accept theirs, this all starts with loving yourself. You should never enter into a relationship with a selfish mindset. You should never be wondering how the relation will benefit you, rather how you both will benefit and help each other. So I say, put yourself out there, don’t wait and get help if you need it.”
What she’s trying to change: Most of her clients are men — and she adopts an anti-sugar-coating method in her coaching. By being 100 percent honest, she’s able to dig deep into the roots of their issues and challenge them to change habits and shift their mindset. It’s the combination of her personal and professional experience that makes her different: clients love the dual-sided approach that builds trust. Considering she’s been running her company for 17 years, she’s seen how online dating has shifted the conversation. She’s hoping to go with the trend — but improve it, too. “It is so fascinating how times have changed so quickly, it is a fast paced instant gratification society and people want it when they want it and are willing to use technology for find their match.”
What’s next: She’s launching a new product for men that’s about approaching and attracting women — without being a creep.
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18The inclusive therapist who wants successful women to stop apologizing.
Cut it out, k?
A licensed marriage and family therapist.
Street cred: In an effort to make mental healthcare more accessible to minority and marginalized populations, she co-founded the Austin Counseling Collective in 2015. She also launched Therapy Practice Life Off, which features business courses and tools for therapists. She’s also been featured in Thrive Global as a culturally affirming psychotherapy — and encouraged others in her field to follow suit.
Her ethos, in her own words: “Do the work, even if it’s uncomfortable. In order to ‘find love’ or to be in a healthy relationship, our work starts from within. The more we explore and get to know ourselves — family of origin, emotional triggers, traumas, attachment style, values and needs) — and to strive to grow emotionally and relationally, the more likely we will attract someone that’s also committed to personal growth. The same applies to couples in relationships. Do the work: learn to be a better listener, a more attentive communicator, a more compassionate friend, a more attuned lover. Lean in and connect, even if it’s uncomfortable. Read books, attend workshops, listen to podcasts, go to therapy, challenge yourself and get uncomfortable.”
What she’s trying to change: When describing her approach, Li says her therapy is boldly social justice-minded, culturally-affirming and inclusive. She believes that all people are deserving of love, and she works to help minorities and marginalized groups who may have to overcome bigger hurdles to find a match. Another passion of hers is assisting female entrepreneurs and creative types who may not ‘fit in a box.’ “My pet-peeve is seeing powerful, driven, successful women be told they’re ‘too much’, and subsequently feel pressured to hide or subdue themselves in order to find love,” she continues. “I strive to help clients challenge the societal scrutiny that people either ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’, and the myth that there’s an ideal balance that makes us deserving of love and romance.”
What’s next: She’s launching Woke Therapists, hoping to make it easier to find inclusive therapists.
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19The sexologist who thinks everyone should be proactive.
And not just reactive.
Licensed clinical social worker and sexologist.
Street cred: She was named one of Dr. Jess’s Sexuality Super Heroes. She’s also been featured in The Huffington Post, Bustle, Therapy for Black Girls, XONecole and Reader’s Digest, to name a few.
Her ethos, in her own words: “My favorite phrase is ‘create your own relationship.’ I think it’s important to follow your own blueprint for your relationship.”
What she’s trying to change: As a sexologist, she finds it unique that people don’t only come to her because there is a problem. Sometimes, they want to navigate feelings. Or they’re curious. Or perhaps, they’re being proactive when they sense an issue coming on. Whatever the case, her vast variety of clients has taught her the importance of staying on top of your health — mental, physical and sexual. Even if hey, following folks on Instagram or Facebook could inspire you. “I see so many sexually diverse people, such as those who live non-traditional lifestyles,” she explains. “I’m fascinated with how much social media influences choices, attitudes, and behaviors on love and dating.”
What’s next: Speaking engagements across the United States, ranging from ‘Food and Intimacy’ to ‘Scheduling Sex.’
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20The real life Hitch who decided to coach women instead.
And became one of the most sought-after digital gurus.
Founder of Sexy Confidence.
Street cred: He started as a real life ‘Hitch’, teaching men how to attract women but then switched gears to mentor women. Now, he’s been called the #1 dating expert in the world for helping women build confidence and find love. He’s a frequent keynote speaker, mega YouTube star and social media guru. He’s also authored two best-selling books, and created eight popular dating courses.
His ethos, in his own words: “Be attracted to yourself to live a life full of love.”
What he’s trying to change: He wants dating to be fun and exciting again — and for women to come to the table as equal partners. He’s a big proponent of reminding females of their greatest gifts and helping them to remember how sexy they are. This type of confidence, as he puts it, is irresistible. His hope is that the paradox of choice on whether to settle down or not can become a bit easier when you find a person who makes you want to invest.
What’s next: He’s co-hosting Kate Plus Date this summer.
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21The sex educator who doesn’t have time for your bullshit.
Can we get an amen?
ACS, multi-certified sex educator and relationship coach.
Street cred: With a tremendous amount of experience, her tough-love meets witty-excellence makes her engaging to read. She’s been quoted in just about every magazine you can think of — but most recently she was quoted by none-other than Oprah magazine.
Her ethos, in her own words: “There’s no space for games or rules. The more authentic you are with yourself and others, the happier and more accepting you’ll be — both in and out of a relationship.”
What she’s trying to change: Hodder-Shipp loves hearing people’s story — the good, the bad, the messy, and everything else that love (and the quest for it ) brings. To help your clients get through difficult periods, discover their sexuality and find a fulfilling partnership, she uses a variety of somatic and emotional intelligence modalities. These help them to learn more about their feelings, desires, dysfunctional patterns and more importantly, break through the bullshit and make progress. “Not only do they learn tangible tools to use in their daily lives, they also help heal some of the wounding that’s been holding them back in all parts of their lives,” she continues. “I appreciate hearing how people have learned to cope and manage the disappointments and the excitements that come hand-in-hand with modern love and dating.”
What’s next: She’s building online programs designed to make it easier and more convenient for people to adapt self-awareness tools. The goal is for them to grow at their own pace, in the comfort of their couch. She’s also building programming for her educational organization, Everyone Deserves Sex Ed. She’ll also host her second Sex Educator Certification in the fall.
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22The YouTube sensation that coaches dudes on how to be better.
…it’s about time.
Every Man’s Personal Wing Girl
Street cred: For starters, she has a whopping 400K+ subscribers on YouTube. She’s the author of the best-selling guide, Get Inside Her (not like that). She was also voted the best dating coach, and has been featured in CNN, MTV, Men’s Health, Forbes, Playboy, and many others.
Her ethos, in her own words: “You can’t get what you want without asking for it. So open your mouth and ask. That’s the core of anything I teach.”
What she’s trying to change: She wants men to be vocal about what they need in a relationship — and to let go of the fear of approaching women. While technology has made it easier to connect, it has also led to fatigue that can cause many men to become gun shy in person. As the first professional wing girl and female to be welcomed into the male-dominated PUA (pick-up artist) community, she takes pride in her non-creepy approach. What she wants to change is well, nothing. Or as she reminds singles: “I’m surprised by how love and dating hasn’t changed. Maybe the tools have and the way we meet others, but at the core it’s still all the same.”
What’s next: She’s creating more informational systems for clients so they can navigate every stage of an interaction with women successfully. Though she’s mainly focused on the attraction and dating stages, she’s now starting to dip into sex and relationships.
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