Who doesn’t want to live a more fulfilling life? One with satisfying sex, meaningful relationships, and on overall sense of empowerment. We’re all in! So, we were super excited to connect with Courtney Cleman, sex and relationship coach and founder of The V.Club, a chic space where women and couples can learn the tools they need to overcome life’s barriers and lead their happiest lives.
In this exclusive interview she shares on common topics affecting intimacy and relationships for modern women, tips for experiencing a deeper connection, and what The V. Club has in store!
Can you share a little bit about who you are and what you do?
I am a sex and relationship coach, and I help women and men find ways to relate better to each other, improve their communication in and out of the bedroom, figure out how to get their sexual needs and desires met, and just feel happier overall. I do this through individual coaching and also group classes that teach women how much more there is to the male and female mind, body, and pleasure than most people realize.
What inspired you to create The V. Club?
I created The V. Club for three reasons. The first is I think the world of dating and relationships is becoming increasingly difficult, with both men and women feeling frustration and needing help on their journey to finding a serious partner. When I look around my hometown of New York City, and I believe the same goes for the rest of the country and even much of the world, there has been a massive shift in paradigm for how we view sex and what we expect from relationships. I believe that it is becoming increasingly more challenging to create a happy, lasting relationship and feel fulfilled sexually, even though we have more freedoms and options than ever before thanks to online dating and greater acceptance and resources available to people who are seeking non-monogamous relationship arrangements and alternative lifestyles. The reason being is our expectations for a partner have become sky high and the way we approach sex has changed as well Our coaching and classes help men and women date more successfully and create more love in their life.
The second reason why I wanted to create The V. Club is I felt that there is a lack of sex education covering the fundamentals of sex. There are great classes out there helping people explore kink, BDSM and the such. I think we need more classes on the fundamentals of sex — for example, practical techniques for women to achieve vaginal orgasm easier.
The third reason for creating The V. Club is I want to support people in pursuit of their happiness in a practical and solution-oriented way so they can see results in just a few sessions rather than needing years which can be the case with many therapeutic approaches. When we feel unfulfilled in our love lives, there is a real sense of urgency. We give people the tools that they can use to see the difference in their relationship and sex life quickly.
You offer a selection of fun, educational and uplifting classes, as well as tons of events for women! What can they expect from your space and classes?
A lot of people are shy about seeking sex and relationship advice. So whether you come in for individual coaching, classes, or one of our events, our goal is to make you feel understood, accepted, and comfortable, like you are talking to a friend. To align with this goal, we created a space that feels neither clinical nor fitness studio, and definitely not sexual. In my mind, our studio looks like a place where you could enjoy afternoon tea. I think it has a great vibe for sharing, reflecting on your life, and learning new ways to make sex and relationships work better for you.
Our events and classes are designed to have the same fun, educational and uplifting vibe. Our classes are filled with a-ha moments about sex and relationships, and we inject a lot of humor because it’s a great icebreaker, and also you have to take things a little less seriously to get past what blocks us from having better sex and relationships. We now also offer our classes online for women who are out of town or don’t feel comfortable attending in person. Our events, which are often co-ed, are both fun and empowering, and range from our Monday happy hour to talks by leading voices in the field such as Justin Lehmiller, Ph.D.
What are some of the most pressing questions answered?
One of the most pressing topics for the people that come to The V. Club is the female orgasm. It ranges from, “How do I achieve orgasm because I’ve never had one before,” and “How can I orgasm faster because I’m frustrated by how long it takes me,” to “How can I experience vaginal orgasm because I just can’t seem to get there during intercourse.”
Other pressing topics include not receiving enough pleasure during sex, having a low sex drive, poor body image, and insecurity around sexual performance and knowledge of how to please your partner. We teach real-world, practical techniques to overcome these issues. We also teach relationship psychology which needs to be understood if you want to change the way you feel during sex and get rid of insecurities over body image.
In your opinion, what is the most common myth affecting the modern woman?
Historically, seeking sexual pleasure was not a significant consideration in women’s lives because we had bigger things to worry about, like feeding our family and making sure our children survive childhood. In the modern day, relationship satisfaction and sexual pleasure are essential to our overall happiness. One of the biggest that the modern woman lives with is the incorrect assumption that sex and pleasure are intuitive and should come naturally. It’s somewhat true for men but not for most women. Based on all my work with women, even women who are very sexually active and feel that they have explored their bodies thoroughly could benefit from learning more about their sexual physiology and psychology.
How has social media impacted the dating landscape today, both positively and negatively?
I think the single most significant positive impact on dating from social media is that people feel more empowered to explore non-monogamy, sexual fantasies and non-traditional lifestyles than ever before. Social media helps us see that there are a lot of people out there who share in our fantasies and lifestyle choices, so we no longer feel as alone, guilty and ashamed.
The negative impact on dating from social media has to do with the increased insecurity that we feel from comparing ourselves to the best selves that others present themselves as on social media. Instagram filters and all the appearance enhancing apps make the world around us look falsely flawless. As a result, both men and women are increasingly dealing with body image and self-esteem issues. This has an enormous impact on how we approach dating, sex and relationships.
What are your three tips for women to have healthy and happy relationships, without excessive compromises?
That’s a great question because in the modern society we are much less willing to make compromises than ever before.
- Rethink your belief that there is such a thing as a soulmate. Many studies have shown that people who believe in destiny when it comes to finding love and fulfilling sex are less likely to put effort into making the relationship work when the going gets tougher, which naturally happens after the honeymoon phase is over. The truth is that there are many people out there that we can be happy with, if we are willing to put in work and effort into it, both in and out of the bedroom.
- Be open with your partner about your sexual needs and desires. There is no way to be sexually fulfilled in a long-term relationship if you’re not vocal about what you want. Also, our sexual needs and desires change over time, so it’s important always to keep the communication channel open, and not just be open at the beginning of the relationship.
- Understand that life is not greener on the other side. Stop comparing yourself to others. “Do I have sex with my partner as often as an average couple?” “This couple I know always seems so happy and loving. Why do we fight?” Life is messy, we are all imperfect, and every relationship goes through ups and downs, not just your relationship. It’s much easier to have a healthy and happy relationship if you’re able to take the daily irritations in stride and accept that no relationship is ever perfect. Meditation and mindfulness can help with that. Just to be clear, I am not talking about tolerating serious issues like mental or physical abuse, but the small stuff like personality differences, quirks and habits.
How has being a part of this center empowered you in your everyday life?
I firmly believe in practicing what I preach so being a part of this center has helped me in my everyday life by reminding me of being more mindful and deliberate in my approach and expectations for my own life. I’ve also met so many wonderful and inspiring people on this sex and relationship coaching journey, and that has been more empowering and rewarding than I ever imagined.
How do you see The V. Club growing in the next year. Do you have any exciting projects or collaborations we can look forward to?
My goal is to reach as many people as possible to help them feel happier and empowered in their love lives, both through individual coaching, classes, and thought-provoking events. A lot of people are still shy about seeking sex and relationship advice, and we are always working on finding new ways to make them feel more comfortable and present information in the most digestible way. We also want to make it as convenient as possible for people to get help. Convenience is one of the drivers behind launching the online class format which we will be expanding over the next year. Collaborating with other sex and relationship voices, like SGP, is a big part of our plans as well. We have a few ideas we are developing that we hope to launch over the next year. Stay tuned to our mailing list, website and social (@thevclubnyc) to hear about them first.