relationships, sexuality, and self-esteem

At The V. Club, we pride ourselves on being a source of creative inspiration for you; a beacon to help you navigate the sometimes stormy waters of relationships, sexuality, and self-esteem. We want you to feel empowered in your connections with other people, in sex, and with yourself so you can find the lasting love and happiness you deserve.

Relationships don’t have to be filled with drama and complications in order to be fulfilling emotionally and physically, but sometimes we all just need a little nudge to help point us in the right direction. So, we’ve created this page, which we’ve simply titled “Inspiration” to help you find inspiration for your life, in your relationships, and with sex.

These are some of our favorite and most trusted sources of information that help us find new perspectives on the things we hold most dear. Some make us cry, some make us think, and some help us to look at things in our lives from a new point of view. We hope that you will, just like us, find something new here to help you feel inspired!

Our Favorite Blogs

Dr. Ruth – Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a renowned psychosexual therapist, is a pioneer of frank talk about sex and sexuality. Let her experience help you find answers to some of your most burning (and private!) questions! You can find Dr. Ruth’s answers to everything from feelings about relationships to sex drive. You can also find her tips on love and sex, and recommendations for her favorite books – outside of her own.

Savage Lovecast – If you don’t know Dan Savage, you need to get to know him! He’s the author of a nationally syndicated love and sex advice column, as well as a journalist, and LGBT activist. This is his call-in advice podcast he hosts weekly and it answers questions from people just like you about issues surrounding sex, sexuality, relationships, and even the science behind it all. It’ll make you laugh, it may make you cry – you just need to check it out!

Esther Perel – Sexuality and relationships are big topics, and when you throw in cultural expectations it’s even bigger! Sometimes you need someone to hold your hand as you traverse these gigantic issues – and Esther Perel is a great guide. Let’s face it, we expect a lot from our romantic relationships, and Esther can help you to balance your expectations and the expectations of the world around you in order to find what you’re looking for and be happy. She has great advice on common relationship pitfalls, infidelity, and communication in long-term relationships. But don’t think it’s all for married couples – she has a ton of information for single people too!

Dr. Drew – You know Dr. Drew – he’s a doctor to the stars! While you may have only heard of him in the context of dealing with addiction, the truth is that Dr. Drew is an expert of human nature, which can help you to understand why we do what we do to ourselves and other people. He has great information about relationships, but also about addiction, family, and health issues.

Sex with Emily – Dr. Emily Morse is a sex and relationship guru. She specializes in couples, helping them to create happiness and longevity in their relationships through better sex and communication. She also has a lot of advice for people who aren’t in relationships and about sex in general too. All this information is available via her website, a podcast, or a radio show – and you can even email her your own questions. We love the great articles on her website, where she addresses a range of topics such as anal sex, oral sex, porn, and fantasies – basically, anything you can think of!

Planned Parenthood – The gold standard of information about sex, health, reproduction, sexually transmitted disease, and contraception – if you’ve never explored this website it is truly a gold mine of information and educational materials. You can even chat online or text anonymously in order to have your questions answered.  Don’t be shy; get educated in order to get empowered!

The Dr. Oz Show – Dr. Oz is probably no stranger to you, but did you know he has a whole section on his website about sex and relationships? There is no topic related to sex his website doesn’t address, so find information, tips, and sexual health info right here.

Kinkly – Have you ever wondered just how advanced sex toy technology has gotten? If so, this is your website! It has a ton of information on sex toys (a directory!), sex bloggers, and even a sex position playlist. You can find sex news, sex tips, and information about your sexual health. A great place to find some information to spice up your bedroom activities!

Sex and Psychology by Dr. Justin Lehmiller – This is a blog that aims to share with you the science behind love, sex, and relationships. It may sound a little dry, but just as your favorite sex gurus Kate & Courtney keep it interesting and engaging, so does Dr. Lehmiller. You can find all kinds of interesting information here on everything from erotic lactation (yes – a thing!) to hard-hitting questions about what kind of sex actually counts as sex. Don’t miss out!

Our Favorite Online Magazines

Refinery 29 – You probably already know Refinery 29 has great beauty, living, fashion, and entertainment sections, but did you know they have a great section about sex and relationships? Well, they do! Find everything from tips on sexting to tantric sex instructions; no matter your query, they probably a little info on what you’re looking for and probably a few things you didn’t even know you were interested in!

Cosmopolitan – If you’re a Cosmo girl, you’ve investigated their sex page for sure, but if you’re new to Cosmo this is one online magazine you don’t want to miss out on. They have thoughtful articles here about dating, orgasms, lovemaking, step-by-step guides, and other information from sex experts that can really help you get more from your sweaty sessions between the sheets.

Women’s Health – Who knew health could be so sexy? Well, this magazine just so happens to couple useful health information with tips on relationships and sex. There are even a few entertaining sex stories thrown in for good measure. This site is great at presenting helpful and essential information in an entertaining way.

Our Favorite Books on Love, Sex, and Relationships

Mating in Captivity – Esther Perel is so good that we had to have her back – and this won’t be the last you hear about her! This book is a classic and when you read it you’ll understand why. It explores relationships and intimacy in long-term relationships and can help you to gain a new understanding of why the passion in your relationship may have faded, and how you can get it back.

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus – Welcome to planet Earth! This book is another classic in the relationship realm and for good reason. It explores key differences in the way men and women are wired to communicate. When you can gain an understanding of the differences between the sexes in communication styles, then you can use it to help you improve your relationship to get what you want out of it. If you’ve never read it, read it – and if you’ve read it before, read it again!

The 5 Love Languages – Are you sensing a theme here? Well, that’s because relationship communication is important. Part of getting what you want from your relationship depends on communication, so learn how your lover communicates in order to gain a deeper understanding of how to speak to them to fulfill their needs. They can do the same for you with this easy to read and comprehensive book about the different love languages we all speak!

She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman – Let’s face it, some books should be at everyone’s bedside – and this is one of them! This is a guide to oral sex for your guy that seamlessly blends humor and information to help him take you on a rocket ride to another galaxy with a new oral sex technique. It will help raise his oral sex game and also help him to gain a deeper understanding of intimacy between the two of you. We like to say that this is so much more than a book about oral sex – read it and find out why.

The New Male Sexuality – This book explores several topics but focuses the most on relationships– specifically how to have an honest, loving, and truly intimate relationship with your partner. It explores how men relate to their bodies, their sexuality, and even their partners during every stage of life. This book manages to talk about things men never seem to talk about with each other and is a must for any man who wants to strengthen and expand his connection with his significant other.

How You Can Find Love – This is a website with a list of the 10 best books on marriage and love out there. It recommends books about what to expect from marriage, how to strengthen your marriage, and how to go the distance with the person you have chosen to love and honor until death do you part. Remember, no relationship is going to be perfect, but these books can help you to find happiness and fulfillment in each other as you navigate your life together.

Our Favorite Self-Help/Self-Empowerment Books for Women

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – You’ve probably heard of emotional intelligence before, but do you know how to apply it in your life in order to help you reach your goals and improve your self-esteem? Well, let this be your guide to developing and utilizing your emotional intelligence to understand how you may be holding yourself back in your life and impacting the people around you. It also provides you with practical strategies to help you overcome these hurdles and realize your full potential.

Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype – If you’ve ever felt the inklings of the powerful force that lives inside of you that helps you to navigate the world creatively, passionately, and boldly – then you’ve felt your instincts stirring. This book is full of stories, myths, and traditions from cultures around the world that can help you to reconnect with your instinctual nature. Once you have channeled that inner strength and determination, then you can use it to help you examine and bring out the wild, daring, and caring woman inside you.

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers – For any woman in the business world, this book is a must-read. It explores how the things women learn as girls end up sabotaging their careers as they get older. The author helps you to identify these common (and unconscious) mistakes and teaches you how to overcome them so you can meet your career goals, no matter what stage in your career you are at.

Our Favorite Podcasts and Videos

Sex Love Joy – This is an interesting podcast that uses personal stories of interviewees as a jumping off point to explore sexuality, pleasure, and relationships. It’s a stimulating podcast that will entertain you with true (and sometimes embarrassing) stories about sex, love, and everything in between.

Together – This is a twice weekly podcast from a divorce lawyer about relationships – sounds crazy, but it’s so interesting. It can help listeners to understand not just that relationships take work, but what specific work needs to be done and how to do it in order to stay happy and keep a relationship healthy. Often, couples are interviewed and asked intimate and honest questions about their relationship – their answers may be a little surprising!

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability – This is an interesting Ted Talk about human connection. It explores how we love, empathize, and belong with others based on research and personal interactions. Brene Brown manages to present this talk in a funny and insightful way that will keep you interested and show you the power of human connection.

Esther Perel: Rethinking Infidelity…A Talk for Anyone Who Has Ever Loved – Yes, Esther is on our list for the third time! In this Ted Talk, Esther explores why people cheat and how that trauma impacts a relationship. Her perspective on infidelity may surprise you, though. To her, it’s not necessarily about just sex and betrayal – it’s much deeper than that. She presents a new context for understanding all relationships and emotional security, mapping out how relationships can recover from infidelity.

Amy Webb: How I Hacked Online Dating – Online dating can be a disappointing experience for a lot of people, but this insightful Ted Talk deconstructs online dating in an effort to try and help you understand why you aren’t having success. This is one woman’s story of how she hacked her own online dating profile and what she discovered once she dug just a little bit deeper.

Esther Perel: The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship – Yes, Esther is back! This woman knows her stuff, so let her dazzle you with her insights into how you can satisfy the conflicting needs of a long-term relationship, keeping desire while still finding security. Increase your erotic intelligence with this Ted Talk from one of the masters!

Helen Fisher: The Brain in Love – This is your brain…on love. This Ted Talk by anthropologist Helen Fisher explores why people crave love, even to the point where they would sacrifice their lives for it. Discover why people need romantic love and how it impacts our brains when we find it and when we lose it.

Jenna McCarthy: What You Don’t Know About Marriage – In this Ted Talk, writer Jenna McCarthy shares some insights into the research on marriages, how happy ones survive, and how you can really make your marriage work. It’ll make you laugh and maybe help to provide a bit of insight into your own relationships.

Our Favorite Romantic Movies

There’s nothing like a good love story to lose yourself in. It might make you laugh, it might make you cry, but the one thing it will do for sure is open your heart. Being open and vulnerable is uniquely feminine, and when you display that emotional sensitivity for men it’s like their kryptonite! That’s because men seek to care for and protect that feminine vulnerability and what, deep down, attracts a man to a woman.

The problem is that in modern society, women are developing more masculine traits, mostly as a result of their careers. Being driven to succeed at work combined with the pressure of being a go-getter creates a more masculine state of mind. This has caused women to feel as if they need to be in the driver’s seat for their relationships more than ever before. Remember, men are attracted to femininity, which means you need to take some time away from your career mindset and make time to reconnect with your feminine side. Ditch the pantsuit, throw on some yoga pants and watch these love stories in an effort to reconnect with the feminine creature inside you. It may make you more successful in your endeavors to find and keep the love your feminine side desires!

When Harry Met Sally – Can men and women just be friends? Sally and Harry have known each other for years. When they first met, they hated each other. The second time they met, they became friends. The real question is: Does sex ruin friendships? I’m sure we’ve all had this question!

Loving – Love and politics! Not that long ago, you couldn’t marry someone in certain states if they were a different race than you. It took a Supreme Court decision to change this, and this movie chronicles the fight of two people who just want to live a quiet life together, but who ended up inspiring a movement.
It’s our hope that the things we find inspirational will also inspire you to seek more from your life, love, and career. We want you to find happiness and success in every area of your life, so use these resources as a starting point to help you get there!