Welcome to the Conscious Girlfriend Academy!
Meet the world-class lesbian and queer faculty
here to support and empower you.
Meet the world-class lesbian and queer faculty
here to support and empower you.
Ruth L. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Ruth, founder and lead teacher of the Conscious Girlfriend Academy, has published eight books, including the Amazon bestseller Conscious Lesbian Dating & Love, and has taught at six universities. She is a certified Somatica Method Intimacy & Sexuality coach, hypnotherapist and shamanic practitioner. Ruth came out in 1982, learned a lot about love the hard way, and is passionate about making love easier for our community.
Anna Benassi, MFT
Anna is a lesbian psychotherapist who specializes in grief, loss, couples work, including non-traditional relationship structures and polyamory, and Gestalt Therapy. She teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies and has been a practicing Buddhist for over 20 years. Anna is much beloved by her clients for incorporating humor, play and quirkiness into the work of love and relationships.
Kai is a queer trauma-informed love, sex and relationship coach. She is on faculty at the Somatica Institute. Her training includes certification in Somatica Method Intimacy & Sexuality Coaching, Sexological Bodywork, Somatic Experiencing, Skydancing Tantra, and ancestral healing. She has been immersed in reclaiming Chinese reverence practices for many years. Kai is of Chinese/Taiwanese ancestry, was born in Chile, and speaks Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Caress is the co-founder of Mindful Passions International, a certified Erotic Blueprint coach, and a Cannabis Wellness Consultant. She is a proud Black, queer, disabled, non-monogamous leathergirl who advocates for the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, poly, kink, and disabled communities in every aspect of her life and work.
Maxwell Pearl, Ph.D.
Max transitioned to male in 2017 and now directs Transresilience, where he coaches and teaches trans people and their partners. Max’s background includes a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, a Certificate in Theological Studies, coaching training from Gay & Katie Hendricks, and 30+ years as a Buddhist practitioner. Prior to transition, he identified as a lesbian and, as Michelle Murrain, co-founded Conscious Girlfriend.
Christina is a relationship and sex coach certified in the Somatica Method. Her background includes 10 years with the Body Electric School for Women, four years of study as a Tantra teacher, extensive sexological bodywork training, and 3 years on faculty at the Institute for Sexuality & Enlightenment. She sees erotic empowerment as a key component of social justice.
Kat is a coach certified in the Somatica Method who helps smart women feel alive and empowered in their bodies, cultivate real love within themselves and in their love lives, and create their lives in the way they truly desire.
Caity is a love warrior devoted to serving the call of the feminine to healing and awakening through love. She has extensive training in somatic coaching, Hakomi therapy, polyvagal theory and trauma healing, tantric and somatic bodywork, expanded states journey work and deep feminine priestess practices.
Megan is a trauma-informed intimacy and relationship coach certified in the Somatica Method and trained in Somatic Experiencing and NARM, Neuro-Affective Relational Model, for healing complex developmental trauma. She is passionate about helping people overcome sexual shame and live their fullest embodied expression.
Mary is a queer coach whose work centers on relationship freedom, i.e. helping individuals, couples and moresomes create the relationship structures that truly fit them (also known as relationship anarchy.) She also supports a relationship anarchy community.
Julie is a psychotherapist specializing in high sensitivity, host of The HSP Podcast, and Founder of the Sensitive Empowerment Community, whose mission is to create a paradigm shift where sensitivity is embraced, valued, and honored. Julie offers essential resources for educating, inspiring, and empowering HSPs.
Anne-Marie's background includes an M.B.A. and decades of study in personal growth, meditation and somatic healing. She is a transformational coach, podcast producer, and the creator of the Power Reclamation System, a dynamic, non-linear discovery process designed to welcome exiled parts of our power, presence and inner authority back home.
The Academy is the world leader in conscious lesbian dating, relationship and sex education. Whether you want to heal from a breakup, prepare for healthy love, find the right partner, or keep your current love strong, our classes, support and community will help.
We are a very special community. Most of our members say they've never found anything else like it: a place for all women who love women to share open-hearted conversation in a safe, compassionate atmosphere, while learning how to date and love skillfully. And yes, we've had members fall in love with each other, too :)
If you're on a personal growth or spiritual path, you'll feel right at home in the Academy! Our members tend to be smart, compassionate and growth-oriented women who value depth, and are willing to grow. Many are Buddhists, yogis, 12-steppers, and/or have done a lot of therapy or spiritual work. Some are newer on their growth path. All are welcome!
Academy members come from all over. Geography is no barrier! We meet on Zoom, and use breakout rooms so you can meet and connect with other women 1:1 and in small groups. We have all kinds of classes and groups. Check out our calendar here.
Conscious Girlfriend has been featured in:
More About Conscious Girlfriend
Based in the United States, we serve women from all over the world.
Since 2014, women from 22 countries have taken our classes!
Whether you're just coming out,
healing from a breakup,
ready to meet someone special,
eager to learn more about lesbian sex,
on a mission to strengthen your relationship,
or just seeking like-minded friends and community:
We are here for you.
And becoming what we call a "conscious girlfriend" will benefit all your relationships, including your relationship with yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can pay by the class for some of our offerings, but most are only available to members. Becoming a member is the best way to build community and skills, and really access the transformation you seek -- while also being part of a revolutionary global movement empowering lesbians and queer women in dating, love, sex and well-being!
All women who love women, or want to – whether you identify as lesbian, gay, queer, bisexual, pansexual, homosexual, prefer some other label, or don’t like labels at all. We also welcome non-binary folx who were assigned female at birth.
You can access Zoom on any smartphone, tablet or computer that has both a camera and a mic. You’re also welcome to call in for classes by phone, but for Connection Groups and Practice Sessions, please use a device that lets us see you.
Our classes are recorded, and as a member or purchaser, you'll receive access to the audio and video links. Connection Groups and Practice sessions are not recorded, but we try to accommodate various time zones in our scheduling. As a member, you'll also get access to our Archives with over 60 recorded classes you can watch whenever you'd like!
Participants range in age from 21 to 80+, but the largest number of members tend to be in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
All faculty and participants agree that all information shared in Academy settings will remain 100% confidential.
Academy Members Say:
Yesterday's classes were incredible. I learned so much in the Boundaries class, definitely some life-changing knowledge in there! And the spiritual connection group was nothing short of delightful; the energy was so nurturing.
— Audrey, age 38
Thank you again for creating this Academy -- you have no idea of the amount of impact this has already made in my life! In the past I felt panicky when a match reached out to me on a dating site. Now I'm gaining so much confidence!
— Lauri, age 61
As a new Academy member, I wanted to share how much I enjoyed participating in the recent groups and classes! I can’t wait to watch the recording of the class because there was so much information in it. Thanks so much for making this available to our community.
— Robbi, age 56
The Academy is helping me practice meeting women and sharing myself. I am excited and look forward more group meetings. Also, I have already contact info and have been talking with several women from the group. The “From Conflict to Connection” class was also excellent.
— Alexa S., age 60
Your class on Solo Sexual Enlivenment was very freeing, yes edgy, but you have a way of breaking the ice, and giving permission really resonates with me. I think that permission is really what I’ve needed for so long to let go (of unhealthy people and patterns), and to be my queer self.
— Gereen, age 40
GREAT session yesterday! It addressed my problems (initiating, asking someone for her contact info, etc.) right to the core. I'm learning so much and it’s a great group of women. I’m really glad to be part of the community!
— Terry, age 52
Academy Members Get Life-Changing Results
Lucy was in her 40s and had come out after a long marriage to a man. She had only had one relationship with a woman, and it ended badly. She knew some women would rule her out because she had two kids at home, and, especially because of her kids, she was really picky.
So she doubted there was really someone out there for her, but she took the Roadmap anyway... and it gave her the clarity and confidence she needed.
Within just a few months of finishing the Roadmap, Lucy met an amazing woman (on Tinder, of all places!) They have now been domestic partners for several years. Lucy's new partner adores her kids, and they post amazing pictures on Facebook of their family vacations.
This is how magic works: Lucy hates to cook, and among the many other qualities she wanted in a partner, she really hoped to find someone who would cook for her. Guess what? The woman she met is a chef!
Lucy wrote to me:
Taking the Roadmap really allowed me to focus on putting out into the universe what I wanted quite specifically. I put into my dating profile things I might not have before taking your course, and looked for specific traits I knew I needed, that I didn't know about before. I believe that was a big factor into why I even found her. She really is what I have been looking for. I was one of those women over 40 that wondered if finding the right partner was even possible at this age. Now I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
Elizabeth was in her 50s and gun-shy. She had a history of being attracted to partners who were not emotionally safe for her.
She took the Roadmap class and also did 1:1 coaching with me, so we could rewire her attraction patterns. (Yes, this is doable!)
The Roadmap helped her realize that she actually got turned on by women who felt dangerous to her. This is not uncommon. But though danger felt sexy, it definitely didn't lead to happy relationships.
After we’d been coaching for a few months, and Elizabeth dated a few women who fit the old pattern, she met a woman at a party and noticed that something different was happening. There was chemistry and she could actually see that this woman was good for her, too.
Some bumps came up early on, and the Roadmap helped Elizabeth and her new girlfriend get through them and stay centered. Now they’re married and have been together for five years. They're local, so sometimes I run into them around town, and Elizabeth always introduces me as “the dating coach who made this possible for me.”
Of course, the truth is that she made it possible for herself. But I'm really glad that the Roadmap helped her do that.
Jeanette was in her 60s, and had been single for a very long time. She was nervous about dating, didn't feel comfortable dating online, yet knew she didn't want to be alone forever, either. She felt stuck.
The Roadmap class helped her realize that she wasn't alone; there were actually many other women in similar situations. This helped her release her shame. Next, she worked on healing some unsettled emotions from her last relationship, since she realized they were getting in her way.
Then Jeanette created her online profile, and started meeting women. There were a number of disappointments and awkward conversations at first, but the support of the Roadmap helped her keep at it. After about a year, she met Dena, and they clicked and have been together ever since. Now Jeanette credits the Roadmap with helping her have the confidence to seek -- and find -- a new love (and also work through challenges as they come up.) "It's really never too late," Jeanette says happily.
Tiffany was in her 20s, and very shy. She had grown up in a religious family, and had a lot of trouble accepting herself as queer. She had come out to only one friend, who promptly rejected her.
But the Roadmap class helped her build a community of loving, accepting lesbian and queer women friends (and big sisters, mothers, aunties and lesbian grandmothers!)
Tiffany took the Roadmap class twice, and over time, she came out of her shell. She began attending the LGBTQ group at her college, then started using the lesbian dating apps. Soon she made some queer friends her own age. Then, after a few months, one of them suggested they become girlfriends.
Tiffany wrote me, “When I started the class, I was so isolated and couldn’t imagine how I could ever live a real life as the person I am. It seemed impossible. Truthfully I just reached out from desperation. Now I have friends, a girlfriend, and so much more self-acceptance. I honestly think the Roadmap saved my life.”
These four stories are just a handful of the amazing transformations that happen in the Academy for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, too.
There's no upper or lower age limit on healthy lesbian love.
And the Roadmap will help you prepare for that love, and find it.
Your Heart is Worth It.
I hope reading this page has helped you
feel more hopeful about your love life,
and remember that you deserve and are capable of happy, healthy lesbian love.
As a lesbian or queer woman, you are courageous
and powerful. But you weren't born knowing how
to have a great lesbian relationship,
and your parents, schools and culture didn't teach you.
The Academy is here to fill that gap.
Painful lesbian relationships are common.
And over time, some women actually get scared of relationships because of bad experiences.
But it doesn't have to be that way!
You deserve fulfilling, happy, healthy love and sex, and you can learn how to have them.
We'll teach you how to choose the right partner, and how to be the right partner, too.