Billy Strean, PhD
|In a world where many are tired, busy, distracted, and feeling disconnected, Dr. Billy Strean engages and enlivens people.
A former three-sport NCAA athlete and coach, Billy Strean earned a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Strean is also a Master Somatic Coach (Strozzi Institute), Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-500), a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a Certified Professional Co-active Coach. It is precisely this eclectic range of disciplines and fields of study — somatics, yoga, sport psychology, laughter and play, and his 30+ years of teaching experience — that is the foundation of Dr. Strean’s success both in the classroom as well as outside the classroom as keynote speaker and workshop facilitator.
In 2008, Dr. Strean received the University of Alberta’s Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. In 2011, Dr. Strean was one of ten Canadians selected to join the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship. His current research is addressing mindfulness in schools for social and emotional wellness. His audio book, Humor Me: Lighten Up and Love Life Laughing,, explores the benefits of laughter and humour and how to apply them in daily life. His 2017 book, For Those Who Dare to Teach, takes an autobiographical approach to sharing insights and practical tips for teaching. His recently released book, Alive with Joy reveals how to move from disconnection to optimal living. Through his former company, Exhilarated Performance, and currently as the Chief Joy Infuser at Adventures in Joy, Billy has provided over 500 dynamic presentations across North America to help people to Re-Charge. Re-Connect. Re-Discover."
Yoni Alkan, DHS
|Dr. Yoni Alkan is a sexual educator and a sexual consultant with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality and a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, he is also a professional cuddler with Cuddlist.com and a Certified Cuddle Party Facilitator in San Francisco. Yoni is a TED speaker at TEDxSoMa 2019, and the author of www.thebookofcuddles.com which is an instructional on cuddling that teaches how to better your touch. He is also the creator of www.elementsofsexuality.com; a playful, geeky, and educational site about the elements that contribute to our sexuality. Dr. Yoni Alkan is a global speaker on various Human Sexuality issues since 2011. His expertise includes alternative relationships, improving our dating landscape, and touch and consent advocacy.|
Thea S. Alvarado, EdD
|Dr. Thea S. Alvarado holds a B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in Social Science with a concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis (DASA) from UC Irvine. She completed her Ed.D. through UC Davis' Capital Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership (CANDEL) Program. Currently a Sociology professor at Pasadena City College, she has over a decade of experience teaching community college students about theory, methods, culture, socialization, deviance, institutions, and social change.|
|Jennifer developed her craft as a master storyteller through her award-winning work editing documentaries over a 30 year career -- and now brings those skills into the realm of sexuality. As an artist, she developed the Graphic Sex Project as a way for people to understand their sexual scripts, and use the devices of the art of storytelling to shape meaning in their sexual lives. The Graphically Yours therapy kit is a powerful tool in sex therapy sessions for opening up conversations and helping clients explore their values and desires. Her live interactive installation is being used in universities all over the country in their sexual health and wellness programs, and as a featured event in Sex Week, to promote good sexual communication and consent culture. Check out a gallery of graphs made at her installations at GraphicSexProject.com, and make your own!|
|Annie Boheler is a Certified Somatica® Practitioner and Sex Coach and Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Healing Practitioner in training. She enjoys working with diverse communities and empowering unique erotic embodiment fuels Annie’s work. She helps you discover and soften your growth-edges – in turn enabling increased desire and sensual celebration to emerge.
Annie has been studying with The Somatica® Institute since 2017 and provided faculty support in 2019 for the core training. She recently acquired a Permaculture Design Certificate through Starhawk, has been working with the land since 2011 and holds a BS in Biology and Environmental Science from CSUMB. Her passions draw from Tantra, deep ecology, psychedelia, horse training, dance, communalism and understands that sexual positivity is an integral factor in creating a regenerative and peace oriented society.
|Daniel Copulsky is a graduate student in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research focuses on LGBTQIA+ and non-monogamous identities. Daniel also serves on the board of directors for the Center for Positive Sexuality.|
|Ren Grabert, M.Ed. (they/them) is a sex educator and healthcare researcher with over a decade of experience teaching about gender identity, alternative relationships, and navigating sex and chronic illness. Ren’s passion is supporting marginalized sexual communities and teaching healthcare providers the information and skills to facilitate patient-centered, affirming dialogue so that they are better prepared to discuss sexual health with their patients. Ren holds a B.S. in Public Health from Temple University and an M.Ed. in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University. In the very little spare time they have, Ren is a knitter and devoted dog parent.|
Zelaika Hepworth Clarke, PhD, MSW, MEd
|Zelaika S. Hepworth Clarke, PhD, MSW, MEd, is an anti-colonial sexuality educator, African-centered social worker, decolonial eroticologist, cultural and clinical sexologist, sexuality counselor, sexosopher, decolonizing autoethnographer, and consultant. Dr. Clarke is the first Jamerican (Jamaican-American) to receive three degrees in Human Sexuality from accredited Universities in the United States: Bachelors of Arts from NYU in Sexuality, Culture and Oppression (2007); Masters of Education in Human Sexuality (2012) and Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Sexuality (2015) from the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. Dr. Clarke is also a graduate of the International School of Transnational Decolonial Black Feminism in Cachoeira, Brazil, & from Decolonizing Knowledge and Power Summer School in Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Dr. Clarke co-founded an anti-racist sexuality studies program at Goddard College in Vermont. Dr. Clarke provides therapeutic, educational and consulting services through the Pluriversity.|
Sonja Winter Heels, BA
|Sonja Winter Heels is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire honors program with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She is primarily interested in researching alternative sexualities, particularly the BDSM community. During her years at UNH, she held the position of Undergraduate Research Assistant at the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy, using both qualitative and quantitative methods for various evaluation projects. Sonja was also recently awarded a 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence for her presentation, “Making Meaning of Consent: A Content Analysis.” She is now continuing her work on consent through her senior honors thesis, a qualitative exploratory study of the New England BDSM community. She hopes to build off of this research in graduate school and continue exploring the complexities and intricacies of the larger BDSM community.|
|Linda Landon, PCC, is an International Coach Federation certified business, life and recovery coach, certified Orgasmic Meditation trainer, Human Design Specialist, and experienced seminar leader. She is the author of two books, The Power of Pause: Simple Meditations for Complicated Lives, and Ignite Your Vitality using Human Design, and presents her signature programs in the US and abroad.
Linda created the Wellness Sexuality Practice for individuals and couples who want to revitalize intimacy and connection. She is also a Tantrica and member of Sex Positive Los Angeles.
A life-long entrepreneur dedicated to transforming people’s lives, Linda is passionate about maximizing our sexuality vitality and wellness, especially as we grow older. Her Ignite Your Joy method integrates cutting edge tools for self-awareness, including the Wellness Sexuality Practice and Human Design, to help people alchemize their particular life challenges into success beyond anything they have imagined.
Eliot M. Lev
|Eliot Lev is a research assistant with the Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) Study at Stanford and University of California San Francisco, the Sexual and Gender Minority Health Equity Lab led by Dr. Annesa Flentje at University of California San Francisco, and the Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS) led by Dr. Richard A. Sprott. Eliot’s research interests include mental health of sexual and gender minority individuals, intersectional and multicultural identities, strength-based approaches, and advocacy work for SGM communities. He is also a peer counselor with the Alliance Health Project serving HIV+ and LGBT+ people and the National LGBT Help Center. In his previous career, Eliot was a tenured violinist with the San Francisco Symphony and is proud to have been the first openly transgender musician in a major American orchestra.|
Chanel Jaali Marshall
|Chanel Jaali Marshall is an independent researcher, sexual educator, and mental health professional focusing on the topics of sexual development, sexual attitudes and behaviors, and reproductive rights. She is the owner of Jaali Co., a company specializing in comprehensive, pleasure based sex education for adults. Her research has been presented at several national conferences. She is a HIV/AIDS activist and conducts community workshops nationwide on subjects from safer sex practices to sexual assault.|
|Brianne McGuire is a researcher, designer and content producer working with sex media. She is the founder of GRAPHICPAINT, a platform for uncensored, crowdsourced materials, and host of SEX COMMUNICATION, a podcast of real sex audio recordings and explicit personal histories. Her work centers around the belief that if we change the way sexual content is presented, we can change the way people behave and think.
Brianne’s projects are built using both design and behavior theory; her years of experience studying human interaction with various media have informed her innovative ideas. She is committed to normalizing the taboo and creating a cultural shift towards the free expression of sexuality. Through provocative presentations of authentic experiences, she inspires her audience to challenge their preconceived notions and practice radical self acceptance.
Prior to launching GRAPHICPAINT, Brianne spent two decades working as a graphic designer and brand strategist for clients ranging from public corporations to independent startups. She studied Industrial Design at Pratt Institute before shifting to print and web-based work as a professional.
Brianne is based in New York City where she documents sex, develops original media and writes regularly for OVEE Health.
|Anna Mense is a PhD candidate and a lecturer in Philosophy at the Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany. In her research she is currently focused on Philosophy of Love and Sexualities. Anna graduated in Philosophy, English and German as a teaching profession with a thesis on the question »Is there an Aesthetic Pleasure?«, in 2014. She was committed to university policy for many years and she founded the undergraduate conference Dia:logos in 2015. Her PhD project »On the Capability to Love« aims at understanding the role that so-called deficient loving has for the concept of love. She is working on an integrative concept of love that is capable of explaining in how far loving always implies both options of success and deficit as well as it demands the cultivation of personal capabilities. In her second research project »Sex Speech. Problems of Tabooed Talk and the Potential of a Sex-positive Discourse and Sex-positive Spaces«, Anna analyses the role that language and concepts have for different aspects of sexualities, sexual experiences and sexual identity. She locates this matter within the examination of a sex-negative socio-political climate and an emerging sex-positive subculture.|
|Andrew Pari, LCSW, Founder of Sexual Assault Awareness, LLC, is dedicated to ending sexualized violence and shame through speaking, training, & psychotherapy. He focuses on the controversial & taboo that most in the field won’t address, including specialized populations in the sex trade and human trafficking. He’s been honored with national leadership designation as an expert in trauma, sexualized violence, and disaster response. He’s conducted the largest ever international discussions on rape, and developed national policy on sex trade. In 2018, Andrew led the Start By Believing Campaign, a program dedicated to believing sexual assault survivors, to its largest regional designation in CA. He trains forensics and mental health professionals nationally and internationally, and is writing the first book on the arousal experience in sexual assault to help rape victims and therapists understand this response.|
|Perquida “QP” Payne, LMSW is the founder and owner of Queen’s Poise Love Coaching, LLC where she provides individual & couples coaching, as well as group workshops on sexual health & awareness and being empowered in one’s sexuality. She is the senior training coordinator for a residential treatment center in Westchester County, NY. There she works with leadership to design and facilitate trainings for staff that enhance their skill set in working with traumatized youth & their families.
Ms. Payne has 10+ years of social work experience working in foster-care, prevention, teaching parenting skills, and as a Community School Director. She earned her BA in Sociology from University of Hartford, and her MSW from University of Connecticut.
Outside of her full time work, Ms. Payne is a Certified Sexuality Coach, Relationship workshop facilitator, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, Childbirth Educator, future doula, femme domme practitioner, and a sexual health & wellness educator with Bedroom Kandi Boutique Parties.
As “Mom’s Sex Coach”, she focuses on supporting mothers to reclaim & embrace their sexuality as a means of better connecting to and taking care of themselves. With her experience working with traumatized youth & families, she is particularly interested in working with and empowering this population and those with traumatic sexual history/beginnings.
She currently provides workshops, parties and coaching in the NY metropolitan area, and is developing a book on sexuality development.
Jennifer Rehor, LMFT, CST
|Jennifer Rehor (she/her) is a Psychotherapist, AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, Sex Researcher, and Author. She received a Master's degree in Psychology / Marriage and Family Therapy from Brandman University, and a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality from San Francisco State University. As part of her Master's Thesis, she conducted original research based on more than 1,500 women from the kink community, which has been published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
Jennifer is the founder and owner of Affirming Therapy Center (ATC), a group private practice with a team of sex-positive clinicians who are all committed to serving communities of Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diversity (GSRD), including LGBTQ, kink, BDSM, sex work/adult industry, and consensual non-monogamy. At ATC, Jennifer offers individual therapy and couples counseling, helping adults with anxiety, depression, relationships, sexual health, life transitions, personal growth, and to increase intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
|Michelle Renee (she/her) introduces herself as an emotional support human. She works within a spectrum of touch and connection as a Cuddlist® Certified Practitioner and an IMBT Trained Surrogate Partner. Michelle is also a Certified Cuddle Party® Facilitator and facilitates female sexual empowerment workshops. Based in San Diego, California, she is an active member of both GSRD (Gender, Sexuality, and Relationship Diversity) Affirming Therapists and STEM (Sex Therapy Education Medicine). Michelle feels honored to be able to work inside the complete spectrum of connection from platonic to sensual to sexual.|
|Riley Reyes is an adult actress, fetish clip creator, and sex educator, who has worked in environments from mainstream porn sets to independent fetish studios. As APAC Chair, Riley continues the organization's legacy of political advocacy, performer outreach, and community support. Raised in a family of educators, Riley believes that information is the greatest source of power. She seeks to provide resources for adult performers, and to make them accessible to talent of all types and abilities, even to models outside of the Los Angeles mainstream industry. She also chairs the APAC Fundraising Subcommittee, on which she organizes fundraising events designed to build community and raise awareness on important issues affecting the adult performer population.
Riley is committed to uniting the diverse sectors of adult entertainment, and uplifting the voices of those in need. She knows the importance of solidarity to accomplish APAC’s goals, and fights every day to build a better tomorrow for adult performers everywhere.
|Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff is a researcher, expert witness, coach, speaker, and educational consultant. With a PhD in Sociology and certification as a Sexuality Educator from AASECT, Dr. Sheff specializes in gender and sexual minority families, consensual non-monogamy, and kink/BDSM. Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamorous families with children, and her 20+ year Polyamorous Family Study is the only longitudinal study of poly families with children to date.
Sheff’s first book, The Polyamorists Next Door (2014), details the findings of the first 15 years of her research on polyamorous families with children. Her second book, Stories from the Polycule (2015), is an edited anthology of writings by polyamorous folks. When Someone You Love is Polyamorous (2016) is Sheff’s shortest book that guides family members and significant others who are trying to understand a polyamorous loved one. Sheff blogs for Psychology Today at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-polyamorists-next-door
Joye Swan, PhD
|Dr. Joye Swan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychological and Social Sciences at Woodbury University. She earned her PhD. In Applied Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and has been a sexuality researcher for over 20 years. She writes a column in Psychology Today called Up Close and Personal and is the co-author of the recent book Bisexuality: Theories, Research, and Recommendations for the Invisible Sexuality.|
Jeremy N. Thomas, PhD
|Jeremy N. Thomas, Ph.D., is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Positive Sexuality. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University, and is currently Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology at Idaho State University. His research addresses sexuality, deviance, and the body, and he is especially interested in experiences, meanings, and identities related to: pornography and sex work; BDSM, kink, and fetish sexuality; sexual consent, abuse, trauma, and assault; and body modification, ritual violence, and self-injury.|
|Jules Vivid is a Research Assistant with TASHRA.org and has been a part of their Kink Identity and Sexuality Study since 2016. Jules received her B.A. in Art History from UCLA and will be finishing her M.A. in Sociology at The New School this spring. Her research interests span gender and sexuality, performative aesthetics, and music subcultures.|
|Karin Wandrei (she/hers) is a licensed clinical social worker in Sonoma County in northern California. She identifies as cis-female, solo polyamorous, and pansexual. She has been a licensed psychotherapist since 1981 and currently specializes in work with individuals and relationships with members of the LGBTQ and open relationships communities. Karin has a MSW and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare. She is currently a core adjunct at the undergraduate online psychology program at National University in La Jolla. She has also taught at the undergraduate and graduate level in social work, psychology, and gender studies at Humboldt State University, California State University, East Bay, San Francisco State University, Mendocino College, the University of California, Berkeley, and at Western New Mexico University. She presented a paper on the experiences of lesbian-feminists who came out in the 1970's who now are involved in romantic/sexual relationships with all genders and who are polyamorous at the first and second Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies conferences in Lisbon and in Vienna and this paper was published in Sexualities in 2019. She recently published a paper on the unintended consequences for clients who use online therapy directories to find sex-positive therapists in the Journal of Positive Sexuality.|
|Liam Wignall is a lecturer in Psychology at Bournemouth University, UK. Using qualitative research methods, he explores the identities and experiences of non-heterosexual individuals related to: kink, BDSM, and fetishes; pup play; pornography consumption; drag subcultures; non-exclusive sexualities; and sexual consent. He draws on theories from psychology, sociology and cultural studies, focusing on the impact of the internet and the role of community participation for these kinky individuals. He is a research affiliate for the Center for Positive Sexuality, a member of the International Academy of Sex Researchers, and serves on the British Psychological Society's Psychology of Sexualities committee.|
|Tim Woodman began tying up damsels in 1996, back when VHS was king and DVD was hard. He has been performing in BDSM/fetish/kink adult entertainment ever since. Tim is also a BDSM lifestyler, and teaches classes for BDSM lifstylers and adult entertainment professionals in bondage, whipping, roleplay, and assorted other fetish skills. He volunteers for APAC and for the Center for Positive Sexuality and is passionate about feminism, women’s rights, and sex worker advocacy.|