Also meet our Educators and Board of Directors.

D J Williams, Director of Research D J Williams, PhD
Director of Research/Co-Editor-in-Chief Journal of Positive Sexuality


D J Williams is the Director of Research for the Center for Positive Sexuality and a social scientist at Idaho State University. He completed doctoral and postdoctoral studies at the University of Alberta (Canada), and his scholarship intersects sexology, leisure science, social work and critical criminology. D J is a leading expert on deviant leisure (including both positive and negative forms), thus he is sometimes affectionately known as “Dr. Deviant.” He appreciates human diversity and creative expression. His research has been published in several academic books and journals, including Social Work, Leisure Sciences, Leisure/Loisir, Contemporary Justice Review, Australian Family Physician, Canadian Social Work, and the Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality. D J can be reached by email at

 Kassandra McFarland Research Coordinator Kassandra McFarland
Research Coordinator

Kassandra McFarland is the Center for Positive Sexuality’s research coordinator and also a graduate student of anthropology at Idaho State University. Her research interests include sex positive sex education, polyamory, sexual attitudes, human sexual biology and sexual diversity around the world. Her current research is focused on sex education, sexual attitudes and utilizing anthropology’s bio-cultural approach. Kassandra can be reached at

Jeremy Thomas, Research Affiliate Jeremy N. Thomas, Ph.D
Research Affiliate


Jeremy N. Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice at Idaho State University. He has a Ph.D. from Purdue University, and his research interests primarily concern religion,sexuality, deviance, and the body. With regard to religion, he studies the construction, maintenance, and contestation of moral narratives, especially those related to sexuality. With regard then to sexuality, he is interested in a wide range of topics including homosexuality, pornography, BDSM, fetish sexuality, sex work and sexual economies, sexual consent, sexual abuse and violence, child pornography, and sex offending. Alongside these topics, he is also interested in deviance and the body including body modification, consensual and ritual violence, and self-injury. You can follow Jeremy’s research at

Dr. Dave Holmes, Research Affiliate Dave Holmes, Ph.D
Research Affiliate


Dave Holmes is Professor and University Research Chair in Forensic Nursing. After completing his B.Sc. (Ottawa, 1991), M.Sc. (Montreal, 1998) and Ph.D. (Montreal, 2002) in Nursing, Professor Holmes completed a CIHR post-doctoral fellowship in Health Care, Technology and Place at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work (2003). To date, Dr. Holmes received funding, as principal investigator, from CIHR and SSHRC, to conduct his research program on risk management in the fields of Public Health and Forensic Nursing. With regard to sexuality, he has conducted research is the fields of barebacking, BDSM, and public sex. Most of his work, comments, essays, analyses and research are based on the poststructuralist works of Deleuze & Guattari and Michel Foucault. His works have been published in top-tier journals in nursing, criminology, sociology and medicine. He was appointed as Honorary Visiting Professor in Australia, Indonesia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Candace Christensen, Research Affiliate M. Candace Christensen, Ph.D
Research Affiliate


M. Candace Christensen is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Texas San Antonio. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Utah, and her research interests primarily concern using feminist research methods to explore gender-based violence prevention and response with youth. Candace was awarded the Feminist Manuscript Scholarship Award for 2013 from the Council on Social Work Education. Her current research is focused on sexual assault prevention and response on college campuses.

Moshoula Capous-Desyllas, Research Affiliate Moshoula Capous-Desyllas, Ph.D
Research Affiliate


Moshoula Capous-Desyllas is an assistant professor of sociology at California State University Northridge. As an activist, artist and academic, she engages in arts-based and participatory action research with sex workers, and uses art as a form of activism, empowerment and social justice. As a pro-sex feminist, she is critical of the conflation of the terms “human trafficking” and “prostitution,” and advocates for the human rights for those who have made a conscious decision to sell sex and who do not consider themselves to be victims. She is an advocate for sexual diversity and expression, and an ally to LGBTQQI individuals and communities.

Emily Prior, Executive Director Emily E. Prior, MA
Research Affiliate/Co-Editor-in-Chief Journal of Positive Sexuality


Emily E. Prior is the Executive Director for the Center for Positive Sexuality. Since 1996 she has been teaching formal and informal classes about a variety of sexuality-related topics including BDSM lifestyle, Polyamory lifestyle, Gender, Introductory and Advanced Human Sexuality Courses for Psychology and Sociology departments at universities, Teen Sexuality topics for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and others. Emily has studied human sexuality and gender topics from a variety of perspectives, including Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology and won the Vern Bullough Award for research. She is a member of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, American Sociological Association, Pacific Sociological Association , Community-Academic Consortium for Research of Alternative Sexualities (of which she is on the Research Advisory Committee), Los Angeles Sexologists Associates, and Phi Kappa Phi. To contact Emily, please email

Dan Copulsky, Research Assistant Dan Copulsky
Research Assistant


Dan Copulsky is a sex educator and writer. He is the founding editor of, a collection of sex-positive infographics and comics. He has also presented original research at the Alternative Sexualities Conference and the PCA/ACA National Conference.

Skye Williams, Volunteer Coordinator Cielle “Skye” Williams
Research Assistant

Cielle “Skye Williams is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Center. She is a college graduate with a bachelor’s of science in Captive Wildlife Care and Education and a minor in Psychology. She has also been a guest on the Center’s show “Is This Normal?” as an advocate for furries and people in relationships with Transgendered people. Skye can be reached by email at
Laurie Bennett-Cook, Research Assistant Laurie Bennett-Cook, PhD
Research Assistant


Laurie Bennett-Cook is welcoming of all gender identities, all sexual orientations, and all sexual and relationship expressions. She is a proud mother of four, step mother of three, grandmother of three, wife of one, and lover of many. It is her belief that conversations about sexuality should be honest and direct. She is a board certified Clinical Sexologist, California Certified HIV Tester / Counselor and IPSA Certified Sexual Partner Therapist.

Christina Amezquita, Research Assistant Christina Amezquita
Research Assistant



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