top of page




Modern Sex Therapy Institutes (MSTI), West Palm Beach, FL

  • Current student in the PhD program for Clinical Sexology

    • Dissertation Proposal & Project: Black Feminine Dominance: A Comprehensive Guide (Book)​

Georgia State University (GSU), Atlanta, GA

  • Past graduate student in the PhD program in Sociology, Gender and Sexuality emphasis.

    • Dissertation Proposal: “Healthy Selves”: Gender Expression, Stigma and Discrimination and Its Effects on Black Transgender Women’s Mental and Sexual Health

  • Master’s thesis – “Getting Freaky: Perversion & Promiscuity Within Alternative & Relationship and Sexual Modalities Among People of Color.” Committee: Wendy Simonds, PhD (Chair), Layli Phillips, PhD (Wellesley College), and Maura Ryan, PhD. Awarded August 2013.


San Francisco State University (SFSU), San Francisco, CA

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Minor in LGBT Studies, May 2004.

  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis: “Dialectics of Desire: A Qualitative Analysis of the Educations of Black Lesbian and Bisexual Young Women.”  Mentored by Jessica Fields, PhD (Sociology, SFSU), Michele Berger, PhD (Political Science & Women’s Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill) and Sacha Bunge, PhD (Psychology, SFSU).



Quantitative and Qualitative research designs including SPSS, NViVo, and Dedoose data coding, entry, and analysis; Evaluation formulation, collection, and data analysis; Ethnographic training and research; gaining access and participant recruitment; experienced in participant observation, interviewing, and conducting focus groups; APA, MLA, and ASA scientific writing; presenting research in academic and professional settings.




AASECT Sexuality Educator Award, 2023

AASECT Award for Live Web Series, Race & Kink Discussion Series, 2022

NIMH-Career Opportunities in Research Scholar, 2002 – 2004

Dean’s List at SFSU, 2001- 2004

Minority Undergraduate Research Assistant Program Fellow, Summer 2003

Hewlett Packard Scholarship Recipient, Fall 1998


Professional and Academic Affiliations

Current Memberships:

  • American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, Therapists (AASECT)

  • Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN)

  • The Association of Black Sexologists & Clinicians (ABSC)

  • American Association of Somatic Sexologists (AASS)

Past Memberships:

  • Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association 

  • Sexual Liberation Collective

  • American Sociological Association 

  • Southern Sociological Society 

  • Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality 

  • Past Co-President of GSU BlackOUT, a Queer Africana Activist Organization

  • Students Promoting Education, Activism, and Knowledge (SPEAK), a WSI Activist Organization

  • Sociology Graduate Student Association


Board Appointments


Board Member, American Association of Somatic Sexologists, 2023 - present

Board President & Treasurer, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, 2014 - 2022

Community Advisory Board, Diversified Sexuality, Research, and Education Institute, 2018 - 2022

Board Secretary, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, 2015 - 2018



Self-Employed, SDS Conferences, October 2014 - present

Self-Employed, Velvet Lips Sexuality Education, March 2010 - present

Lecturer, Women’s & Gender Studies & Sociology at Clayton State University, Fall 2015 – present

Adjunct Faculty at Brown Mackie College, May 2015 – July 2015

Graduate Research Assistant for GSU’s School of Public Health, Fall 2011 – Spring 2015

Independent Contractual Transcriber for GSU’s Institute of Public Health, Fall 2009-Summer 2010

Student-Athlete tutor in GSU’s Athletic Department, Fall 2005-Fall 2007

Volunteer Student Research Assistant, Dr. Jessica Fields, SFSU, Fall 2003-Spring 2004.

Volunteer for the Sexual Minorities Alliance of Alameda County, Nov. 2002-May 2003.

Student Research Assistant, Dr. Jessica Fields, SFSU, Spring 2002.


Guest Lectures


  • Dr. Tracie Gilbert's Sex Coaching class/Widener University (March 2023)

  • Dr. Reece Malone's The Fundamentals of Sex Education class "Decolonizing Sex Education"/Antioch University (November 2022)

  • Monique Walker's  Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery Course/University of Maryland (July 2019)

  • Ericka Hart’s Master’s of Social Work class/Columbia University (April 2018)

  • Dr. Tiffany King’s Gender & Sexuality in the African Diaspora class/Women’s Studies Institute, Georgia State University (March 2014)

  • Dr. Elroi Windsor’s Gender & Society class/Sociology, Georgia State University (February 2010/2009)


Published Works


Stewart, M. R. (2023). Kinky, Swinky, and PolyKink. The Power of BDSM: Play, Communities, and Consent in the 21st Century, 156.

Shemeka Thorpe, Natalie Malone, Jardin N. Dogan, Marla R. Cineas, Kasey Vigil & Candice N. Hargons (2022). Exploring differences in Black heterosexual and queer women’s sexual experiences through a Black queer feminist lens, Sexual and Relationship Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2022.2077927

Hargons, C. N., Thorpe, S., Malone, N., Wright, C. J., Dogan, J. N., Mizelle, D. L., Stuck, J. L., Sullivan, Q.-A., Sanchez, A., Bohmer, C., Stage, M., Bruther, K., Vigil, K., Cineas, M. R., & Gilbert, T. Q. (2022). Black people’s constructions of good sex: Describing good sex from the margins. Sexualities, 0(0).   

Stewart, M. R. (2021). Queering “Straight” Black Relationships: Navigating Sexual Behavior and Relationships with Black Heterosexual Individuals and Couples in the Southern United States. In An Intersectional Approach to Sex Therapy (pp. 187-196). Routledge.

Malone, R. M., Stewart, M. R., Gary-Smith, M., & Wadley, J. C. (Eds.). (2021). An Intersectional Approach to Sex Therapy: Centering the Lives of Indigenous, Racialized, and People of Color. Routledge.

O'Reilly, J., & Stewart, M. R. (2020). The ultimate guide to seduction and foreplay: Techniques and strategies for mind-blowing sex. Cleis Press.

Phillips, Layli & Marla R. Stewart. (2010). “Nontraditional, Nonconforming, and Transgressive Gender Expression and Relationship Modalities in Black Communities.”  Black Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies (Collective Work), edited by Sandra Barnes & Juan Battle, Rutgers University Press.


Phillips, Layli & Marla R. Stewart. (2008). “’I Am Just So Glad You Are Alive’: New Perspectives on Non-traditional, Non-conforming, and Transgressive Expressions of Gender, Sexuality, and Race among African Americans.”  Journal of African American Studies, 12, 4, 378-400.


Stewart, Marla (2008).  “To Be Young, Pretty & Queer.” Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities (Collective Work), edited by Del LaGrace Volcano & Ulrika Dahl, Serpent’s Tail, London, England.


Academic Conference Presentations


Jefferson, K., Cineas, M., McGregor, B., Macias, M., Wall, S. S., & Diedrick, K. (2019, November). Community-based approaches to program evaluation: An examination of the Atlanta/Fulton County pre-arrest diversion pilot program evaluation by academic and community researchers. In APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo (Nov. 2-Nov. 6). American Public Health Association.

Teaching Pleasure: Embracing Comfort When Teaching About Sex (July 2016).  Presented at the University of Guelph Sexuality Conference, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Perverts of Color: Black Kinky Lesbians & the Discernment of Identity (April 2014).  Presented at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference, Chicago, IL.


Perverts of Color versus Promiscuity: Alternative Sexual Communities Navigating the Phenomenologies of Power (April 2014).  Presented at the Southern Sociological Society, Charlotte, NC.


"Getting Freaky": Perversion & Promiscuity Within Alternative Relationship & Sexual Modalities Among People of Color (March 2014).  Presented at the Whose Beloved Community? Conference, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.


Sexual Liberation at the Intersections (February 2014).  Presented at the Creating Change Conference, Houston, TX.


Transgressive Gender & Sexuality Expressions in Black Communities (February 2007). Presented at the Thinking Gender Conference, University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.


Probing the W(hole): Transfags Negotiations of Their Sexuality (April 2006).  Presented at the Youth and Sexuality Forum, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.


Subverting Femme Identity: Corruption in Queer Thinking (March 2006).  Presented at the Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activism Conference at Spelman College, Atlanta, GA.


Mediating our Black Queer Masculinites:  An Analysis of Women and Transgendered Identities (April 2005).  Presented at the Southern Sociological Society Conference, Charlotte, NC.


Three Different Lesbians, One Gender:  Ways to Deconstruct Gender (April 2005).  Presented at a Roundtable discussion at the Southern Sociological Society Conference, Charlotte, NC.


Lesbians and Influences of Hip-Hop (April 2005).  Presented as a Panel Discussant at the Hip Hop Movement Conference at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ.


Freeing Gender:  Interrogating the Bipolarity in Femininity and Masculinity in Queer Identities (March 2005).  Presented at the National Council for Black Studies Conference on the Queer Africana Panel, New Orleans, LA.


Renegotiating our Queer Black Masculinities (February 2005).  Presented at the Black Masculinities Conference at The City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY.


Mental and Sexual Health Attitudes Reflected in the Sexuality Education of Black Lesbian and Bisexual Young Women (November 2003).  Presented at the NIMH-Career Opportunities in Research Psychology Conference, Bethesda, MD.


An Exploration of Black Young Women’s Sexuality (August 2003).  Presented at the American Sociological Association Conference, Atlanta, GA.


Dialectics of Desire: A Qualitative Analysis of the Educations of Black Lesbian and Bisexual Young Women (July 2003).  Presented at the Summer Program for the Graduate Research Experience Poster Session, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC.


Dialectics of Desire: A Qualitative Analysis of the Educations of Black Lesbian and Bisexual Young Women (July 2003).  Presented at the Minority Undergraduate Research Assistant Program Session, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, NC.


Black Young Women’s Experiences of Sexuality Education (May 2003). Presented at the SFSU Colloquium for Career Opportunities in Research, SFSU, CA.


The Relevancy of Sex Education among Black Lesbian and Bisexual Young Women (May 2003). Presented at the Psychology Honor’s Colloquium, SFSU, CA.


An Exploration of Black Young Women’s Sexuality (April 2003). Competed at the CSU Social Science Research and Instructional Council 27th Annual Student Conference, SFSU, CA.

bottom of page