David was educated at McDaniel College in Philosophy, Socio-political Theory, and Theater. He completed his undergraduate degree at The American University’s School of International Service in International Relations, Black American History, Peace Studies, and Conflict Mediation and Resolution. He earned his Masters degree in Social Work with honors from San Francisco State University in 1999.

David has studied under Ken Corbett, Angela Davis, Janis DiCiacco, Dossie Easton, Gabrielle Hoff, Marty Klein, David Ley, Nancy McWilliams, Vadim Medish, Charles Moser, Christianna Nichols-Leahy, Esther Perel, Abdul Aziz Said, and Honey Ward.


David Ortmann is licensed psychotherapist, sex therapist, educator, keynote speaker, and author. He lives in New York City and San Francisco.

He spent 1992 in former Czechoslovakia teaching Theater and English while conducting grass-roots conflict mediation during the Czecho-Slovak national split, was one of the founding members of the Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities (CARAS) in 2005, and continues to serve as an expert witness, regarding the psychology, scope, process, and ritual of consensual BDSM sex for civil and criminal cases.

David's writing has been published in both popular and academic presses and in anthologies of fiction and non-fiction. His perspectives on human sexuality and relationships have appeared in multiple issues of GQ, Allure, Glamour, Vice, and Men’s Health magazines.

Rowman and Littlefield published his groundbreaking book Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities, co-authored with Richard Sprott, PhD, in December 2012. 

His debut novel Under the Boardwalk will be available in May 2018.



Professional Affiliations

The Community-Academic Consortium for Research on Alternative Sexualities
American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists 
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology