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Because nothing from childhood is sacred, an actor who once played Barney the purple dinosaur runs a tantric massage business in California now.
David Joyner donned the dinosaur suit on the PBS show Barney & Friends in the ‘90s, Vice reported Tuesday. Now 54, Joyner reportedly charges $350 to give female clients—whom he meets through Tinder and calls “goddesses”—ritual baths, chakra balancing, and orgasm through massage or intercourse during three to four-hour sessions.
He explained the method of the latter practice to Vice.
“When the lingam [penis] and the yoni [vagina] meet, there’s a certain energy that takes place that hands on the body alone cannot create,” Joyner said. “Even through G-spot massage, it’s still not the same energy that flows.”
If you’re looking for the connection between his Barney job and his tantra business—he explained that, too.
“The energy I brought up [while] in the costume is based on the foundation of tantra, which is love,” he said. “Everything stems, grows, and evolves from love. Even when you have emotionally blocked energy, the best way to remove it is to remove it with love, and then replace it with God’s divine love. Love heals and allows you to continue to grow.”
Vice’s report investigated the questionable legality of Joyner’s business, and he reportedly gives clients their first session free to avoid what otherwise could be considered solicitation. None of the clients Vice interviewed said they have ever felt coerced into having sex with him, and no legal claims have been filed against him for sexual harassment or coercion for sex.
Joyner said during his Barney days, he practiced tantric massage secretly to avoid lawsuits. Leah Montes, one of the actresses who worked with Joyner through her teens, described him as a “normal” and “happy” coworker. Stephen White, who was the head writer for the Barney franchise from 1992 to 2005, said he was “surprised” to learn about Joyner’s current vocation.
“I thought it was an interesting transition for Barney,” White told Vice. “It’s kind of still the ‘I love you, you love me’ deal, but different. I don’t judge or anything, but that’s a side of David I didn’t know.”
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.