Barney the Dinosaur has something in common with a Tantra massage — David Joyner. But this is not another Hollywood sexual misconduct scandal.
In 2004, Joyner, who spent 10 years wearing a 70-pound purple dinosaur suit on PBS' hit children's show "Barney & Friends," started operating a tantric massage practice, Tantra Harmony, in California.
Joyner, now 54, wore the Tyrannosaurus Rex costume from 1991 to 2001, but Bob West voiced the character for most of that time. The show lasted nearly two decades, and many can quickly recall all the lyrics to the show's famous song, "I Love You."
"Now, it's no accident that I've been spreading 'I love you' all around the world," Joyner told Business Insider in an interview last summer.
What is Tantra?
"Well, Tantra's much more than that [sex]. Because Tantra deals with loving energy, life force energy, and energy that rises through your system," he said.
Tantra goes back thousands of years and has roots in Buddhism and Hinduism.
“Tantra is a spiritual science of consciousness. Its goal is to liberate us from the unconscious programming that keeps us from recognizing the divinity in ourselves and all beings,” Matthias Rose, a certified Tantra educator with the Source School of Tantra and founder of the Moksha Tantra Center in Seattle, told Vice.
What's the cost and what's involved in a Tantra massage session?
As a Tantra massage therapist and spiritual healer, Joyner who currently has about 30 clients, charges $350 for a session that lasts about three to four hours, according to Vice.
And he accepts only female clients — or as he calls them, "goddesses."
His goddesses can expect a ritual bath, chakra balancing, and a massage — and one more thing: "cosmic, mind-blowing orgasms."
“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, according to Vice. “Even through G-spot massage, it’s still not the same energy that flows.”
He told Vice that he "unblocks the energy of two to four women a week."
Does Joyner use protection during these sessions?
Joyner's philosophy is that condoms "block the energy.” His method of practice is unorthodox among his colleagues.
"Having sex with clients in the world of Tantra is more of an anomaly than the norm,” Kaya Kwan Yin, a Tantra life coach with more than 100 hours of training, told Vice in Skype interview.
Yin said the idea that condoms could “block energy” sounds “shady” and “ridiculous."
In California, it's the law for even porn stars to use condoms.
"It’s the law. For him not to use condoms is medically unethical and irresponsible. This is outrageous and far outside the standard of care,” Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a sex therapist and professor of psychiatry at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, told Vice.
Joyner told Vice that he provides his STD test results to prospective clients, who are asked to disclose any STDs in a signed consent form prior to their first session.
How did Joyner go from acting to Tantra therapist?
Joyner, who still does some acting, started practicing Tantra when he was 19.
His Tantra practice and his part as Barney have many things in common, he told Vice.
“The energy I brought up [while] in the costume is based on the foundation of Tantra, which is love,” Joyner 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.”
Joyner spent long hours on the set, and it could get up to 120 degrees inside the Barney costume. He told Vice that his Tantra training helped him "maintain an abundance of joy during the process.”
"I would pray and ask God to allow his loving divine spirit to flow through me through the costume and let that draw the kids. That energy would always draw them in,” Joyner said. “Children are more connected spiritually than [adults]. A lot of times when I see infants and I’m out and about at the grocery store or whatever, they start staring at me. I make the joke, ‘You know who I am.’"