The actor who played Barney the Dinosaur for 10 years went from starring in a children’s show to running his own tantric sex business.
David Joyner, who wore the purple Tyrannosaurus rex costume from 1991 to 2001, told Vice in an interview Tuesday that he began working as a tantra massage specialist and spiritual healer after leaving the popular PBS show “Barney & Friends.”
He started his practice in 2004 and treats around 30 clients, who he refers to as “goddesses.” The 54-year-old former actor said his current job holds many similarities to the time he played Barney.
“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.”
Though many people think about Sting’s “seven-hour marathon sex” when they hear the word tantra, Joyner said the practice is much more than that. The former actor said he would use his tantra training to get through the long set days when he would be stuck in the 70-pound Barney costume for several hours. He credits the practice for helping him maintaining “an abundance of joy” while wearing the costume in hot conditions.
“I always said it was never an accident, and that I was meant to do this character,” he said. "Because a lot of the elements of Barney were a lot of the things I was training with in tantra."
When talking about spiritual sex, Joyner said: “[Two people are] harmonizing spiritually and consciously, as you’re looking into each other’s eyes, and you’re feeling each other’s energy take place. This is about energy moving up.”
Stephen White, the head writer of the PBS show from 1992 to 2005, told Vice he thought it was a “very interesting” transition for Joyner’s career, but added that he knew the 54-year-old was a “very spiritual guy.”
"When I found out the detail of what’s involved in tantra, I was surprised,” White said. “I thought it was an interesting transition for Barney. 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.”
Though Joyner wore the lovable Barney costume, actor Bob West voiced the character. Joyner moved to Los Angeles after leaving “Barney & Friends” and appeared in several shows, including “Shameless,” “ER” and “That ‘70s Show,” he previously told Business Insider.
Joyner also raved about his experience playing the dinosaur.
"Barney was beautiful. Barney was very, very good to me. I loved being Barney. I loved everything about being Barney. But that chapter is gone."