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How The Actor Who Played Barney Became A Tantric Sex Guru

It's normal for people to change careers at some point in life. Perhaps they want a different change of pace or desire to pursue a new interest. Still, no one could have anticipated David Joyner, the actor who played Barney the Dinosaur from 1991 to 2001, would get a new job involving tantric sex therapy, a practice that combines mindfulness, sexuality, and spiritualty to create a sensual experience celebrating both body and mind. 

"Barney & Friends" was a childhood classic for many. And Joyner was the one who brought the purple dinosaur to life in the suit while the voice was provided by Bob West. The show taught simple moral lessons to prepare kids for the outside world, coupled with delightful songs. The documentary, "I Love You, You Hate Me," provided a glimpse into the making of the children's series, including an interview with Joyner himself. He admitted he was ready to move on after 10 years playing Barney, and he wanted to move to Los Angeles from Texas (where "Barney" was filmed) to pursue other acting roles. He landed parts in shows like "That's So Raven" and "That '70s Show," but he also became a tantra massage specialist.

According to Joyner's website, he's studied tantra since he was 20, and he promises, "When you leave my session, you will feel more alive, more awake, and more whole as to whom you are as a spiritual being."

This sense of spirituality helped David Joyner while in the Barney costume

It may come as amusing to some to learn the actor who formerly played Barney the Dinosaur became a tantric sex therapist. It plays into the hands of many online rumors that emerged surrounding "Barney & Friends" during the show's early run. Numerous myths were started about how playing the "I Love You" song backward would result in evil messages. Many rumors were created surrounding Joyner himself, including an internet death hoax and a story about how he was a cocaine addict who would keep the drug stuffed in Barney's tail. None of this has been confirmed, so folks will have to make do with Joyner being a spiritual healer. 

But his passion for tantra started while he still wore the Barney suit. He maintained a sense of spirituality on the show to make it through hard days while wearing a heavy costume, as he explained to Vice, "Before I got into the [Barney] costume, 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." But his career move has resulted in criticism from others in the tantra community who believe he's gone too far.

Joyner went on to admit that occasionally his practice involves unprotected sexual penetration with his female clients, something other tantra experts have criticized and exists in a gray area within the law. Kaya Kwan Yin, another tantra life coach, told Vice, "Tantric sex can happen with your clothes on ... Sexual energy penetrates clothes, condoms, countries, and beyond. Having sex with clients in the world of tantra is more of an anomaly than the norm." It's definitely quite a change in career path. And for all those people who wanted there to be a seedy underbelly to "Barney & Friends" all those years, this is likely the closest they'll get to it.