What if I told you that for the price of $350, Barney—as in the purple dinosaur—would give you a tantric healing session that could end in an earth-shattering orgasm? I’m not playing. David Joyner, who from 1991 to 2001 inhabited the costume of the beloved children’s television character, has gone from actor to spiritual healer and tantra massage specialist. The 54-year-old’s tantric massage practice is 30 clients strong, or as he calls them, “goddesses.”
Before he got into tantra, Joyner flexed his ITT Tech degree as a software analyst at Texas Instruments (yes, the ones that made your high school calculator)—an unexpected career path for the former star of PBS’s Barney & Friends. Joyner tells Vice that he used tantra on set to “maintain an abundance of joy during the process,” which involved wearing a 70-pound costume in which temperatures could hit a suffocating 120 degrees. That’s because tantra isn’t always about sex. “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,” explained Matthias Rose, a certified tantra educator with the Source School of Tantra and founder of the Moksha Tantra Center in Seattle. Indeed, the practice goes back thousands of years to Buddhist and Hindu philosophies, among others.
However, Joyner's current tantric explorations definitely aren’t G-rated. “When you go down on a woman (orally), it should be just like you’re saying grace, like blessing the food you’re about to receive. No food in the world can compare to goddess nectar because spirit is involved. Before you taste the goddess nectar, give thanks. Say grace. I would love women to understand how powerful that energy is,” he tells Vice. Word.
However, not all tantra practitioners are on board with Joyner's approach. For example, Joyner believes that condoms "block the energy," and he eschews them with his clients. Instead, he provides his STD tests results to potential clients and requires them to disclose their STD status in a signed consent form before their first session. Even in the tantra community, this is considered a no-no. As tantra coach Kaya Kwan Yin explains, “Tantric sex can happen with your clothes on. What typically looks like penis-and-vagina penetration is often referred to as 'full union' in contemporary practice. 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." She also wrote off Joyner's no-condoms philosophy as "shady" and "ridiculous." You guys as shocked and disappointed as I am to learn that Barney doesn't wear a bag?