I grew up sans cable television, so my range of childhood pop-culture references doesn’t stretch very far. No Nickelodeon, no Cartoon Network, just me, Elmo and Barney. So this story really hits home.
The Barney song is my mantra, whether I want it to be or not. It’s stuck with me for 20+ years and there’s no getting rid of it now. I didn’t know much about the people on the show when I watched it, nor did I give a damn, I was 6. But David Joyner is the man who played Barney, and he had a little secret during his role that he hid from everyone for the 10 years he wore that suit…
He stopped playing Barney in 2001 and the show ended, I think? Or I just grew up, not sure –maybe both. Since then, we have both moved on with our respective lives. I grew 3 feet, graduated from college and began my career in the media world. Joyner moved on from the show, acted in a few other series and then…opened a practice as a tantric sex therapist.
0-100…real quick. And naturally, I have a few questions about what happened to my purple childhood pal.
First of all, what is tantra?
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.
I still feel like we don’t really have an answer…Let’s back up a little bit.
Joyner began his career at ITT Technical Institute in Texas and while there, studied Swedish massage on the side. He discovered the art of tantric sex after many of his normal massage patients told him that his touch aroused them. Note, this was all pre-Barney, which means he went through a legitimate on-boarding process with PBS during this phase. And the best part is that they knew all about it. They simply told him to put a lid on his spiritual belief while playing Barney, or else a lawsuit would be in action. And he did so for 10 years.
After his tenure as Barney and during brief stints in other shows like Shameless, Veep and The Young And The Reckless, Joyner opened up his own practice in 2004. He currently finds clients, which he refers to as “goddesses” from word of mouth, his website or converting women he’s met on Tinder into believers.
What is there to believe in? That tantric sex therapy “connects your mind, body and spirit together as one, in perfect harmony?” How about, “achieving a higher and more blissful state of awareness to your sexuality, and who you are as a spiritual being?”
This all seems pretty skeptical coming from someone who has read literally anything about men in 2017. This dude is riding across an ocean of thin ice, but according to reports, he has zero sexual assault claims against him. Yup, just a shit ton of satisfied “goddesses” who repeatedly visit him for sessions which typically include a ritual bath, chakra balancing and massage. Oh, and “cosmic, mind-blowing orgasms” are “also on the menu” during a three to four hour session.
If this was a regular old guy I would say you do you. But this is BARNEY doing this!!!! Men in Hollywood took so many L’s in the world of sexual assault this past year, it blows my mind that BARNEY is out here doing it and getting paid $350 a session. He literally has sex with the girls once they’re “ready” for it and he’s not on NBC headlines! This is mind boggling….BARNEY! Now I know why he was making this sly ass look.
Stephen White, who was the head writer of the Barney franchise from 1992 to 2005, told Vice that he learned about Joyner’s new career like everyone else, but isn’t entirely surprised.
“I did know David was a very spiritual guy, very positive guy—he radiated energy. He was a positive person to be around,” White recalled.
Adding, “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 think it’s time for me to get a new mantra.
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