Barney, the lovable purple dinosaur from the PBS show “Barney & Friends,” has resurfaced in the most unlikely of places: a massage parlor.

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Or rather, the man who wore the dinosaur costume, David Joyner, 54, has. He says his old job and his current one, as a tantric masseuse, are surprisingly similar.

“The energy I brought up [while] in the costume is based on the foundation of tantra, which is love,” he tells VICE. “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.”

According to VICE, tantra massages have “roots in both Buddhism and Hinduism going back thousands of years, and contains many facets.” Joyner’s $350 sessions include “a ritual bath, chakra balancing, and a massage,” and are only for female clients. The site also says “the goal of a session is to fully release a woman’s blocked energy,” which they say results “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. “Even through G-spot massage, it’s still not the same energy that flows.”

With 30 clients, Joyner “unblocks the energy of two to four women a week,” which is something that seems not to jibe with his last job as a software analyst at Texas Instruments.

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Before that, Joyner played the part of dinosaur for 10 years, wearing the costume for the beloved dinosaur while Bob West voiced the character.

“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,” Joyner says. “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.’”


Joyner says he used some of the tenets of tantra in his job as chief dinosaur, mainly implementing practices so that he could regulate his temperature inside the heavy costume, which VICE says “could reach 120 degrees inside” the 70-pound costume.

Anna Caplan contributes to Rare Houston and Rare Animals. 
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