Interviwing Ylva Maria Thompson

When did you begin working in the pornographic industry?

I started working in 1988

In how many movies have you participated, so far?

None if you except my participation as a host in Secrets Video magazine. I have never had intercourse in a film.

What was your feeling about working as an actress? Was it easy? And when did you start working as one?

I started working for cable-TV in 199, as a show-hostess. It was fun, creative and wonderful work. I enjoyed it very much, because it gave me the opportunity to meet people I had admired from a distance (writers, moviestars, artists, photographers, etc.). It also gave me a tool to convey a message to the Swedish people. My message still is the same: Don’t be ashamed of your sexuality.

Do you regret having participated in movies, nowadays?

I don’t regret anything I’ve done, except hurting other people, and I’ve done so once or twice by being insensitive. I’ve grown since then and I realize that other peoples feelings have to be respected no matter what.

What did you like doing the most?

Inteviewing sexual minorities was most fun, because it was during the period when so much happened, so much liberation of gay, BDSM, fetish and the like.

Do you still watch pornographic movies? What is your opinion about the majority of them?

I sometimes watch porn. You have to remember that pornography is mainly depiction of people having sex. If you react strongly to this, it is because you’re not used to sexually explicit content. Porn is OK as a way to get turned on. I don’t want to elaborate further, there is porn I like and porn I don’t like, but then I’m just as picky when it comes to food, beverages, music, art, literature, etc.

Are you familiar with Erika Lust’s work? If you are, what is your opinion about it?

I’ve seen “All about Anna” and it’s a good try, but it’s not for me. If I watch porn I want to see fucking. If I wanted a story I’d choose another movie. It’s still hard to work in the grayzone and I believe that the change has to come from the other side, that is from the non-X-rated filmindustry. And it is. Have you seen “Shortbus”?

Don’t you think that among all this pornographic industry, shouldn’t there be more movies directed, particularly, for women?
No, I think there should be more women working in production, but this doesn’t mean we should make films for women. I believe the most successful movies are the ones that are equally interesting for both men and women, that deal with being human at first hand.
As an example I’d like to point out Luc Besson. By having a woman as a hero in the film “Colombiana” he can make an action-movie that both men and women enjoy. What more is interesting is that his hero feels sadness, remorse, regret, anger, joy, love and all these feelings that we can relate to. Despite being some kind of killing machine, she is also very human. This is very intentional, Luc Besson knows what he’s doing. He’s more human than male or female. We should try to stop thinking in dichotomies. Specially in the adult industry.

By the time you’ve started working as an actress, did you already have in mind that you wanted to teach sexuality to others?

As I said, I never really worked as an actress. Yes, teaching sexuality, or rather liberating the potential for pleasure in all human beings is what motivates me.

In your opinion, what are the biggest gaps in sexual education, so far, whether in schools or home?

I couldn’t tell really. There’s such a big lack of education in these matters globally, the needs differ from country to country. But the biggest mistake is dividing the world into male and female. This concept creates enormous problems around the globe. We are all one. There are some physical differences, but the similarities are bigger.

Although there are many gaps when it comes to sexuality, around the world, do you think the lack of love and caring between couples contributes to the low level sexuality intercourse?

I believe that the level of sexual intercourse is fine as it is. We don’t need to worry about it.

How can genital-mutilation end, once and for all?

Through education and information. And also by creating more safe-houses for people in need of protection and help.

Beyond wanting to teach sexuality matters to youngsters, and population in general, what are you expecting to give others with this new school-project that you’re taking care of? Do you want it to be an example to the rest of the world and so many others schools like that one will be created?

The main goal is to initiate a debate, a discussion, an awareness and an awakening. It is time for us to stop being ashamed, to talk about sex openly, to see it as a serious and important issue. What you do is important, making this interview. Spread the word. Be honest and search for information. Spread true knowledge about sex and embrace the pleasure it brings.

Let us come back to pornography: do you believe that pornography and sexuality can walk side by side? If yes, what do you think it is needed to materialize that idea?

Pornography, as I said, is depictions of sexuality. Today, the adult film industry is in a financial crisis. So much erotic material is being shared for free over the internet, nobody wants to pay for pornfilms any more. Something is changing, also the attitude, what was considered to be pornographic material 60 years ago is no longer chocking or banned in most countries.

Do you agree that in many pornographic movies, condoms aren’t used at all?

Yes, that’s true.

What is your opinion about domestic violence and about sexual descrimination (people from the same sex, for example, lesbians, gays, bissexuals, draqueens and transexuals…)?

Violence can be overcome by love and understanding. Violent people are in pain. They don’t need punishment, they need help. Yhe victims need fast help not to develop hate and a need for revenge.
Discrimination has to be fought through education and information. Discrimination derives from fear of the discrepant. Once you understand that hurting another being is the same as hurting yourself, you see the world in a different light.

What is your opinion about anal sex? Do you think it should or shouldn’t be practiced at all? What are the risks?

Anal sex can be very pleasurable.

For those that would like to practice anal sex, what should they have in mind so there aren’t any risks and possible future health problems?

Hygiene is important, use a condom if you have one or wash yourself after anal sex so that no bacteria from the anal comes in contact with the vagina. Use a lubricant, the mucus membranes are delicate. Stop immediately if it hurts. Sex is intended for mutual pleasure for all involved.

What about ‘deep throat’? What are the essencial cares to do so?

People who percieve sex as a form of extreme sport will probably try out a lot of different things in search for sensations. I cant’s see a problem as long as you respect your own and other peoples bodies and avoid injuries as far as possible. Deep thoat can be a kind of BDSM practice and I totally understand the playful and interesting part of this.

Do you believe there is a G-Spot? In ‘Red Zone’ program, the tutor believes in it and states that to reach it the woman in case should be sitting. Do you share the same opinion?

There are many nice spots in the vagina, the G-spot is one of them. Explore in different ways. Have fun. Enjoy. Don’t believe what anybody tells you to be the truth, because what you experience yourself is what’s true for you.

I write erotic stories, mostly about feminine homosexuality. I also view many movies about it and I have a question I’d like to make you: what is required for them to practice safe cunnilingus? The feminine condom doesn’t cover up all the vulva area and wouldn’t really help at all – while being inserted in the vagina. Also it’s told that while doing oral sex it, everyone should use protection, mostly because of AIDS disease.

There is only one known case where a woman has contracted HIV from another woman. Other STD:s, like gonorrhea are far more likely to catch. The feminine condom is not intended for oral sex, but for penetrative sex.
Some women use a condom and cut it open with a pair of scissors to make a rubber sheet that can be used between the tongue and the vagina while performing oral sex. I would recommend not to practice oral sex at all if you have casual sex, and to use your fingers, vibrators and sextoys instead. There are so many fun and playful ways to have sex that don’t even involve touching each others genitals! Use your imagination. Then, if you engage in a longer relationship, get tested before exchanging bodily fluids.

What is your opinion about the lack of sexuality information/teaching in many schools around the world?

It is one of the main problems in the world today. The lack of sexual education creates so much suffering where there could be pleasure instead.

What do you think people should talk about while giving sexual education to kids and teenagers?

Emphasize that sex should be about pleasure. Teach them to avoid problems, to protect themselves from STD:s and unwanted pregnancies. Teach them to respect themselves and one another. Tell them they don’t need to feel ashamed talking about sex and feeling horny, it’s totally normal and fine. Tell them that everyone doesn’t feel the same, that you have to communicate to know. Tell them to respect other people, that we are all one and if you hurt someone you are really also hurting yourself, so avoid giving pain and concentrate on giving pleasure, so that more pleasure will come to you in your own life.

In your country, do you also have that silly tale about the “stork” that brings the baby on its beek?

No, in Sweden, that stopped in the 70:ies.

What can we do so that people stop telling that tale?

Make them relax. Tell them that there’s no need to feel ashamed of something as totally natural and by the way life-essential as sex.

Recently a girl died for having a 12 minute orgasm. What kind of effect as a long-term orgasm like that one have in our bodies to, ultimately, kill us?

When you were working as a pornographic actress, did you tell your friends and parents what you were doing?

As I said, I never worked as a pornactress and I always told my friends and family what I was doing in life. Would have been hard to avoid, once I worked on television…

If you did tell them, what were their reactions? Did you have positive ones?

I did do some nude shoots in a mens magazine in the eighties. I told my mum and she was upset, but then she said “I love you anyway”. When I think back, this brings tears to my eyes. My mother is so lovely!
I was proud of the photos then, and I still am. I think it was fun, liberating and it gave me a insight in a world I didn’t know from before.

Do you think that all the actors and actresses should step forward and tell everyone, openly, what they do, without any fear?

Yes, I do think so. But then, some might put themselves in great danger. It happens that  women get killed by family members for dishonouring the family. This is so terrible and I feel so sorry for the victims and the persons feeling forced to commit these crimes. Once again information and education is the only answer. In these cases, it’s so obvious how hurting others hurt themselves. But the more we step forward, the better.

If you get negative reactions from your family and friends, what should be done to make it all better again?

Find help. It’s often had to resolve the situation on your own. Talk to others in similar situations. Find out how they handled it. Sometimes it might be necessary to break free from your family and this is had and painful. Always consider beforehand if it’s really worth it. But the again, it often happens that you get accepted again. In 2008 an Indian prince visited Stockholm pride festival and told his story. We all were incredibly moved and it also gave us so much hope to hear his story.

Nowadays, Church and other institutions can be an ‘Achilles Heel’ when it comes to sexuality because they don’t really support anything that has to do with it. Does it bother you? Does it make you want to work harder?

All kind of suppression, wherever I see it, motivates me and my friends and allies. We will never give up, as long as we live.

What is your opinion about a pornographic producer being detained by the Catholic Church?

The Catholic Church is still strong. We have to look for ways to coexist aven if we don’t agree on their acts and teachings. Society today is more and more becoming a mosaique where different beliefs and ways of living have to coexist side by side. I have to respect my neighbours and accept their way of life.

What are your thoughts about the Pope’s attitude in Africa, a couple of years ago, when he did not support the condom’s and contraceptive pills use?

Well, it’s complicated. Now you’re pinpointing the Catholic church, but there are also other religious institutions that have strict rules when it comes to contraception and abortion. This causes much suffering. But we cannot force anyone to see things the way we do. We can only show them alternatives.

What kind of messages would you like to transmit to teenagers and young adults?

Sex should be about pleasure. Avoid problems, protect yourselves from STD:s and unwanted pregnancies. Respect yourself and others. You don’t need to feel ashamed talking about sex and feeling horny, it’s totally normal and fine. Everyone doesn’t feel the same, you have to communicate to know. Respect other people, we are all one and if you hurt someone you are really also hurting yourself, so avoid giving pain and concentrate on giving pleasure, so that more pleasure will come to you in your own life.

What were your influences in pornography and sexuality?

I don’t really understand the question, I’ve been the editor of an erotic magazine, I’ve written debate articles in Swedish magazines, I’ve been a TV show hostess and so on.. In 1995 one of the major evening papers voted me one of top ten most influential persons in Sweden that year. But how could I measure or describe what I’ve done?

Do you have any influence or role models nowadays?

AH I see. Now I understand the question! Annie Sprinkle, Barbara Carrelas, Betty Dodson, Carol Queen, Nina Hartley, doctor Ruth, Eve Ensler and many more.

Do you think you influence others with your work?


Thank you so much for your time and I wish you all the best for you and your work!

Interview by Pedro Marques
Translation and correction by Sílvia Dias


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