“I wasn’t surprised it got so much attention. Sex still sells,” Ylva-Maria Thompson told Swedish media trade publication Resumé on Monday.
Thompson made headlines across the globe in late November when it was reported the controversial Swedish artist, who once hosted erotic television programmes in Sweden, would head up the Austrian International School of Sex (AISOS).
She is also known for her artwork “Anonyma Exhibitionister” (Exhibitionists Anonymous), which features castings of a hundred Swedish women's sexual organs.
According to the website for “the world's first college of applied sexuality”, AISOS would emphasize “hands on” lessons in lovemaking and was due to open in mid-December.
But on Monday, Thompson explained that the AISOS publicity campaign was hatched by an Austrian advocacy group known as The Bird Base in order to raise awareness about the country’s low birth rate.
“I was asked by their press person to play the part. If anyone was the right person, it was me. I felt made for the role,” she told Resumé.
Thompson explained that she travelled to Austria and participated in press conferences and interviews to spread the word about the sex school in both domestic and international media.
While she wasn’t surprised that the story of AISOS was picked up by media outlets around the world, Thompson said she was taken aback by how well news of the school was received and how many serious questions were posed about its operations.
Thompson also chided journalists for not doing any due diligence to verify the accuracy of the story.
“I think many in the media figured ‘if a story sounds too good to be true, don’t check it too carefully’. They wanted the story regardless,” she said.
While AISOS won’t end up fulfilling its original billing as a full-blown sex school, the institution will continue to exist as a trade group for sex coaches, according to Thompson, who plans to remain an active member of the institution.