Porn Valley- In a very colorful, informative and wide ranging interview, Sunset Thomas tells the Sports Swami how a race horse is being named after her. Thomas, who now works at the Kit Kat Ranch, also talks about her busted relationship with the Bunny Ranch’s Dennis Hof. You get the impression from listening to Thomas, that Hof was more interested in her Sunset Thomasness than the actual woman herself. And, according to Thomas, it’s a lot safer working in those Kat and Bunny places than in the adult industry.
Besides all that, Swami called Thomas a pioneer in the women’s movement and star of HBO’s Cathouse. Thomas was asked about the flak that she got when she became the first porn star to sign on as a “servicewoman.”
Thomas said she was told she’d never get any work again and companies wouldn’t hire her. Thomas said she didn’t care what people said because she’s the one that had to pay her own bills. “And I like being with my fans,” she adds. “Some of us stars feature on the road and guys offer us money. I’m sure that some [porn stars] do take and do the illegal. I didn’t want to do the illegal.”
As time went on, according to Thomas, her critics got over it. “They realized it’s no big deal. It’s a safe place for girls to go. They’re going to go and do it..”
Thomas said it might be a shocker but doing that stuff is safer than the adult stuff, although she likes making movies.
“When you’re at the Ranch, everything’s condom. Even when you blow the guy, it’s condom. When you shot a porno they’re not going to let you give a blowjob with a condom on. And you don’t have to let the guy go down on you if you don’t want to. If you do, there’s techniques than you can use.
“If you look at the records there’s no diseases or anything that came from any of the houses,” she continued. “And what do we have going on right now? Another big issue in the adult business again. It’s kind of scary.”
Swami asked Thomas if she was particularly concerned given the fact her niece Sunrise Adams also works in the business.
“She used to tell me years ago when she came of age that this was something she really wanted to do,” Thomas said. “She didn’t want to shoot for a lot of people. She wanted to be with Vivid. It’s a nice company and that’s where she wanted to be.” For herself, Thomas said she was scared with the breakout and that she was worried for her niece.
“But she knows what she got into and the risks she’s going to take just like when I got into. It’s like anything at work. You could work at McDonald’s, slip on some grease and break you neck. You just never know.”
Thomas was given a hypothetical instance, Swami asked what she would do differently if she were running AIM.
“It’s condom-optional for certain stars,” said Thomas. “A lot of stars are going to just condoms. I know it’s said and over the years I probably would have disagreed with this, but now I’ve been around it for awhile. I know when guys buy movies it’s a fantasy for them. They’re doing their thing, watching us. I know sometimes it breaks away from the fantasywhen they see condoms. For a long time I hated dealing with the condoms because I thought it ruins their fantasy. But with things the way they are today, I would make it more condom.
“I would say, look, we need to do more condoms,” she continued. “Which I think is what’s happening now with companies, anyway. Just getting more strict. If there’s people broken out with something, you don’t work. You don’t have to sit there and work with that person. You can it’s not working out and I can’t do this. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. I think they need to make it more condom. The testing is pretty good as it is but I think we should do testing more often. What’s scary about it is when you’re working with your co-stars, you don’t know what they’re doing on their time off. Like they don’t know what I’m doing on my time off. I could be going out and picking up 20 guys and screwing them every night. I just think we need to start watching our backs a little bit more. It’s the year 2000, now. [She’s only off by 4.] If they all agreed to do this together it would not be sucj a big deal any more with the condoms. It’s just getting all the companies together and doing it. That’s what we need to do.”
Asked if there could be a union among the stars, Thomsas said she wouldn’t want to get involved in one. “I’m a busy girl as it is. I don’t have time for one and I wouldn’t want to be a big, huge part of it. Could we all get together and do it? Yes we could. But the problem is getting a lot of stars together to do that. Like any other business it’s hard to get the talent to do it.”
Now that she’s out at the Kit Kat Ranch, Thomas said she gets questions all the time from girls who want to get into the business. “I them be yourself, be your own boss. This is your body. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Don’t feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. You can make great money in this business and I think a lot of girls stay in the business because of the quick cash. Don’t do it because of the money. Do it because you like it and enjoy it. As time oes on it can mess with your head a little bit if you’re just doing it for the money. It’s kind of like a drug. After awhile you’re not happy where you’re at buit because you’re so addicted to it you can’t get out of it. It’s not about the money. You got to love what you do.”
Thomas also advises performers to be good to their fans. “The only thing I hate is girls who are out there signing that treat their fans like crap. If it wasn’t for your fans, you wouldn’t be the name that you are. You got to remember. It’s the fans that made you. It’s the fans that keep you going. I love my fans with all my heart.”
Thomas said through her divorce and break up with Hof, her fans have been there for her and a lot of them have become good friends after time. “I’ve known some of them for 11 years. We’ll get together and go out have dinner and see a movie together.”
To clear up misconceptions that Swami harbored about her relationships and alleged dependecies, Thomas said she was only married to Zack Thomas. Her relationship with Dennis Hof was just that. “And I’ve never had a drug addiction,” she stated. “I’m not even into drugs. I don’t take drugs. I drink two beers and I get drunk. I don’t know where you heard all that at.”
Thomas said she has a live-in bodyguard who often compliments her about being so easy going, a homebody and a non-partyer. “I’m not into that. It’s not worth ruining my life for all that crazy stuff.” Swami apologized for swallowing the rumors.
Thomas said when she’s on the road she has a lot of energy. “I’m very hyper. I love to be around the fans. I love to give them the attention. I’m very high energy around them. That’s my high. That’s where my addiction is. I love being around them. I love the attention.
Thomas said when she was a kid in school, she was chubby and the good-looking kids picked on her. “Now that I’m popular it makes me feel good so I just turn around and give it right back to them because I always wanted to know what it feels like to be popular.”
Thomas said she might go out once in awhile to Studio 54 to dance. “Because it’s good exercise for me. But that’s about it.” Otherwise, Thomas likes going to movies and enjoying down time.
Asked about her niece’s career, Thomas said she helped Sunrise Adams’ career in the beginning when she was in Las Vegas. “But after that she wanted to go out to Los Angeles. Which when you’re new that’s what you need to do. She went out by herself.” Regarding Vivid, Thomas said she helped her hook that deal up. “She’s just gone her own way since then. She wanted to be her own person.”
Thomas said they tend to keep their career separate. “I’m known to be the wild, crazy person when I do sex. She’s wild, too, but she’s more laid back than I am. We’re two different people.” Thomas mentioned a time when Adams didn’t show up for a Playboy shoot\. “They called me and yelled at me for it,” she said. “I was like I have nothing to do with it. She’s her own person. I’m not her manager. She does her own thing. Just like Howard Stern goes how come your niece didn’t show her tits. I said I don’t know what to tell you. She’s her own person. She does what she wants to do.
Swami said Thomas has become one of the bigger names in the history of adult film. Thomas said she’ll get older people walk up to her at airports recognizing her. “You’re Sunset Thomas. I saw you on that HBO thing. It’s so cute. They ask can I have an autograph. I get a kick out of it. You’re that girl on HBO. It’s wild. I’ve actually enjoyed that. It’s really nice.
Thomas said at the time she was with Dennis Hof she put a lot of time and travel into the Bunny Ranch’s promotions. “I was living with Dennis and ready to settle down with real love for once in my life. It was all about stars for The Bunny Ranch. It wasn’t about the true girl that was with him. So I moved on and I’m at the Kit Kat.”
Thomas said she wasn’t even divorced before she moved in with Hof. “I haven’t ben really wild. This is probably the first time I’ve been single my whole career in the business. I like it. I like coming home and not answering to someone. It feels pretty damn good.”
Thomas was asked what she’s looking for in a partner. “I want them to love me and treat me like a lady- not love the star so much. I can’t be the star all the time. I like a gentlemen. I love older men. You have to be older- I like ’em 40 and up. And I want one who treats me like a lady, treats me good and just loves me. That’s all I want. I’m not asking for much.” Thomas suspcts that Hof got tied up in her name. “I don’t know if her really did love me. Did I love him” Oh yeah, I did. But I couldn’t take no more. I needed someone to love me and not the star. Love the girl, not the star. It’s not as easy as people think.”
Thomas said the problem with being a name is not knowing who’s your friend. “You don’t know if it’s about Sunset Thomas the star or the normal girl at home, Diane. It’s hard when you become big. My phone rings off the hook: Sunset, we want you to promote this. Hey, ol’ buddy, we have this thing going on with my club you want to do this for me?” Thomas said she did so much free stuff for the Bunny Ranch that eveyone else expects the same.
“I’ve had enough of promoting something, making something big and I have nothing in my pocket. It’s time for me to make money, too. I did a lot of promotion for the Bunny Ranch and hardly made anything from it. I got popular from it but I didn’t make a lot of money from it.”
Thomas said she was in the process of getting back some of her websites from Hof. “We’re going to court for all that.” Meanwhile, Thomas said she put up a site, www.sunsetslife.com.
“It talks about my dance school. I have a feature dance school. I train girls how to get up there and perform more instead of just hanging on the post. I love doing that. I love helping people. And of course I’m making money doing it, too. It’s something I love and it’s different.” Thomas said there’s also going to be a boxing event in Tahoe that she’ll be hosting.
Thomas also talked about the racehorse called Sunset Thomas. “They actually got the horse and just got hold of me toay. I have to fill out some stuff to say it’s okay to use Sunset Thomas. It’s not going to be mine but they’re using my name. That’s really neat.” Thomas laughed about her horse not fading in the stretch because it’ll alway be in heat.
Swami asked about Thomas’ involvement in boxing promotions. Thomas said she’s loved the sport ever since she was a tomboy. “I love stuff like that.” From the way she talks, Thomas is going to be involved with female boxers but was vague aboyt exactly what’s on the horizon with that.
Asked how she got her name, Thomas she and he ex were in California. “We were driving around the beach. We kept trying to think of names. I thought of Thomas, because if I ever had a kid I’d want to name him Thomas. I kept trying to think what would go with Thomas. We’re thinking of all these corny names. All of a sudden my ex-husband looks out- the sun was setting- he said I got it, Sunset Thomas. You’re as pretty as a sunset. That’s how I got my name.”
Oddly enough, Thomas said before she did porn, she did mainstream. “I’ve been through that before the adult-stuff. I didn’t like it as much.” Thomas said you’re on set all day for what amounts to nothing. And, besides, she got tired of the casting couch. “I didn’t see that in adult. People did their thing and I love sex. Before I did adult, me and my ex-husband were swingers. We’d bring girls home. Or we’d bring a guy home because he loved to see a guy screw me. So I was in that open mind.”
For the record, Thomas said her first adult movie was Mr. Peepers 25th Anniversary. “Lance Kincaid was the director,” she said. “I’ll never forget it. I did a solo and then I had sex with my husband. I had so much fun. It was such a turn on with this camera in your face.”