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Madonna's Sex Book

Madonna's Sex book was released twenty-nine years ago today on October 21, 1992

The most aggressive career self-sabotage that didn't work

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by Anonymousreply 73October 25, 2021 1:15 PM

I bought it the day it was released at HMV on the Upper East Side thinking it might be jerk-off material...and it wasn't

by Anonymousreply 1October 22, 2021 12:22 AM

All I remember is a picture of her hairy pits and another of her eating Vanilla Ice's ass.

by Anonymousreply 2October 22, 2021 12:24 AM

Thanks to her, we now have at least two generations of no-talent, sociopathic attention whores who will do ANYTHING for attention.

by Anonymousreply 3October 22, 2021 12:27 AM

I waited too long to purchase, immediately sold out!

by Anonymousreply 4October 22, 2021 12:29 AM

Eating ass has always been my thing but I was embarrassed about it until she released a photo of her fully made-up face in man's butt

by Anonymousreply 5October 22, 2021 12:29 AM

Even this many years later it is still unbelievable

by Anonymousreply 6October 22, 2021 12:32 AM

I always thought this was when she jumped the shark. All the talk surrounding it about opening people's eyes to erotic expression and opening people's minds to new things was just a ridiculous smokescreen: it was just tacky exhibitionism meant to shock to garner cheap attention (but it wasn't very shocking).

by Anonymousreply 7October 22, 2021 12:33 AM

She was trying to show Sean what a hot, sexy freak he divorced.

by Anonymousreply 8October 22, 2021 12:34 AM

It was such a mistake, Madonna was at the peak of her career after Like A Prayer and Vogue and then she went and did this shit.

by Anonymousreply 9October 22, 2021 12:35 AM

Unbelievable? How so?

by Anonymousreply 10October 22, 2021 12:38 AM

She said in interviews that if Prince released a book like Sex everyone would say "That's Prince."

But if Prince released a book like Sex with him showing his ass with Vanity and Apollonia giving a peek into his freaky sex life, I would be living for it.

by Anonymousreply 11October 22, 2021 12:38 AM

It was so cheesy. There was nothing sexy about it.

by Anonymousreply 12October 22, 2021 12:39 AM

Best remix of Erotica ever

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by Anonymousreply 13October 22, 2021 12:44 AM

I remember this book. Mrs. Davidson down the street gave us copies for Halloween when I was 8.

by Anonymousreply 14October 22, 2021 12:50 AM

This was her career Showgirls moment. After bragging about how groundbreaking and important and revolutionary this was going to be, it just turned out to be a tacky collection of dirty pictures. I dont think her career ever fully recovered. She looked like a fool and continues to even more now. It was unpleasant enough when she was young and attractive. It's just revolting now that she is neither.

by Anonymousreply 15October 22, 2021 12:54 AM

Herb Ritts was originally supposed to be the photographer and he would have put together something classic and striking like all of his books

Stephen Meisel sleazed it all up

by Anonymousreply 16October 22, 2021 12:58 AM

Bought it (Paperback Booksmith), liked it, still have it (and the Mylar wrapper it came in).

by Anonymousreply 17October 22, 2021 1:04 AM

The spiral binding was really cheap and broke easily.

by Anonymousreply 18October 22, 2021 1:07 AM

My best straight friend bought it to jerk off to, and complained bitterly how poorly it was put together.

by Anonymousreply 19October 22, 2021 1:07 AM

[quote] She said in interviews that if Prince released a book like Sex everyone would say "That's Prince."

That's been her tactic for her entire career.

Whenever something she does is poorly received, she invariably blames its poor reception on sexism.

by Anonymousreply 20October 22, 2021 1:08 AM

[quote]My best straight friend bought it to jerk off to, and complained bitterly how poorly it was put together.

It's amazing what people would jerk off to back in those pre-internet days. You had to take what you could get.

by Anonymousreply 21October 22, 2021 1:11 AM

He was a big Madonna fan back then, r21--he thought she was the hottest woman alive. What thrilled him was not the porn aspect of it so much as that it was porn with Madonna in it.

by Anonymousreply 22October 22, 2021 1:14 AM

Loved Julie Brown

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by Anonymousreply 23October 22, 2021 1:23 AM
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by Anonymousreply 24October 22, 2021 1:24 AM

Just a bunch of pretentious smut poorly masquerading as art. In other words, just another day in Madonna's career.

by Anonymousreply 25October 22, 2021 2:16 AM

I thought it was going to have beautiful, Harrell-type nude photographs. It didn't. The tackiest, most embarrassing part was Madonna's writing. It was like reading the diary of a dim-witted, 12-year-old girl.

Several years ago, thuggish NYC cops raided our sidewalk bookseller for the umpteenth time and confiscated all of his books. I gave the bookseller a stack of my books, including "Sex," so he could get back to selling.

by Anonymousreply 26October 22, 2021 2:26 AM

I wonder how Isabella Rossellini got wrangled into this scene

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by Anonymousreply 27October 22, 2021 2:51 AM

R2 the hairy armpits photos were in Playboy and her face was in Tony Ward's ass

by Anonymousreply 28October 22, 2021 3:38 AM

Her career never really recovered after that fiasco. Liz and Freddie should've held her hostage to get her out of doing that stupid book, if that's what it would've taken.

by Anonymousreply 29October 22, 2021 3:40 AM

It's biggest crime was that it wasn't erotic, or sexy. It could've been anything (artistic, smutty, cheap) as long as it was arousing, and instead it was the biggest boner killer.

by Anonymousreply 30October 22, 2021 4:01 AM

Honestly rimming only looks good if it's between two cisgender men.

by Anonymousreply 31October 22, 2021 4:05 AM

I will say that she wisely desexualized herself for decades after this so at least she got the picture. Unlike Janet who kept up the "sex kitten" thing through her 40s, even after the Superbowl incident. And her career did come back--Ray of Light, Music and Confessions were all massive hits globally.

by Anonymousreply 32October 22, 2021 4:20 AM

The biggest lesson learned is that with all the nudity the sexiest image is Big Daddy Kane in his patterned skimpy underwear ironically

by Anonymousreply 33October 22, 2021 4:45 AM

This is when she basically started parodying herself. I was a 14 year old and remember thinking "Really?" even then and at that young age.

by Anonymousreply 34October 22, 2021 4:51 AM

Her career never recovered?? Are you haters fo real? Only another 20+ years of excellent releases.

And guess how much Sex is selling for now, you cunty bitchy cunts.

by Anonymousreply 35October 22, 2021 4:54 AM

r35 Madonna was the Queen of Everything after Like A Prayer and Vogue. Her career was damaged by Sex, even though it was still very successful. She never retained those heights again.

by Anonymousreply 36October 22, 2021 4:59 AM

It doesn't seem shocking now when everyone has every porn video and image accessible on their phone at any time, but 1992 America was Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, pre-grunge culture.

Before OJ, before 9/11, before Princess Diana and every other 80s icon died and everyone turned into a cynical narcissistic douchebag.

by Anonymousreply 37October 22, 2021 5:00 AM

[quote]I will say that she wisely desexualized herself for decades after this so at least she got the picture.

She’s the perfect example of can’t turn a ho into a housewife. As soon as her second marriage ended, the ho jumped right back out of her to pick up where she left off.

by Anonymousreply 38October 22, 2021 9:03 AM

I received multiple copies for my 22nd birthday that month from friends who knew I was a big fan (at the time). I opened one and kept the others sealed. I sold one for several hundred dollars in 2001 ($400? $599?) when I got a speeding ticket that I couldn't afford at the time. I vowed to hold on to the other two for a bit longer. I hope they retain their value with all the damage she's doing to her legacy.

I felt like she was kinda co-opting the bdsm/fetish scene before it was mainstream for her own gain, but some of those photos were kinda hot and that's what Madonna does -- she co-opt scenes, just like Bowie and others.

by Anonymousreply 39October 22, 2021 9:27 AM

She should have named it "Sex 101", because as a young, active Gay man it seemed rather like a textbook on the ABCs of sex. Rather basic and pedestrian, but I guess if you were a bored suburban housewife you might find it titillating

by Anonymousreply 40October 22, 2021 10:03 AM

Some of the pictures are just really bad. Like her pooping/peeing into a bowl? WTF was that?

by Anonymousreply 41October 22, 2021 10:06 AM

@r40, Depending on your experience level, "Sex for Dummies" might have been another good title

by Anonymousreply 42October 22, 2021 10:11 AM

[quote] She said in interviews that if Prince released a book like Sex everyone would say "That's Prince

I think that’s a fair enough point but my counter point would be that Prince was always very sexual in his lyrics, not just stage persona snd style of dress. Plus, he was a respected artist.

by Anonymousreply 43October 22, 2021 11:39 AM

I'm sure Sandra Bernhard secretly wanted to be part of it. She had an edgy image, just posed in Playboy. But Ingrid dove between Madonna's legs ASAP and probably was a big influence on the dykey vibe of the book

by Anonymousreply 44October 22, 2021 8:13 PM

Big Daddy Kane is obviously glassy-eyed drunk

by Anonymousreply 45October 22, 2021 9:03 PM

Who here still has an "unslit Mylar" copy of the book?

by Anonymousreply 46October 22, 2021 9:14 PM

Bored of Madonna haters.

by Anonymousreply 47October 22, 2021 9:17 PM

Her career was A Star is Born legend until the Sex book and I wonder what her career, legacy and reputation would be had she not done it

by Anonymousreply 48October 22, 2021 9:27 PM

I have it and what stands out is how retouched the photographs are. The design was ahead of it's time though and still stands up.

by Anonymousreply 49October 22, 2021 9:44 PM

Is there an audiobook version? Perhaps read by Dame Judi Dench?

by Anonymousreply 50October 22, 2021 9:51 PM

[quote]It's biggest crime was that it wasn't erotic, or sexy.

I agree. Madonna has a very cold, clinical eye towards sexuality, I find.

The book is a giant 'fuck you' to people, more than an exploration of sexuality, which becomes really clear when you hear the story about how, before she set up Maverick, Warner Bros told her she could only do the book on condition of: no religious imagery, no bestiality and no under age stuff.

So, she sets up Maverick and suddenly the book has pictures of Madonna and religious imagery, with a dog, and a story about having sex with a 14 year old. You can tell she thought she was being so funny doing that.

by Anonymousreply 51October 22, 2021 9:53 PM

It was more embarassing that provocative. Like people above have said, it just wasn't sexy. Even her backup dancer Nikki said "it WASN'T sexy!".

by Anonymousreply 52October 22, 2021 10:19 PM

The Gaiety was a gay-for-pay strip club. If she really wanted to show where the real action was happening in the nineties she would have gone to Rolling Stones Ron Wood's former club "Woody's", the Bijou on the Lower East Side

by Anonymousreply 53October 23, 2021 4:44 AM

But she has beautiful tits.

by Anonymousreply 54October 23, 2021 4:55 AM

I guess it was a poor career choice, not living up to the hype, and tacky at the time (one of her many bids for attention and controversy). But in hindsight, and viewed outside of the lens of Madonna’s career, I actually like the photos, Big Daddy Kane and Naomi Campbell looked beautiful. I see even the photos of Madonna on a lot of Tumblr/Pinterest/Moodboard type instagram pages, I think in many decades time it will be looked upon more fondly (like how people search for Marilyn Monroe’s nudie shoots), mostly just on a visual level than in terms of people discussing the content or words in it.. more like a vintage time capsule of that part of the 90s.

by Anonymousreply 55October 23, 2021 5:13 AM

I bought it right when it came out (with the promo Erotica single); one of the metal covers broke off & I can’t put it back on. I like the book, the pics are mostly ok, the writing is ridiculous though.

by Anonymousreply 56October 23, 2021 5:42 AM

I ended up trading mine in to a bookstore because it didn't spark joy and I didn't want it among my belongings to be sifted through when I die

by Anonymousreply 57October 23, 2021 5:46 AM

Madge has grown so much since she fucked a dog in that coffee table book!

by Anonymousreply 58October 23, 2021 5:47 AM

"I gave the bookseller a stack of my books, including "Sex,"

The ones stacked next to the toilet- or the ones on the coffee table?

by Anonymousreply 59October 23, 2021 6:05 AM

My brother bought me a sealed copy of the Japanese edition for Christmas last year (he's a fellow gay). He's like "you can sell it if you want... but I'd hold on to it!". I am holding onto it.

by Anonymousreply 60October 23, 2021 7:49 AM

The lesbians in the book were unbelievably ugly.

by Anonymousreply 61October 23, 2021 9:10 AM

The writing was so stupid, but also nonsensical. The book is meant to have all this gay positive imagery, the letters follow this line of her writing to her boyfriend about how much sex she's having with Ingrid... then at the end she finds out her boyfriend is also having sex with another guy... and she promptly starts making fun of him and insulting him for it? I didn't get it.

by Anonymousreply 62October 23, 2021 9:29 PM

I've always wondered if Erotica would've done better had the sex book and Body of Evidence hadn't been released. Or were people just tired of her sex antics anyway? Releasing Thief of Hearts instead of that dreary Bad Girl would've helped IMO.

by Anonymousreply 63October 24, 2021 2:00 PM

I still remember David Spade’s bit on SNL: “Hey, Dad, I wrote a book!” This was accompanied by the picture of Madonna crouching semi-nude over a dog.

by Anonymousreply 64October 24, 2021 2:21 PM

She boasted or falsely boasted about fucking a 14 year old and then compared her private parts to that of an infant's. Camille alledgedly once caught her trying to make out with a 16 year old. All of these things are completely fucked up. I'm surprised cancel culture hasn't tried to crucify her.

by Anonymousreply 65October 24, 2021 2:35 PM

There's really nothing left there to crucify.

by Anonymousreply 66October 24, 2021 5:47 PM

You have to remember - she had also filmed the sexual 'thriller' film Body of Evidence which released just a few weeks after the book. I think she was trying to create some sort of synergy between the two.

Both were awful. Yes, my bf bought it the day it came out - it was really expensive and just very juvenile. Her whole "Dita" shit and writings were incredibly embarrassing and could have been left out.

This is when her fame started to fuck with her head. And it's been a sad depressing downfall since.

by Anonymousreply 67October 24, 2021 5:53 PM

I was 15 at the time but even I was puzzled as to why she was releasing this. Obviously she was trying to push the envelope more and up the ante with the controversies, since the Like a Prayer video/Pepsi fiasco, Justify My Love video and Truth or Dare controversies had kept her in the headlines.

It's a shame though that all the hoopla over the book overshadowed Erotica, which I think is one of her best albums. And it showed that Madonna didn't really understand that people actually did like her for her music. All the sex stuff was unnecessary.

There was nothing groundbreaking or noteworthy about Sex, which is why it was such a disappointment since Madonna was released at her peak. Blond Ambition and Justify My Love were both bold statements about sexuality but they were also well-conceived and designed. The Sex book was just... ugly. As a poster said above, Herb Ritts would have brought out the sensuality and humour; Meisel made her look harsh and unsexy but I think she was going for the latter anyway.

by Anonymousreply 68October 24, 2021 6:00 PM

The sexiest thing she could have done is just released the Sex video which was a promo and filled with clips from the photo sessions. It would have been intriguing and you would want to know more about what went on. The book blew the lid off the fantasy and is surprisingly not sexy or even titillating

by Anonymousreply 69October 24, 2021 6:46 PM

I’ve never thought of Madonna as genuinely sexy or titillating oddly. Charismatic yes but not the other stuff.

by Anonymousreply 70October 24, 2021 7:34 PM

Madonna was never a real beauty. Much hotter women on the streets of Hell's Kitchen or West Hollywood.

by Anonymousreply 71October 25, 2021 12:29 PM

I'd say it is comparable to "Satanic Majesties Request." Both were critical flops, but commercial successes.

by Anonymousreply 72October 25, 2021 1:11 PM

I liked parts of it.

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