Wikipedia | Madonna – Sex (Book)

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Sex (Book)

Sex
Cover of Madonna's Sex Book.jpg

The Mylar sheet wrapped cover of Sex, showing Madonna’s face
Author Madonna
Cover artist Steven Meisel
Country United States
Genre
Publisher
Publication date
October 21, 1992
Media type Print (hardback)
ISBN 978-84-406-3117-6
OCLC 26846575
779/.28
LC Class ML420.M1387

Sex is a 1992 book written by American entertainer Madonna, with photography by Steven Meisel Studio and Fabien Baron. It was edited by Glenn O’Brien and published by Warner Books, Maverick and Callaway. The book features adult content including softcore pornography and simulations of sexual acts including sadomasochism.

Madonna developed Sex after Judith Regan of Simon & Schuster publishers suggested a book of erotic photographs. She wrote it as a character named “Mistress Dita”, inspired by 1930s film actress Dita Parlo. It was influenced by punk rock and fashion figures including Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe. The photos were shot in early 1992 in New York City and Miami, in locations including hotels, burlesque theaters, and city streets. The book includes cameos by actress Isabella Rossellini, rappers Big Daddy Kane and Vanilla Ice, model Naomi Campbell, gay porn star Joey Stefano, actor Udo Kier, and socialite Tatiana von Fürstenberg. The cover is made of aluminium, spiral bound and wrapped in a Mylar sheet.

Madonna’s publishers were apprehensive about the release and the book’s commercial potential. It was released on October 21, 1992, the day after Madonna’s fifth studio album Erotica. A CD single with the song “Erotic” was also packaged with the book. It sold over 150,000 copies on its first day, and remains the fastest-selling coffee table book. Sex topped the New York Times Best Seller list and went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Sex attracted extensive media attention and backlash, but Madonna remains unapologetic. Though it initially received negative reviews from fans and critics, who felt she had “gone too far”, later reviews have been more positive, with academics deeming it a defining phase in Madonna’s career. Sex is noted for its social and cultural impact and is considered a bold post-feminist work. It has become one of the most sought-after out-of-print books.