Unboxing ‘Sex’

The 14 year-old me is thrilled to have finally found/picked up a copy of Madonna’s Sex book… The 39 year old me? Well… May God forgive me.

It’s now 2017, and the world is different than it was 25 years ago. In 1992, Sex was probably rather risque, what with the various situations, fantasies, acts, and whatnot depicted in it, but in 2017, with an obscenity in the White House and more graphic depictions of sex on broadcast television, it’s almost quaint. Looking at it now, there’s almost something juvenile about it, almost. It reminds me of some of the poetry I wrote in 1996/7: it’s really rather pretentious.

The photography is fine, just what you’d expect from Steven Meisel a professional fashion photographer; the writing is second rate, at best, but then, you probably don’t buy Sex to read Madonna’s thoughts on the subject; none of it is particularly inspiring or titillating or risque, especially 25 years later. The design is interesting, with the metal covers (that tend to fall off: the ones on my copy haven’t, but the rear one is barely still on the spiral) and the mixed paper stocks and printing techniques.

Concept
Content
Design

Overall, I’d give it a miserable 2.6 stars, and that’s probably being generous.

Why did I buy this? I’m not sure. It fits in with the mixed text/photo collection I have going, though it doesn’t do anything particularly special with anything it has, not with the rock star photographer or the rock star or the budget or the mixed medias or anything. (That said, I haven’t listened to the cd…) Overall, the 39 year old me is happy to finally get a look at what all the hubbub was about, and it’s a good addition to my collection, I guess, but if I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn’t bother.

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