Sunday, March 20, 2005


My name is Dita

Madonna's infamous 'Sex' book from 1992, with photographs by Steven Meisel.

Format: Book with CD
Release: Sept. 1992

Madonna's infamous spiral-bound 'Sex' book comes in a Mylar-wrapper and includes the promo-only single CD 'Erotic'. It sold an astonishing 500,000 copies during its first week of sale - and it wasn't premature. 'Sex' was originally titled 'The Rock,' but changed at the last minute. Despite all the criticism, controversy and negativity received, it is not easy to forget how well Madonna succeeded.

Critically brandished and criticized, Madonna's infamous book containing semi-pornographic photographs only sold 1.5 million copies. When shooting for the book began, Madonna employed only the best team that she could trust, under conditions of tight secrecy. Madonna and Steven Meisel, the chosen photographer, took more than 25,000 erotic pictures in New York and Florida during the winter of 1991 and the spring of 1992 respectively. The media's interest in the book was disingeneous, although much of the backlash was due to Warner Books' crazy edict banning advance copies from being reviewed. The reviewers prefer not to be shocked though - the biggest taboo of all though was to admit being aroused by the whole affair.

Few took trouble to read the disclaimer on the second page where Madonna declares, "This book is about sex. Sex is not love. Love is not sex. But the best of both worlds is created when they come together. Nothing in this book is true. I made it all up."

Now out-of-print, 'Sex', was one of the 90's greatest marketing hypes due to its graphic depiction of sex. Where else can you see Madonna strutting down Miami Beach with Vanilla Ice naked, or see her making out with such high-octane celebrities such as Isabella Rossellini and Naomi Campbell? Amongst the A-list, murked a darker, forbidden tale of lust and raw sensuality.

The book, which was bounded in an orginal format involving two sheets of metal, each numbered, and sealed in a Mylar plastic sleeve is genius. Madonna must have had a reason to do something so creative, yet so risqué.

In all it's form and criticism, 'Sex' remains a classic because it single-handedly re-opened the sexual revolution in the evangelicalism the 90's brought. Homosexuality, lesbianism, and fetishes were all somewhat taboos in discussion or shown in public. However attitudes have changed. One could state that Madonna was a pioneer. Moreso, she deserves credit for being the most controversial, daring woman of the 20th century.

My name is Dita. I'll be your mistress tonight. I'd like to put you in a trance. If I take you from behind. Push myself into your mind. When you least expect it. Will you try and reject it. If I'm in charge and I treat you like a child. Will you let yourself go wild. Let my mouth go where it wants to. Give it up, do as I say. Give it up and let me have my way...

_ review source: Madonna Like You've Never Seen Her Before, July 18, 2000 Reviewer: Luis Hernandez (New York, New York, USA)


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