‘You’re welcome’: Madonna marks 30th anniversary of iconic ‘Sex’ book


Madonna's 1992 book Sex and an Australian 60 Minutes interview
Images: Supplied, YouTube

Madonna has reflected on the “narrow-minded” criticism – including from Australian media – she faced after releasing her iconic book Sex 30 years ago.

Back in 1992, the singer released the explicit 128-page coffee table book shortly after her fifth studio album Erotica.

The book – which came sealed in condom wrapper-like foil – contains an array of nude photos of the singer simulating sex acts and BDSM scenes with various models, including stars like Naomi Campbell, Isabella Rossellini and Vanilla Ice.

Sex sold more than 150,000 copies in one day in the US. It would go on to sell millions of copies worldwide. It remains the fastest-selling coffee table book of all time, and each copy is still a highly sought after collector’s item.

At the weekend Madonna took to Instagram to recall the “years” of backlash she received for the book because of its explicit content.

“30 years ago, I published a book called Sex,” Madonna wrote in the now-deleted Instagram Story.

“In addition to photos of me naked there were photos of men kissing men, woman kissing woman and me kissing everyone.

“I also wrote about my sexual fantasies and shared my point of view about sexuality in an ironic way.

Madonna went on, “I spent the next few years being interviewed by narrow-minded people who tried to shame me for empowering myself as a woman.

“I was called a whore, a witch, a heretic and the devil.

“Now Cardi B can sing about her WAP. Kim Kardashian can grace the cover of any magazine with her naked ass, and Miley Cyrus can come in like a wrecking ball.”

Madonna finished the post by adding, “You’re welcome bitches.”

Madonna resurfaces 1992 Australian interview about ‘Sex’

On her Instagram Stories, Madonna also shared a clip of her 1992 interview with Australian 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton to Instagram.

When Carleton asked Madonna if there was a message in the book, she asked the interviewer, “What did you get out of it?”

Carleton replied, “I got a fright. I’d never seen the likes of it.”

Madonna responded, “You have so. Oh, please. You’ve never read Playboy magazine or Penthouse or anything like that?”

Carleton responded, “Yes, but it was different with you. The picture of you astride the mirror, masturbating? I thought that was horrible. It just strikes me as horrible.”

But Madonna queried why exactly it was so “frightening”.

“I think people’s reaction to specific situations in the book was much more a reflection of that person than me,” she said.

“Are you frightened of a woman who can turn herself on? Are you frightened of a woman who is not afraid to look at her genitals in the mirror?”

Carleton told her, “A little bit, yes. That’s right. I don’t know why. But I’m here to talk about you, not me.”

“Oh, okay… I’d rather talk about you,” Madonna laughed.

Watch the full 1992 60 Minutes interview below:

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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