"I like my pussy."
BOOK REVIEW: SEX BY MADONNA
by Richard Karsmakers
The other day I went to a friend's who threw a party to the
honour of his birthday. Apart from the fact that the entire
happening seemed to be filled with people dressed in army boots,
shabby clothes and, let's say, alternative trousers and hairdos,
the thing that most discomforted me was the fact that this
particular friend had bought Madonna's overhyped "Sex" and that
his copy of the book was roaming the party, too.
I get over different people easily. Although I felt somewhat out
of place initially, later things went OK. The book was something
quite different, though.
So far, some way or other, I had not seen anything of it. OK, I
had seen the picture where she hangs nude on this trapeze sort of
thing, as well as the one where she sticks her nose up some gay
dude's bum. But that was about it. Also, I had heard that it cost
about 85 Dutch guilders, which is an amount I would never shell
out for a picture book, not even a comparable one if it would
have been written by Metallica's James Hetfield (though I'm not
I eventually got my chance to have a look at it. In my hands I
finally held the book that so many people had talked about, even
though most of these had only heard about it.
In retrospect I'm quite certain that, had all these people
actually already seen it, they would have spoken differently
about it or, indeed, not at all.
Madonna has spent the last two years or so of her career
provoking people by repeatedly grabbing herself in the groin,
releasing the slightly provocative "In Bed with Madonna" film,
and doing sortof erotic things on a bed during her live
performances. Personally, of course, I think there is nothing
wrong with sexual freedom, woman's lib and feminism, which are
(arguably) the causes behind Madonna's overt behaviour. At least
it wakes up the powers that be, parents and all other people who
have been corroded into mental immobility by conservative
viewpoints and general stubbornness. Perhaps Madonna has
performed a great service to today's youth, breaking sexual
prohibitions where they still existed. No parent can get around
to explaining what masturbation is after their child has seen
Madonna on stage.
Anyway, when you look at Madonna's book "Sex" one would
seriously start to wonder if perhaps things have gone to her
head. With the possibility of sharing myself behind the moral
majority I loathe so much, I would have to admit that most of the
book could be classified as pornography if it weren't for the
fact that you don't actually get to see some typical items ever
present in the genuine stuff (ejaculations, erect penises, close-
ups on oral sex, that sort of thing).
Half of the book seems to contain not particularly handsome
skinheads doings all kinds of things with each other or with
Madonna, whereas extensive photographic side tours are given to
obscure nightclubs where nude men consider it fun being sat on by
other males of the more dominant persuasion wearing tuxedos.
After I had leafed through the book I didn't actually feel like
I had expected. I had expected wonder, or mild shock or
something. In the best case I had anticipated sexual arousal
perhaps (Madonna isn't exactly the ugliest of females, and the
book also features a photo with prime black female model Naomi
Campbell). Instead, I found that about half a dozen pictures were
in some way pleasing (usually artistically, sometimes
aesthetically) and that the others were either plain
exhibitionism or too bizarre for my taste. There's quite a bit of
SM stuff in it (though not too explicit), which I reckon isn't
about to increase feminism, emancipation or sexual awareness at
I couldn't quite put my finger on what "Sex" does to the
reader's perception of 'sex' as a concept. I for one think that
sex is the most brilliant thing ever conceived by mankind. One
should do it as often as possible, as long as possible, and as
innovative as possible. I might sound conservative again, but to
me sex is something quite precious. If you don't want to limit
yourself to one partner you should at least have sex with people
that are special in some way or other (beautiful, or just very
nice, or that are special friends).
For the majority of people (oh my, the hated m-word there) I
think what "Sex" offers is an expensive view on the cheap side of
Yeah. That's where the finger should point to. "Sex" makes sex
cheap. I agree that sex is something that you should be able to
speak about. Madonna, however, tries to make sex as ordinary as
eating potatoes - which I think it isn't and definitely shouldn't
I know it sounds terribly previous-generation-ish to say that
certain stuff should be kept away from children. "Sex" is
written by Madonna who just happens to be a teenage idol. If I
had a teenage daughter I would risk being oldfashioned and not
buy her the book no matter how much she begged me for it.
As an art form, I think "Sex" is probably the most important
book of 1992. As a book, I think it's a load of utterly
uninteresting, cheap garbage that you should try not to part with
your hard-earned money for.
Best thing would be to buy it with two or three people (to make
sure you don't have to pay so much) and then throw it away. That
way you will have made a statement against the powers that be and
the previous generations, but your mind will remain unpolluted by
Oh yeah. I nearly forgot you also get a CD with it, with remixes
of her "Erotica" album. Even true Madonna fans I've spoken with
considered them crap.
All in all I'm afraid this article may have turned out the most
perfect advertisement for "Sex".
Just know that it wasn't intended to be. Broad-minded though I
usually claim to be, "Sex" has nothing for me.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.