Madonna was at the top of her game in the late 1980s and early '90s. She had already redefined what it meant to be a female pop artist, and she cultivated her own brand of feminism. Madonna's first number one single, "Like A Virgin," was released in 1984. That track defined the young rule-breaker. She refused to shy away from singing about intimate topics.
Madonna reinforced her status as an innovative femme fatale in 1992; she released coffee table book, Sex and the world erupted. The book featured extremely graphic and erotic photographs, and Madonna starred in quite a few of the shots. After the controversial book release, the singer dropped popular album Erotica. Both artistic works boosted Madonna's notoriety. The public both loved and hated her explicit persona.
Madonna adopted a fictional alter ego while posing for Sex, and despite the controversy, her decision worked. The book was an instant best-seller and it's still incredibly in-demand.
The Book Was Packaged To Look Like A Condom, And It Sold Out In Days
Madonna really knew how to sell sex, and safe sex at that. The pages of her book were filled with sexual images and BDSM scenes, but the outside cover was just as flippant. The entire photographic collection was wrapped in a mylar bag that resembled condom latex. Fans absolutely loved it.
Over one million copies of the metal-bound coffee book were sold in a matter of days, and they went for $50 each. The excitement surrounding the book died down eventually, and it went out of print. However, Sex is still incredibly popular; it's one of the most sought after out-of-print books.
The Vatican Wanted Everyone To Boycott Her Because She Was "Morally Intolerable"
People at the Vatican were not big Madonna fans. The religious institution called her out and boycotted her on numerous occasions. And it's unsurprising because the irreverent singer burned crosses on stage, wore glittering crosses while performing, and even sang about teenage pregnancy. Nary a Catholic could call her the most devout role model. Madonna's 1992 novel, Sex, angered the pope even more. He considered the work to be especially lascivious.
In fact, many staunchly Catholic people deemed the star immoral for her newest creations. The Vatican actually encouraged consumers to boycott Madonna's book and music. One Catholic group in Paris even tried to sue the singer for being a bad influence on French youths. Their lawsuit failed.
Someone Called The Police On Her While She Was Taking Nude Photos For The Book
It wasn't easy for Madonna and her photographer, Steven Meisel, to get some of the more voyeuristic shots for Sex. Meisel used classic Miami Beach scenes as the backdrops for some of the photos. And Madonna played a risque housewife in a few scenes involving overt public nudity.
She pumped gas in black tights (and nothing else). She hitchhiked wearing nothing but a pair of black heels (and no one recognized her). She even ordered a pizza while nude. The owner of the pizza shop was not amused, however. In his frustration, he actually called the police on Madonna and her crew.
Madonna Let Her Alter Ego - Mistress Dita - Run The Show
Madonna outdid herself in 1992. She published innovative photography book Sex, and she released the immensely sensual album, Erotica. The former art collection featured explicit photographs and the latter offered a more bittersweet and romantic take on intimacy. Fans were especially shocked by the narrative technique Madonna chose to employ. One of her alter egos - Mistress Dita - posed suggestively for the book and sang on the album.
The character was inspired by 1930s star Dita Parlo. The golden age of Hollywood also influenced Madonna for "Material Girl" and "Vogue."