As Madonna contemplates a future away from the “silly game” of fame, she is almost certain the Sex book and her brief flirtation with bisexuality will continue to define her. I ask what she thinks of the Sex book today.
“I think it’s funny.”
Was it funny in 1992, when it was released?
“Yeah. I meant it in a very tongue-and-cheek way. I meant to poke a hole at the whole idea of the taboo of sexuality.
“What I predicted would happen, happened: everyone went out and bought the book, it sold out, then everyone slagged it off, which to me is an absolute reflection of public attitudes towards sex in America. It did,” Madonna says proudly, “what I intended to do.”
“All I ever wanted to do in my honesty about sexuality, in my portrayal of sexuality, was to try to make people feel less ashamed about it. Just be comfortable about who you are.”
And the motivation behind her lesbian phase?
“My motivation wasn’t lesbianism per se, but just gay sexuality, period. It really grosses me out that people are so freaked out about the concept of two men kissing. It’s like: what’s the big deal?”
“The motivation was to take gay culture from the dark, dark underaspect of life and bring it to the mainstream. It just seems weird to me that gay culture, in our society, is annexed off.”
The interview is in its closing stages. I ask Madonna to indulge in a quick game of word association. I fire off the titles of six of her classic, defining albums, and she has to say the first thing that comes to mind.
Madonna, the self-titled debut album?
“Baby,” she laughs.
Like A Virgin?
Like A Prayer?
Ray of Light?
“Oh,” she says, startled by a thump at the door, then strains of laughter and cheerful ga-ga from her daughter, Lourdes.
“Her,” Madonna says, her smile brightening. “Her.”
© Herald Sun Weekend