When you go out club-hopping in LA. or New York, do you feel that’s a night out for you or are you scouting?
It depends. I’m always scouting. I’m a sponge and I see things and I reinterpret it, regurgitate it or whatever; I’m also very inspired by it. I like to watch people at The Vault just as much as people at the Beverly Center [an upscale L.A. mall]. I mean, there are freaks everywhere. And the best thing in the world about being anonymous is that you can watch people instead of being the person that’s watched.
Do you ever get sick of being Madonna?
Yes, I do. I do. Sometimes, I just want to go to a movie and not have someone pull on my shirt, you know what I mean? I mean, I can’t go grocery shopping, and a lot of times, my secretaries don’t get me what I want. And I think, “God, if I could just go myself, I’d get the right kind of cereal.”
What’s the distinction for you between eroticism and pornography? Is there anything you consider pornographic?
A snuff movie. The issue is consent, mutual consent.
Did everything you wanted in the book get in the book? No problems from Warner Books?
No, there was not one image that I really wanted that somebody said, “You can’t do this.” It was great.
Have you read Camille Paglia’s controversial essays on you? You’re a kind of goddess to her.
I know that I’m mentioned in all of her articles. She thinks she knows me really, really well. I’ve read lots of things she’s said about me. She was reviewing my appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show” with Rosie O’Donnell, and I think I disappointed her because I just was being completely silly. I think Camille was expecting me to come out there and be some sort of feminist warrior for her.
Do you have any interest in meeting her?
First, I’d like to see her across the room and then I’d like to decide whether I want to approach her.
Are you aware that there’s this huge academic industry in writing about you?
Yes. It’s very amusing. It’s flattering.
Did you ever imagine …
See, I never imagined any of this. I never imagined any of it. But now it’s happened. It’s my life.
When you do a book like this, everyone asks, How is she going to top it? What do you have to do to got attention after you do “Sex”?
That’s implying that I just did it for attention. I mean, it’s an incredible insult. When De Niro does a great performance in a movie, does everyone say, “Well, what’s he going to do next?” So why do people do that to me?
Because there’s always a certain amount of scandal in your career.
But to me, the scandal is only a reflection of other people’s hang-ups. If only people would just judge it for what it was. Is it a good song, is it a good video, is it a good movie, is it a good book?
It’s just that the arena that I choose to express myself in is sexuality, and sexuality has always been a taboo subject. But I’m trying to change that. When people say, “What are you going to do next?” I just laugh, because I’m just going to do what I do, and I’m going to keep doing it.