Sex was released alongside her fifth studio album Erotica, which was released a day earlier.
The book had a range of influences, from punk rock to earlier fashion iconoclasts such as Guy Bourdin and his surrealism, and Helmut Newton, in its stylized, sado-masochistic look.
Sex has photographs that feature adult content and softcore pornographic as well as simulations of sexual acts, including sadomasochism and analingus.
Madonna wrote the book as a character named "Mistress Dita", inspired by 1930s film actress Dita Parlo.
Sex is a coffee table book written by American singer Madonna, with photographs taken by Steven Meisel Studio and film frames shot by Fabien Baron.
The book was edited by Glenn O'Brien and was released on October 21, 1992, by Warner Books, Maverick and Callaway Books.
Approached with an idea for a book on erotic photographs, Madonna expanded on the idea and conceived the book and its content.Shot in early 1992 in New York City and Miami, the locations ranged from hotels and burlesque theaters, to the streets of Miami.It also includes cameos by actress Isabella Rossellini, rappers Big Daddy Kane and Vanilla Ice, model Naomi Campbell, gay porn star Joey Stefano, actor Udo Kier, socialite Tatiana von Fürstenberg, and nightclub owner Ingrid Casares.The packaging for the book is made of aluminium, which was Madonna's idea, and is spiral bound and enclosed in a Mylar sheet.Due to the scandalous nature of the photographs and the media mayhem surrounding it from the initial preview of the book, Madonna did not have to promote Sex, except for a pre-release party and some television specials.Her publishers were extremely apprehensive about the release as well as its commercial potential.