Sex sells. We know this. Implied sex also sells, and perhaps even more-so considering the audience for discreet sex is much wider (puritans can’t hate what they can’t define, right?).
But sometimes I’m not sure if I’m recognizing the marketing money-shot, or if I’m just perverted. Take a look at these possible vaginas and let me know in the comments.
No need to question the intent with this one. Bibliophiliacs rejoice.
It’s generally accepted that science fiction fans, at least traditionally, are sex-starved. If Dungeons & Dragons/Star Wars stereotypes have any root in truth, most sci-fi fans aren’t motivated by sex…unless that sex comes by way of a giant octopus vagina space monster.
Another obvious one (what is it with literary magazines and lack-of-subtlety?). At least this one apparently tries to imply a message by visual tension…a purse and a puss? I’d say there’s something about money being involved in sex, somewhere in this issue.
If you happen to own a mother’s purse candle (which can be purchased here), then I’m afraid your life just got a lot more Oedipal after reading this blog post. This candle store sits not far from where I live. The candle really does smell like a mother’s purse. Needless to say, I’m never reading this issue of Granta.
The Commoner: a novel by John Burnham Schwartz
Of all the covers, this one has the potential to be the most unintentional. The view from a womb perspective here probably doesn’t actually exist, the curtains are probably not of the beef variety. In fact, the bold section below (from the Amazon.com synopsis) is the only evidence that leads me to believe that not only womanhood, but the vagina itself, plays an important role in the novel, and therefore makes this cover vaginal.
It is 1959 when Haruko, a young woman of good family, marries the Crown Prince of Japan, the heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne. She is the first non-aristocratic woman to enter the longest-running, almost hermetically sealed, and mysterious monarchy in the world. Met with cruelty and suspicion by the Empress and her minions, Haruko is controlled at every turn. The only interest the court has in her is her ability to produce an heir.
Richard Yates by Tao Lin
Here’s how much of a nerd I am. Until very recently, I looked at this cover and thought only of Rene Magritte’s bowler hat series (see below). I’ve always known that my testosterone and sex drive were both low, so it makes sense that I would see the image of a 1960 Belgium surrealist painting rather than a vagina.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
This cover was never actually released. Instead, the 50th anniversary edition was toned down, though quite simply so. In fact, a single 90-degree turn and a hue alteration changed this cover from offensive to universally tame.
So, what do you think? Am I a pervert? Are you a pervert?
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About Caleb J. Ross
Caleb began writing his sophomore year of undergrad study when, tired of the formal art education then being taught, he abandoned the pursuit in the middle of a compositional drawing class. Major-less and fearful of losing his financial aid, he signed up to seek a degree in English Literature for no other reason than his lengthy history with the language. Coincidentally, this decision not only introduced him to writing but to reading as well. Prior this transition he had read three books. One of which he understood.