Sex sells. Not always. Not forever. Not in space.

Every year, India’s magazines do a special annual survey. Not on the economy. Not on farmers suicides. Not on corruption. But on sex. A laborious, cover-to-cover exercise sprinkled with a dubious opinion poll and an esoteric social trend visible only to the author of the piece.

The spiel is that sex is well within the purivew of a magazine and that it is a dipstick test on how India is (and how Indians are) changing. In reality, it is a naked grab for numbers that the word “SEX” on the cover manages to bring.

But there is such a thing as diminishing returns. And Texas Monthly has just discovered that through its Astronaut Sex issue which has turned out to be the worst selling issue in the magazine’s history.

The magazine’s editor Evan Smith writes:

I could only imagine what the reaction would have been if, say, we had gone with the shuttle with a condom pulled down over it. Or the sign on a shuttle door that read, “If this shuttle’s rockin’, don’t bother knockin’.” Or the sign that read, “Do not disturb: Entry in progress.” Or the wordless shot of a shuttle entering a black hole.

Read the full story here: Astronaut Sex

Link via Romenesko

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