The conversation started over a discussion of X-Women #1 - One-Shot and Emma Frost: Ultimate Collection #1 - Emma Frost: Ultimate Collection, when Delphic noted that the former had been acquired shortly after getting over the "fear of people judging me because of what books I decide to pick up." It reminded me of how hesitant I had been to buy the Emma Frost book -- its Greg Horn cover a seeming magnet for judgmental glares -- and how I had actually delayed my reading of it because I didn't feel comfortable holding the book itself in public places.
While these may be more of a rarity for Marvel, companies like Zenescope and Aspen almost seem to run their business off the titillating covers to their stories. Obviously plenty of folks are ambivalent to that kind of thing, and others may, after having been convinced that the content within the pages justifies the purchase, be willing (albeit begrudgingly) to have the conversation should anyone give them a look or make a comment which suggests they're consuming smut. I noted that the ease of reading such comics on an iPad, without anyone around me seeing a lascivious cover, has led me to bypass the confrontation entirely, but to some extent this means I'm still allowing potential judgmental attitudes dictate my buying behavior.
So what about you? Are there certain books, companies, characters, etc. which you abstain from reading (or try to hide) because you're concerned about what others will say? Maybe it's not even anything specifically lewd or goofy...maybe it's the comics themselves that still generate a degree of shame (I'd imagine we all know at least one person close to us who harbors an outdated conception of comics as childish and brainless). Or are you just brimming with confidence?