Ever since a group of us decided to experiment with writing an erotica story, I've been more attuned to erotica in the headlines. A few interesting articles have been published lately concentrating on the new lines of erotica being offered by the major publishing houses.
This one in USA Today, titled "Romance novels for women get frankly sexual", seems to fail to realize that many of these erotica books are not really part of the romance genre (according to RWA, two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.)
The romance version of erotica is being called "romantica" or "erotic romance." A good definition can be found in the FAQ page of the website for Passionate Ink, the erotic romance writers special interest chapter of Romance Writers of America.
The Toronto Star offers this collection of wisdom under the title "Erotic romance novels turn up the heat: Publishers add spice between pages: Erotic fiction that's sexual but not crude". There's a nice sidebar with tips titled "Don't let sex drive the whole story".
Now, for a completely fun twist, another story has been circulating that has some interesting stats attributed to some psychology resources: "Romance Novels: Are They the Antidote to a Dreary Sex Life?"
To excerpt from the article: "Women who read romance novels make love with their partners 74% more often than women who don’t, according to Psychology Today. Furthermore, when women fantasize frequently (as they do when they read romance novels), they have sex more often, have more fun in bed, and engage in a wider variety of erotic activities, according to a report in Psychological Bulletin."