Erotica / Erotic (from the Greek Eros - "desire") -- refers to works of art, including literature, photography, film, sculpture and painting, that deal substantively with erotically stimulating or arousing descriptions. Erotica is a modern work used to describe the portrayal of the human anatomy and sexuality with high-art aspirations.
There are various sub-genres of erotica. As with fiction as a whole, there are erotic stories with a science fiction, fantasy, horror or romance focus. Additionally, erotica can also focus specific sexual behavior or fetishes such as BDSM, wearing uniforms, cross-dresssing, polygamy and sexual promiscuity.
The distinction between erotica and pornography (as well as the lesser known genre of sexual entertainment, ribaldry) is different to identify as it is, to a degree, highly personal. Essentially, the difference lies in the individual's approach to sexuality and the sex act. Inexperience and a simplistic social model of sexuality tends to produce a prurient and undeveloped approach to sexual pleasure, which revels in the deliberate flouting and perversion of accepted moral principles. A more open view of sexuality tends to set the moral view aside and accepts that sexual gratification is the right of each human being and each has the right to pursue that in their own way without judgemental burdens being placed on them by external sources.
Erotic art tends to spring from this latter, more amoral viewpoint. Proponents for erotic art argue that such work is intended to be artistically interesting and deliberate rather than simply sexually stimulating, and is therefore not pornographic.
In general, "erotica" refers to portrayals of sexually arousing material that hold or aspire to artistic, scientific or human merit.