Harlequin’s posted a flowchart to help out readers of this re-invigorated genre. It’s not a great flow chart, for many reasons, but worthy of a giggle or two: http://www.harlequin.com/store.html?cid=3450
I prefer my romances a little more romantic and and little less acrobatic. Not that I have anything against erotic fiction, but of the stories in that genre that I have read, the ones I liked the most are the ones with interesting relationships. Speaking of interesting relationships, my review of Hired By the Cowboy is almost ready.
Erotic poetry beats erotic fiction every time – literally, because it has rhythm. Paul Fussell’s Poetic Meter and Poetic Form notes that “the pleasures of meter are essentially physical and as intimately connected with the rhythmic quality of our total experience as the similarly alternating and recurring phenomena of breathing, walking, or love-making.” It’s also shorter – handy for notes of affection or for reading aloud as foreplay. And while some is deeply symbolic and touching, such as e. e. cummings “I Carry Your Heart,” some is more, shall we say, direct, such as Robert Herrick’s “Upon Julia’s Breasts:”
Display thy breasts, my Julia – there let me
Behold that circummortal purity,
Between whose glories there my lips I’ll lay,
Ravish’d in that fair via lactea.
I’ll take a few sweet lines over fifty shades any day.