In general, the term erotica stands for a great variety of erotic works (of art). However, it is considered in particular to be the collective name for written works of various literature genres that have the sensual/physical components of love as their theme or emphasize them. Works of both a prosaic and a pornographic nature are called erotica, which also includes erotic manuals like the famous "Joy of Sex" by Alex Comfort (1920-2000) or the "Kamasutra Vatsyayana Mallanagas" (approx. 250 A.D).
Even if erotica is frequently alleged to be written by women, men are generally the true authors for almost all of these works, which is often also expressed in the distorted image of women that they contain.
The most popular authors and works are Giovanni Boccaccio‘s (1313–75) Il Decamerone, David Herbert Lawrence’s (1885-1930) "Lady Chatterley’s Lover", Dominique Aury’s (1907-98) "Story of O" (published under the pseudonym of Pauline Réage), and, obviously, the lifework of Marquis de Sade (1740-1814).
The spread of the internet has promoted the development of new forms of erotica like the so-called sex stories or blogs with erotic contents, some of which with high literary standards. They are often published just anonymously or with the use of pseudonyms. Examples of these are the erotic stories of Uther Pendragon or Dulcinea.