Cate- Good point about the darker side, and I keep looking for a whips-and-chains image that moves me positively toward an appreciation of the negative, but no luck so far.

Can an erotic (forget pornographic) art image only be 'art' if it is positive in nature? Your right - no - not if you are totally objective, and that brings us back to Mapplethorpe, where if nothing else we quickly learn what our own personal definition of negative is.