“Lust, Intrigue, And Terrorism… Latino Style”: Robert Oscar Lopez Wrote Another Bizarre Gay Erotica Novel
February 04, 2014 8:37 am ET by Carlos Maza
Prominent anti-gay activist and conservative commentator Robert Oscar Lopez has self-published his second book of fictional gay erotica, filled with deeply disturbing depictions of gay sex and rape.
Lopez has become a popular fixture in conservative intellectual circles over the past few years. As a self-identified bisexual whose mother was in a same-sex relationship during his childhood, his extreme brand of homophobic commentary has made him a unique and useful spokesperson for some of the America’s most notorious anti-gay groups and publications. He even testified in opposition to Minnesota’s marriage equality law.
In March of 2013, however, Lopez began self-publishing a series of gay fiction novels titled “Mean Gays.” According to Lopez, the series is meant to encourage gay people to examine their interactions and stop being mean to each other. He even developed a website, Twitter handle, and UStream account to promote the series.
The first book in the series, Johnson Park, is a story about “five gay boys” in New York caught in a ridiculous web of sexual drama and violence. The novel depicted gay men as lonely, depressed, deceptive, and, of course, pedophilic.
Following an Equality Matters’ write-up of his first book, Lopez took a short hiatus in August to improve his writing and “take into the account the critiques I’ve gotten from literary experts.” He also took down the blog he was using to promote his books.
But the hiatus was short-lived. By the end of the month, Lopez published the second entry in his “Mean Gays” series: The Melville Affair.
“Lust, Intrigue, And Terrorism… Latino Style”
The Melville Affair is described by Lopez as “a raunchy and violent novel” on his blog.
The plot of the book itself is a mess, centering loosely around two central figures – Dodson Silva, a gay man who is dragged into becoming his older lover’s sex slave and eventually becomes famous in gay pornography for his elastic anus, and Carmela Andares, a Latina author whose life’s work gets compromised after it’s made into a big budget movie.
Most of the book is spent trying to explain how the novel’s dozen or so disparate characters come to know each other over the course of a decade – at weddings, at business meetings, at sex parties, etc.
After 550 pages of backstory, Dodson and Carmela meet at a dinner party and immediately decide to help each other seek revenge against the people who have wronged them. With no training, they manage to blow up the art gallery belonging to Dodson’s former lover and the studio that turned Carmela’s book into a movie. Afterward, they manage to avoid capture while the rest of the novel’s characters are rounded up and sent to the Middle East to be brutally tortured by the U.S. government for information.
At the end of the book, the government gives up on searching for Carmela and Dodson and the rest of the novel’s characters are released to live out their lives in peace.
The Melville Affair is a painful read. As with Johnson Park, Lopez continues to rely on ridiculous character monologues to deliver important information and use absurd coincidences to tie the novel’s characters together. His writing is simultaneously lazy and overindulgent, glossing over major plot details while focusing endlessly on graphic depictions of sex, violence, and torture.
The book is also a clumsy attempt to comment on Latino-Anglo tensions in America. White characters are obscenely racist, Latino characters deliver cringe worthy and melodramatic lines about their heritage and identity, and the entire novel takes place during a time when Latinos are inexplicably on the verge of rioting in the streets against white America. When government agents round up the book’s cast of characters for interrogation, it’s because they suspect – without any evidence – that the bombings were part of a Latino terrorist plot. Carmela and Dodson need to be brought to justice, one interrogator explains, to avoid a major war between the U.S. and South America.
Rape, Exploitation, And Homosexuality In The Melville Affair
Much like with Johnson Park, however, the most troubling parts of The Melville Affair are the ways that Lopez writes about homosexuality and sex.
In a January 19 blog post on his personal blog, Lopez issued one of his many screeds against the gay male community, which he believes encourages gay men to prey on boys and coerce them into having painful and frequently non-consensual anal sex. He described in graphic detail how teenage boys might learn to have gay sex with older partners, even describing the “foul odor” they might have to deal with after intercourse. Many boys, Lopez argued, would walk away from gay sex experiencing the “chronic PTSD that one would expect of rape victims.”
He went on to describe in a since-deleted passage his own traumatic experiences with male sexual partners while growing up, writing:
My first time being introduced to this act, at the age of thirteen, is the classic case of how one shouldn't start: I was screaming in pain, bleeding, totally blown off by my sex partner, and left in pain for days.
Gay peers thought I was making a big deal about nothing and told me that I had to do more of it so the pain would go away. This led me to seek out more partners who were more aggressive and often wouldn't stop when I asked them to.
Those same types of problematic sexual situations appear several times through The Melville Affair through Lopez’s gratuitous and frequently disturbing depictions of homosexuality and sex – most of which have no bearing on the plot.
Gay Sex Is Degrading, Abusive, And Violent. The character Dodson is the central vehicle by which Lopez introduces warped sex scenes into his book. As a college student, Dodson is pursued by Austan Melville, a much older “sodomite” and “perverted monster” who’s been preying on younger boys since he was twelve. Austan seduces Dodson, and their first sexual encounter is painful enough to cause prolonged internal bleeding. Dodson inexplicably decides to drop out of college and become Austan’s sex slave, leading him to a life of violent sexual exploitation. He is repeatedly drugged and forced to perform at sex parties with complete strangers, often while being called a “dirty Latin faggot” by other gay men. In one especially disturbing scene, Dodson fondly describes his experience at a sex party:
Suddenly I’m in the sling, seeing nothing but groins around me, hard cocks bouncing in my face, and strong hands groping me, pulling my head, my arms, and my legs in different directions. I feel my body full of things – I don’t know if it’s flesh or manmade, a finger or a dick or a piece of plastic – and I hear the crowd chant: You dirty Latin faggot. My whole body stretches; every hole gapes at its maximum opening. I’m a toilet, an unthinking orifice to be sacrificed to their delights. Everyone uses me. Everyone is Austan.
I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. This is my Golden Age.
That’s just one of many graphic and troubling depictions of gay sex in The Melville Affair. By the end of the book, Dodson has been so sexually abused that he’s forced to consider anal reconstructive surgery.
Rape, Gang Rape, And Fetishizing Sexual Violence. Many of The Melville Affair’s sex scenes are non-consensual. Dodson is drugged and raped by strangers at sex parties and even by Austan’s close friend. After Carmela and Dodson’s attacks, a female character is gang raped and then killed by interrogators. Another character is forced to watch his wife be raped and impregnated by her own gay brother at gunpoint until he confesses his knowledge of the terrorist attacks.
And in a scene that highlights Lopez’s twisted fascination with gay rape, three male friends – all heterosexual – are forced by their interrogators to rape each other until they confess to being terrorists. The lead interrogator calls off the experiment once he realizes that the men are actually enjoying raping each other.
Pedophilia And Incest. Much like in Johnson Park, Lopez peppers The Melville Affair with the suggestion that gay men harbor pedophilic and other deviant sexual desires. Austan is described as a serial pederast, with a reputation for preying on boys and young men. Dodson apparently adopts his taste for underage boys, helping him pick a 16-year-old-boy off the street in order to have sex with him.
Incest also makes several appearances in The Melville Affair, including Dodson’s fantasizing about being anally penetrated by his twin brother as a teenager.
“Purging” Traumatic Experiences
Lopez’s writing in The Melville Affair echoes the way he’s written about gay men in his professional career, describing them as sexual predators and accusing them of living like “rutting, uncontrolled animals.”
On his personal blog, Lopez describes The Melville Affair as an attempt to “explore lurid experiences as a means of purging them”:
I was experimental when I was writing it, trying to explore lurid experiences as a means of purging them. Don't go near the book if you're squeamish about homosexuality, bondage, torture, or violence.
It’s unclear what experiences Lopez is trying to purge, or where he’s trying to purge them from. It’s possible that Lopez’s own traumatic sexual history has informed the way he describes gay men and homosexuality in his political commentary – to say nothing of the way he writes about them in his novels.
Either way, it doesn’t excuse Lopez’s career of attempting to depict all gay men as abusive sexual predators. In a recent blog post, Lopez wrote that the “It Gets Better” project encouraged boys to “go out and get fucked up the ass by older men, with the result that now a lot of them are going to die from AIDS.” In January, he submitted a speech to an anti-equality rally in Utah, equating gay adoptive parents with slave owners. Even as he writes lurid gay sex scenes into his personal series of gay erotica, Lopez continues to promote his extreme anti-LGBT worldview to fight against any effort to protect and accommodate LGBT people.
Like Johnson Park, The Melville Affair’s “About The Author” does not mention Lopez’s career as an anti-gay commentator, nor does it mention the university he’s affiliated with, CSU Northridge.
The book opens with two quotes – one from Hesiod’s “Works and Days,” and a second:
“Everyone’s a drag queen. Some kinds of makeup just stay on longer than others.” – a drag queen