So what is it about the Spanish (cue the rolling r’s) that ignites the sexual imagination of so many people? It’s no coincidence that Anthony Weiner chose as his sexy alias the name Carlos Danger. The Latin lover – as well as the Latina spitfire, for that matter – are stereotypes celebrated and parodied for centuries, as Clara E. Rodríguez’s Heroes, Lovers and Others makes clear . And if you think it’s a thing of the past, what’s the accent that “Puss” has in the latest “Puss in Boots” movie? Or the sexy Antonio in “Despicable Me 2” and his father El Macho? You get the picture. Grrr.
So while the bad news for Twitter lotharios is that “Carlos Danger” is no longer exciting, check out some other possible “nombres” that are sure to stir the passions of many a Latin lover fan.
DON JUAN – Ah, the legendary libertine. Don Juan is the fictional equivalent of the historical Giacomo Casanova. The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest, a 17thcentury play by Spaniard Tirso de Molina, is the first written version of Don Juan’s story. Since then, the play has inspired many other works of art, from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni to the 1994 film Don Juan de Marco with Johnny Depp in the role of Don Juan and Marlon Brando as the psychiatrist who tries to cure him. In fact, savvy Twitter users might want to consider using the title of the Spanish 19th century play Don Juan Tenorio. In Spanish-speaking countries, “Don Juan” and “Tenorio” are conversational synonyms for “womanizer”.
RODOLFO VALENTINO. Silent movies’ quintessential Latin lover was born in Italy, but some of the characters he played on the screen were Spanish or Latino: Ramón Laredo, Alonso Castro (only recommended if one is going into darker sexual arts) and the doomed matador Juan Gallardo in Blood and Sand. In fact, there’s a line which could be the the silent-movie equivalent to sexting: “What wonderful arms you have – your muscles are like iron.” And that’s just the beginning of the chat. There’s a 1940s remake with Tyrone Power and Margarita Carmen Cansino, a.k.a. Rita Hayworth, and a most recent one starring Christopher Rydell and Sharon Stone.
PORFIRIO RUBIROSA The Dominican playboy and Trujillo supporter was instrumental in the creation of the contemporary image of the Latin Lover. He was not only handsome and suave – he was a polo player, car racer, and diplomat. Rubirosa was married to two of the richest women in the world, the Americans Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton. He was quite the global playboy – and a great choice for Twitter.
GÓMEZ – the patriarch of the cartoon and TV series Addams family, as well as the recent Broadway musical. Known as Homero in Latin America, Gómez is – of course – a debonaire Latin husband who used to tango his wife Morticia with a rose between his teeth.
CARLOS “BARRACUDA” DEL GATO. In a fabulous episode of the hit CBS series Frasier, the radio psychologist is booked as celebrity guest in a cruise to Alaska, but of course gets upstaged by 1970s singer Carlos del Gato (Miguel Pérez), who got his nickname from his signature song, “The Barracuda”.
So rest assured. There is no shortage of Latin lover names to set Twitter hearts aflutter. (Cue the r’s, put rose between teeth).
Claudio Iván Remeseira is a New York-based award-winning journalist, writer, and critic. He is the translator of the Spanish-language on-line section of The Nation and editor of Hispanic New York, an online portal and blog on current events and culture. He is the Editor of Hispanic New York: A Sourcebook (Columbia University Press, 2010), an anthology of essays on the city’s Latino, Latin American & Iberian cultural heritage, and winner of the Latino International Book Award in the category of Best Reference Book in English (2011).