The Novel Approach welcomes author Santino Hassell today, on his Sutphin Boulevard blog tour. Enjoy his guest post, and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
Is it ever “just sex”?
As I write each book in the Five Boroughs series, I realize there are common themes between a few of the novels. Particularly people who go from friends to lovers. People who think they can do the casual thing and be satisfied with “just sex” only to realize it’s not possible for them. They always want more because they end up consumed by feelings of affection and possessiveness that have no place in a casual arrangement.
I probably write about this type of romance so frequently because I’ve experienced it several times in my own life. Several of my lovers have started as friends and several of my fuck buddies inevitably turned into lovers (or ended disastrously because one of us couldn’t maintain the casual aspect). If you’re like me—someone who doesn’t always click with people or who rarely latches on when attempting to date strangers—it’s not hard to imagine why you might catch feelings for those rare individuals who get you.
When you find someone who accepts the real you, someone who doesn’t expect you to be “on” all the time, it’s a special thing. And if you happen to be attracted to that person… well then that’s when things get complicated. And that’s where things got complicated for Michael and Nunzio in SUTPHIN BOULEVARD.
Michael and Nunzio have known each other for twenty years and they’ve been best friends every step of the way. They had each other’s backs while growing up in Jamaica, Queens, were family to each other when their own parents were too broken to function, and have never made a life-changing decision without consulting each other. Suffice to say, they’re the most important people in each other’s lives.
And that’s before the first time they have sex. Which happens in chapter one.
After writing the first draft of SUTPHIN BOULEVARD, I had some conversations about why I chose to put such an intense sex scene in the first chapter. There’s a possibility it would turn readers off and there’s also a possibility that it would imply the book has a hedonistic/light tone when that’s far from the truth. The book tackles some heavy themes and contains serious subject matter, but sex is important to Michael and Nunzio’s evolving relationship and that’s why the book starts with them being intimate for the first time.
It happens after a night of partying (after Michael tries to get over a recent breakup), and it unveils a new aspect to their relationship that neither man can ignore.
So, what do you think, readers? Does casual sex ever work? Can it ever be “just sex”? Let me know in the comments!
© 2015 Santino Hassell.
Blurb: Michael Rodriguez and Nunzio Medici have been friends for two decades. From escaping their dysfunctional families in the working-class neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens to teaching in one of the city’s most queer friendly schools in Brooklyn, the two men have shared everything. Or so they thought until a sweltering night of dancing leads to an unexpected encounter that forever changes their friendship.
Now, casual touches and lingering looks are packed with sexual tension, and Michael can’t forget the feel of his best friend’s hands on him. Once problems rear up at work and home, Michael finds himself seeking constant escape in the effortless intimacy and mind-blowing sex he has with Nunzio. But things don’t stay easy for long.
When Michael’s world begins to crumble in a sea of tragedy and complications, he knows he has to make a choice: find solace in a path of self-destruction or accept the love of the man who has been by his side for twenty years.
About the Author: Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.