Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Santino Hassell

Guest Post and Giveaway: Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell

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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.

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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.

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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.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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SH Author PicAbout 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.

Find Santino At: Website | Facebook | Newsletter | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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22 thoughts on “Guest Post and Giveaway: Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell

  1. JenCW says:

    Casual sex doesn’t work for me personally. My emotions need to be engaged for me to be interested in the first place. I’ve met people who say it works for them, if it does great.

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  2. susana says:

    I think it depends on people. A friendship can survive a night of casual sex if it strong enough, but it will be altered forever… maybe it will become closer friendship after sharing such an experience (at least that happened to me once). As for sharing casual sex with the same person, I think it normally evolves to something more with time…Even when it is one-sided and it means normally the end of the casualness… and eventually of the relationship. Again, that’s what happened to me ;)

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  3. Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    Does casual sex ever work? Can it ever be “just sex”? I think it depends on the person and also the timing when you meet someone, times casual sex can be just that casual with a like minded person. Then again sometimes it maybe casual at first and then as time goes by a relationship forms.

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  4. Chrysa says:

    Well, personally i know nothing about casual sex, but I really don’t think it can be done! Without feelings I mean.. It depends on the person and the situation I guess!

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  5. Rita Lowkel says:

    In the past I enjoyed casual sex but I preferred it to be with friends. I agree with others who said it depends on the people and timing but I would usually look at it as a way to create a stronger bond with a person I already liked and years later I still look back on the time I spent with them fondly. Like anything, though, sometimes one or more people involved have a different idea of how things should play out and it ends up not working. Strong communication is key but even then it’s sometimes unavoidable which is unfortunate but a fact of life.

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  6. I think for some it may work, but not for me personally. There needs to be a strong connection between the person and I first before I would even want to have sex, which therein lies why for me it could never be “just sex”.

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  7. jenf27 says:

    I think it depends on the people involved. For me, personally, it doesn’t work – the only “casual” times were when I figured out, a little too late, that, ugh, I really did not like the other person.

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  8. Lotty says:

    Personal experience: casual sex once or twice with the same person works. More, it automatically turns into some kind of relationship. Lovers. Boyfriend/girlfriend. Friends with benefits. No matter what you call it, there is sth more than casual going on. For me it was always an almost guaranteed way to heart break. I fall fast and I fall hard. ;-) So, yes, it works. Sometimes. If you stick to the once/twice rule.

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  9. Stephanie says:

    I think casual sex can work, but not between best friends. Best friends are already so close and intimate that I don’t think sex could stay casual. For buddies or less intense friendships, I definitely think casual sex can work if both people feel the same.

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  10. Serena S. says:

    In my opinion, casual sex can affect a friendship, no matter how strong it is. At lesat for me, it never worked as it should, either I or he got too caught up on things.

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  11. I think sex can be casual as a one off or if they people don’t do it often, leaving long spaces in time between. But it’s human nature, I think, to form bonds and if you engage in sex frequently, you spend more time with one another and the casual aspect of it becomes harder to maintain.

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  12. I guess it really depends on the person and their personality and whether or not they can separate casual sex from a friendship or whatever type of relationship they have with the person they’re having the fling/benefit with.

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  13. Veronica says:

    I have friends that do casual sex and it usually works for them. They have fun, their fuck buddies have fun and that’s basically it. I personally always hear their stories with curiosity, but I know for certain that casual sex isn’t something for me. I’m demisexual and that implies that sex with strangers is a big no to me. I would never be attracted to someone I know nothing about. Sometimes I wonder if I could do casual with a close friend, but sex requires a huge amount of trust to me, I personally live it as the most extreme show of vulnerability and I can’t do it without having feelings for the other person. There has to be something deeper pushing me to that point. I’ve never experienced lust strong enough to push me to even /think/ about casual and that’s probably why I’m really into your stories. I’m a sucker for that needy raw lust you describe. I can only experience it in books :’D

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  14. Carolyn says:

    From a US-centric perspective, I think casual sex could work more often if people weren’t indoctrinated with ideals and ideas that are consciously and unconsciously fed to us in this society. Especially for women. I’ve never seen any message that sex can be casual or just for fun where women are not vilified or condemned for it. I’m not saying it IS for everyone, but I think the reason men have such an easier time with it is because society doesn’t send a strong anti-casual sex message to them and even often encourages the opposite. And more power to *anyone* who wants “just sex” relationships. If it works for them, I got not one thing to say against it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Viv says:

    No, casual sex has never worked for me. If there are no feelings involved, it feels empty, awkward. I’d rather do myself than have meaningless sex. Not that there’s anything wrong with it if it works, just not for me.

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  16. natalie says:

    for me nope i don’t think casual would work. tried it. feelings showed up lol. i pretty much gotta have some sort of feeling to even go there to begin with so

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