Today I am delighted to welcome Dan Skinner to my blog with his latest release, A Summer of Guiltless Sex. Before we get to the nitty-gritty of the blurb, an excerpt and my review, here’s a guest post in which the responsibility for this particular book is resolutely dropped on one particular person. Enjoy J
Guest post: It Started with Butt-Fucking Justin Bieber
"How many guys do you think want to butt-fuck Justin Bieber?"
This is exactly how most conversations with Dirk start. There is no lead-in as to what the subject will be and there certainly isn’t any warning before he drops the bomb in your lap two seconds before detonation. It's just there and you have to deal with it. He is, of course, ADHD like myself, but I have a tendency to think about a question before it leaves my mouth.
I'd been invited to his house to have Thanksgiving with the three of them, his mother and grandmother and Dirk. He had prepared the Vegan half of the dinner for the two of us because I've been vegetarian for three plus years and he had recently converted. Me, because I wanted to lose weight and get healthy, and his reason was because he’d seen a video on FB of a pig raised with puppies who thought it was a dog. His perspective of animals had been forever altered with that moment. That's how fast his nineteen-year-old mind works and his convictions form. So you have to get used to spontaneity with him – it's a prerequisite for spending time with him.
It's also the way his ideas come to him. They're like sudden flashes, comets streaking through his stream of consciousness that fly from his lips and dazzle you with the sudden fireworks.
We'd had dinner, he was drinking a beer and I was having a tall dark roast his mom had made for her Bailey's, although mine was virgin. I'd accompanied him to his room because his mom and grandmother were engaged in a political discussion he wasn't interested in.
The door was no sooner closed than he cold-cocked me with the Justin Bieber question. "I have no idea," I said. But in reality, I do believe almost every gay guy I know, including myself, have at one time or another fantasized what the singer would look like naked in our bed. It's just the truth of the matter. He's good-looking and he's a prick tease. Though many of us think he's a douche and a jerk, we'd all – as Dirk said – "Take a lick of that nasty lollipop." We all do it. We all fantasize about things and people we know we can't possibly have. We know it will never happen, but the fantasy of having the unobtainable is irresistible.
That was the whole point of the ensuing conversation with Dirk, how he had the hots for one of the male models that I shot who was straight or possibly bi, and gorgeous. I had shot so many nudes of him it was impossible to not slobber when you looked at the photos. Dirk had used him for his personal fantasies on numerous occasions and that served as the impetus for speculation: what if circumstances put you and your fantasy in a situation that could become intimate? For real? What if fate conspired to throw the two of you together because it was safe and solved the same problem for both of you? Where does your mind go with that storyline?
We talked for a good two hours about the possibilities of an impossible relationship and before we were finished, I knew he'd given me the premise for a fun little romp of a story. Dirk had filled in all the naughty gaps with his own mental dalliances on the matter...and before I got back through the door of my house A Summer of Guiltless Sex had practically written itself from beginning to end in my head.
A week later I read the finished manuscript to him over the phone. He loved it. He said it was like a mental Bieber butt-fuck...
Muses have a tendency to be very blunt...
Two very different men, from two walks of life find common ground for an exciting and unique adventure.
It'd not been a great beginning of the summer season for either Bill, a young bridal store clerk, or Ted, a college student working as a lifeguard at the apartment complex’s pool. They'd both been dumped in their respective relationships and were still looking for “the one.” Their chance meeting at this low ebb in their lives and an off-the-cuff remark about what they both needed as a temporary solution to their physical needs, lead to a unique and adventuresome pact between the two. They agree to be what's lacking in each other’s lives. They begin a journey of self-discovery. One that will only last the length of the summer and will forever change their lives and ideas about love and friendship. One season of guiltless sex.
|Photography by Dan Skinner, found on: http://theknobgoblin.tumblr.com/|
We were now looking directly at each other. I didn’t remember turning, or how we happened to end up in the eye lock, but there we were, inches apart, standing naked in a pool and talking about guiltless sex. The moment had its own compelling force, and I believed we both knew it.
“Do you want me to kiss you?” I asked.
“You’re the expert on it, I think it might work better that way,” he said. There was an unmistakable nervous quaver in his voice.
I could tell by the razor straightness of his shoulders that he’d gone tense. He was also staring at me, not blinking.
“You look like someone taking his first driving lesson,” I said. “Maybe you should relax a little.”
He grinned nervously. “I’m trying.” He rolled his shoulders, as if trying to loosen his muscles, and then fell right back into the same rigid posture.
I was actually not feeling that much less tense, but I had the advantage of having kissed guys before and knew it wasn’t a big deal. Slowly, I moved in closer.
“Close your eyes,” I instructed in a soft, reassuring tone.
“Okay.” He closed his eyes, still appearing as if he’d been cracked from a concrete mold.
Even as uncomfortable as he was, he was visually striking. I could imagine some artist sculpting that chiseled face, and sleek neck and shoulders as a fountain centerpiece. As I moved into his space, I could feel the heat from his body. I carefully cupped my hand and took his chin. I felt the sandpaper stubble of his whiskers beneath the wetness. I closed my own eyes and aimed for the glorious target and then pressed my lips against his. My heart began beating so hard I could feel it pound behind my eyes. It emptied the blood from my head, leaving a vacancy filled with dizziness. His mouth felt wonderful, his lips full and soft and crazily magnetic to my own. I had to back away to catch my breath, which seemed to be running like a prison escapee from my lungs.
Buy link: Amazon
Do you like it when a book surprises you? I love few things better. And to say that A Summer of Guiltless Sex surprised me in the best possible way, would be an understatement.
At first glance this felt and read like a lighthearted romp. Two lads with broken hearts, unfulfilled dreams, and time on their hands decide to join forces and create a memorable summer together. Throw in some sexual experimentation, and what you would end up with is a charming, uncomplicated read.
Except that A Summer of Guiltless Sex is so much more. Underneath the lighthearted banter and sexy times are two men growing up, finding out who they really are and finding the courage to live the life they were always meant to live. I highlighted so many quotes in this book, it is impossible to share them all here. At the same time, having to pick and choose is almost breaking my heart.
Ted especially is a font of wisdom when it comes to life and how we live it. I mean, don’t we all, to some extend at least, compromise our dreams away?
I have this feeling that we try to force things to happen so we can fit like a certain piece of the puzzle rather than look for where we really fit. We try to bend the corners and twist the edges to accommodate the space we think we should fit into…When we don’t belong there anyway. Who says life is supposed to be lived in a certain way? – Ted
And how true is the following quote. Bill has all but given up on his dreams, except that he still keeps them hidden away in a spare room, unable to completely push them aside. Ted’s explanation of that situation resonated with me.
Dreams don’t ever die. (…) I know. I tried to lock mine away, but the damned things kept going out. They’re like that loud drunk aunt at Christmas you wish would shut up or pass out. They keep on shouting at you. (…) Our dreams help us find ourselves. Our dreams make us whole. – Ted
And this is one of those quotes I want to print in big letters on one of the walls in my house:
Fear is temporary. Regret is permanent. Adventure is taking a chance because it’s better than the question mark if you don’t. – Ted
The following has been my personal mantra for some time now, and it was nice to find it in a book I loved, spoken by a character I adored.
“Do you think there’ll ever come a time that people can just be people and we can love each other, or whomever we want without putting labels on everything? It kinda seems like we’re trying to package something on the outside that’s far more complex on the inside. – Ted
Regretfully I’m going to stop here. For every quote I shared I deleted at least one, equally good, other one. But really, you should just go and read the book. It is filled with quotable paragraphs and I have no doubt every reader will find at least a few favourites of their own.
This is not a typical romance. Sometimes a happy ending does not mean that the two main characters end up together. Sometimes, what may appear bitter-sweet is in fact perfect.
What I hope you got from my words above and the subsequent quotes is that this is a fabulous, touching, memorable, and captivating coming of age story—both inspired and inspirational. This was my first Dan Skinner book, but clearly it will not be my last. If this book sets the standard, I’ve got a lot of good reading ahead of me.