Finally settling down with his hunky cop boyfriend, former callboy Kevin Connor is giving up the “oldest profession” for a new career: producing his mom’s TV talk show, “Sophie’s Voice.” But when their latest guest—gay porn sensation Brent Havens—ends up floating in the East River after vowing to blow the lid off the adult film industry, Kevin returns to the world of high-stakes sex to find out: Who killed the twink who had everything?
Was it the X-rated director who exploited his star—for his own desires? The bartender boyfriend who hustled more than just cocktails? Or the eye-candy co-star who left the sweet actor for a sugar daddy?
Either way, Kevin is zooming in on one twisted plot with no shortage of drama queens. But is he ready for his close-up…with a killer?
“Scott Sherman has created a really fresh and original character in Kevin Connor,
and I look forward to more from him.” —Greg Herren
Praise for Second You Sin
“Following the adventures of hunky and lovable male hustler/amateur sleuth Kevin Connor around the streets of New York is like a thrill-a-minute roller coaster that is so full of hair raising turns and breathless moments of surprise that you don’t even notice you’re screaming with laughter the entire ride!”—Rick Copp
“There is fun sin and boring sin. Second You Sin is chock-full of the first kind.” —David Stukas
Listening to them bicker, interrupt, and compete among themselves
for who had the most outrageous story, I couldn’t decide
which of the sex workers annoyed me most: the busty dominatrix
in her black leather halter, too-tight read-my-lips matching
slacks, and spiked, knee-high boots; the spray-tanned gay porn
actor wearing a muscle-clinging T-shirt and painted-on jeans; or
the plushie in the purple dinosaur costume who got off dressing
as one of America’s most beloved childhood icons.
“When men come before me,” the dominatrix said haughtily,
her imperious tone implying that not only they but we didn’t deserve
her time, “I give them something they can’t get anywhere
else. The feeling they are totally taken care of, that they no
longer have to be ‘in charge.’ I give them the release that can
only be achieved with true obedience. I give them the freedom of
abandoning control and letting someone else—”
“You give them a spanking and they give you a few hundred
bucks,” the porn star interrupted. “You’re a kitten with a whip,
honey. Not a cross between Mother Teresa and Sigmund Freud.
You need to stop taking this shit so seriously.”
The dominatrix gave him a withering look that probably sent
the submissives who hired her into quivering ecstasy. Her plain
features knotted into a mask of extreme displeasure, thin lips
and baggy eyes narrowing with practiced precision. “I wouldn’t
expect someone like you to understand,” she sniffed. While I
imagined that some women in her line of work role-played their
arrogance, Mistress Vesper’s bitchiness was no act. Well, I suppose
there was something to be said for finding work that
“Someone like me?” The porn star, Brock Peters, was pretty
butch, but I had a feeling that after a half hour of hearing Mistress
Vesper’s pretentious characterizations of her “art,” he was
about to go Real Housewives on her. The prodigious muscles in
his shoulders rippled with tension. “You mean someone who
has sex with guys for money? Someone like, I don’t know,
you?” He pointed his strong chin at her and pursed his mouth.
“As I’ve tried to explain,” Mistress Vesper sighed, “what I do
goes beyond the merely physical. When I’m with a man, I give
him the release that only comes with pain, with the abandonment
of the ego and the embrace of the id, the ultimate satisfaction
of surrender, of . . .”
I stopped listening. This time, it wasn’t my ADHD making
me zone out. Rather, it was my need to find some way to rein
this discussion in, to make it productive and interesting. After
all, it was my job.
Up until six months ago, I’d have been on their end of the
panel. A full-time professional call boy, I earned my living fulfilling
the sexual needs and fantasies of a varied and well-to-do
It wasn’t work I was ashamed of or regretted. I made tons of
money, I had a good time, and I was always safe and sensible.
Like Mistress Vesper, although hopefully with less smugness and
self-aggrandizement, I’d like to think I was a valuable outlet for
men who genuinely needed professional companionship.
Still, I knew it wasn’t a long-term career. Sooner or later, my
looks or luck would run out. I’d seen enough boys wear out
their welcome in the business to know a forced retirement from
hustling is never pretty.
Problem was, I wasn’t qualified to do much else. Although
I’m no dummy, my attention deficit disorder made completing
college really hard for me. So hard, in fact, I dropped out
At the time, I hadn’t even been diagnosed. I just thought I was
stupid and lazy. It was a potential-client-turned-friend, Allen
Harrington, who realized the ditziness that everyone else attributed
to my being blond was more likely a treatable disorder. He
referred me to an appropriate doctor, and for the first time in
my life, the mental haze through which I wandered parted
enough for me to get stuff done. It was revelatory.
Now, liberal doses of Adderall make it a lot easier for me to
focus and succeed. Someday, I tell myself, I’ll go back to school
for my degree. But you know how it goes—“someday” is a
moving target, and so far I haven’t hit it.
Allen did me another kindness. Before his death (his murder,
actually, which I, ironically enough, was instrumental in solving)
he left me a sizable inheritance for tuition when I was ready
to resume my studies.
I have plenty of other uses for that money, but, out of respect
for Allen’s wishes, and as a promise to myself, I’m letting it sit
and gather interest. Someday, I tell myself.
I tell Allen, too, if he’s listening.
My world changed half a year ago when my mother appeared
as a guest on That’s Yvonne, a morning talk show named after
its host. At the time, Yvonne was America’s third most popular
female celebrity. A sexy and spirited Latina, she enjoyed a carefully
crafted public persona that was warm, caring, generous,
and just risqué enough to titillate without being offensive. She
was a saucier Oprah.
Then, in a disastrous meeting that rivaled that of the Titanic’s
introduction to the inglorious iceberg, the beloved daytime diva
crossed paths with my mother.
Shortly afterward, Yvonne’s career sank lower than the luxury
Like most of my stories, it’s a long one, but I’ll try to give you
the ADHD version. A boy I used to have a crush on in high
school, Andrew Miller, was working as a producer on Yvonne’s
show. He booked my mother as a guest, partly as a way to see
me again. Turned out, he’d known about my interest in him and
was ready to follow up.
Had I known back then, I’d have been on him like pasties on
Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, his timing was bad. By the time he
contrived our reunion, the last thing I needed was another guy
to juggle. Which was too bad, because Andrew was still hotness
on legs. Long, muscled legs, that carried him with the confident
grace of the natural-born athlete he was. Legs that even under
loose khakis revealed rippling thighs you couldn’t but imagine
nude as you...
Okay, I’m getting off track here.
Focus, Kevin, focus.
So, my mom was talking with Yvonne when the hostess revealed
herself as a homophobic, anti-Semitic bitch. Unknown to
both of them, the conversation was being videotaped. When
Yvonne threatened to sue my mother for making her bald (I told
you it was a long story), Andrew, who had long suffered under
Yvonne’s imperious rule, leaked the video online. That was
pretty much it for the woman formerly known as “The Darling
When the producers of That’s Yvonne sacked her, they
needed a new talker to take her place. By this time, the online
video of her meltdown had achieved over five million views.
Who better to replace Yvonne than the Long Island hausfrau
who took her down? By then, my mother had appeared on
Good Morning America, the David Letterman show, and even
on 60 Minutes. It turned out her brash tell-it-like-it-is style, lack
of personal boundaries, and borderline vulgarity that so embarrassed
me growing up made her a natural for TV. Audiences
found her a genuinely likable character—easy to relate to and
impossible to look away from.
Of course, people stare at car crashes, too.
My mother made it part of the deal that Andrew be promoted
to head producer and, thus, her TV career was born. The
show, named after her, was now Sophie’s Voice. (Apparently, I
was the only person in the world who thought a pun based on a
book about the Holocaust was in bad taste.)
Four months after going on air, Sophie’s Voice was an undeniable
hit. No one could say how long the ride would last (remember
Ricki Lake?) but, for now, my mother and everyone
else involved in the show was riding high.
“I’ve always known I was a star,” my mother told me calmly
in her office, as her staff whooped and hollered after the show’s
first month’s shockingly high ratings hinted that her fame was
possibly more than a passing fad. “I’m just glad everyone else
figured it out, too.”
“The only saving grace about your mother’s newfound notoriety,”
my long-suffering father told me on the phone later that
day, with his trademark blend of pessimistic optimism, “is that
she was already impossible to live with. It’s not like she could
get any worse. Plus, this fakakte TV show keeps her out of the
house. So, that’s good.”
Meanwhile, the show was an opportunity for me, too. I’d
been getting away with calling myself a “consultant” for the
past few years, but I knew I’d eventually need a “real” job.
When Andrew approached me about working on my mother’s
show, I was initially reluctant. For one thing, the idea of spending
that much time with my mother, in a high-pressure environment,
was about as appealing as a colonoscopy, only with more
crap involved. It’s not that I don’t love her—I do—it’s just she
drives me crazy.
For another, I didn’t have any experience in television. What
would I do?
Luckily, this time Andrew got it right. His idea was to make
me the coordinator of casting. This meant it was my job to help
choose and screen the guests that appeared on the show.
I might have never worked in TV before, but years of being a
call boy had taught me how to quickly size up people, figure out
if they were crazy or not, and how to bring out their best.
Those skills proved right in line with those needed to pick the
kinds of guests who’d “pop” on a daytime talk show. I had a
knack for getting inside the heads of potential interviewees. I
could help them find their most interesting story and focus them
on how to tell it. I could also craft the questions for my mother
to ask and help the producers with setups that would wring the
most drama from the guest’s appearance.
Part of what made me successful at getting people to open up
to me was my personality, but part was my appearance. I’m not
the handsomest guy in the world, but what I am is cute. Short,
boyish, with floppy blond hair and a button nose, I’m unthreatening
and look trustworthy, the archetypal All-American boy
next door. That image supported me for years as a hustler; now
it worked for me as an interviewer.
Hey, you gotta play the hand you’re dealt.
Plus, no longer making my living in an illegal profession definitely
made things easier with Tony Rinaldi, the cop who recently
graduated from being my semi-boyfriend to full-time
lover. He’d been tolerant of my work, but I knew he didn’t approve.
Plus, now that we were kind of raising a kid together, it
was even more complicated. So, Sophie’s Voice, while not without
its challenges, was proving to be a good thing.
Of course, we’d see how things went after today’s taping.
This was a pretty far-out panel. It had the potential of being an
episode that would keep people talking for days, or the kind of
train wreck that would have people switching to the Food Network
as fast as their remotes could carry them.
I was about to find out.