Dear Someone: Sex, Cats, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

walkerlukenspromoWalker Lukens is a musician living and working in Austin, Texas. His latest album is called Devoted. His advice column Dear Someone runs semimonthly on Pop Press International. You can send in your own inquiries by emailing Walker here. He’ll give you advice if you ask. 




Dear Someone,

Like all smartphone addicted twenty-somethings, I often struggle with the compulsion to inanely refresh all of my social media feeds at least every ten minutes. Post-coitus, the urge is no different.

It’s a delicate enough balance to strike in normal social settings. But at least social etiquette guides are updating themselves to account for the ubiquity of smartphone addiction. Unfortunately, they’re silent as to post-coital etiquette.

So what’s the proper time to wait to roll over and check my phone after bumpin’ uglies?


Coitally Confused


Dear Coitally Confused,

You’ve hit upon the most pressing ontological questions of our time: 1) is the Internet helping us to connect more or just making us more comfortable with blue-balls? 2) Does it count if the Internet doesn’t know about it? Hashtag-something-that-makes-us-unique-but-not-so-unique-that-our-onlooking-friends-won’t-use-the-hashtag. 3) Do our brains even work anymore without the internet close at hand?

My first inclination was to say that once post-coital conversation has turned to dinner, breakfast?!, or any non-intimate subject, you can check your twitter feed. It then occurred to me that you might be with someone who has very different feelings about this subject than you do. Maybe you’re with someone who doesn’t hesitate to pick up his or her phone right after sex. In that case, check twitter right away. Maybe it’s you who’s frustrated with how quickly your lover’s attention turns to their phone. In that case, you’ll need to have a conversation with them, probably before sex, about your expectations.

Then, it occurred to me that you might be the kind of person who doesn’t want to think critically after sex. In this case, wait 10 minutes.





Dear Someone,

My wife and I fostered a very old, very crabby cat from APA for two years. In that time, we never found a home for him. We have been known to keep the animals we foster, but this one didn’t get along with our other animals and had taken to finding alternate places around the house to do his business. APA suggested that we return him to them to give him more exposure. He was then adopted by someone and promptly returned. We received an email from APA asking if we could foster him again. I have to admit, it’s nice not having him around the house fighting with everyone, but I am fond of the little guy and feel pretty bad for him. What do you think we should do?


Cat Man


Dear Cat Man,

It sounds like APA should have never let you return Crabby Cat in the first place. You have a big heart from the sound of things. Otherwise, you wouldn’t feel any guilt over about not readopting a cat you already know is bad (or have kept the damn thing for two whole years.) If Crabby Cat is as old and awful as you say, then chances are that no one else will adopt this feline asshole and that he will live out his life yowling in a cage at the pound.

I think you should take him back. (Stray animals need people with big hearts.)  Get a little Pavlovian on yourself. Right now, CC shits and you get annoyed. Instead, you should put on this playlist and sing and dance loudly every time you see his “business” around the house. Soon enough, Crabby Cat Caca™ will just make you hum and dance. I suppose there’s also a chance that after a while you’ll just start to hate these songs. Please let me know how it works out.





Dear Someone,

I just finished college. I’m thinking about trying to make a run at this music thing. Having tried for the last few years and not exactly made it, would you still recommend it to a recent college grad?


The Next Bo$$


Dear Next Bo$$,

Listen To Your Heart. I’m going to paraphrase what a lot of wiser and more successful artists have said about this subject.

Try to think of your musical pursuit as a kind of lifestyle and less as a “career” with a capital “C.” Every day, week, month and year, set some goals for yourself. Pursue your goals. If you can’t routinely dedicate part of your day, week and month to your music then you won’t make it far. If this seems too Type-A or whatever, then you’ll probably not get very far.

If you think that you’re “not really a musician” because it’s not your sole income source then you’ll probably not make it very far. Also, you’ve got some silly baby boomer dreams you need to get out of your system. Having multiple jobs is fine. Spending lots of hours on a pursuit that doesn’t make you any money is fine. If you’re a drug addict, that’s not fine and not the same thing. Being a deadbeat parent is also not fine.

I met a guy a few years ago who was in an up-and-coming New York band in the 90s. One time after a sold-out show, he was walking around with his mailing list trying to get people to sign up. He began flirting with a woman, hoping to get her to sign the mailing list. She kissed him and stuck her hand down his pants (his account, not mine.) The only thing he could think about was whether or not she was going to sign the mailing list. This is when he knew that he’d become too career-focused. He wasn’t enjoying the process. He told me this story, loaded, while casually playing “Rhapsody In Blue” on the Steinway piano he’d bought for himself with his lucrative post-music career. “You got to enjoy the process,” he kept saying. It was real. You have to love the process or the whole thing will just be endlessly frustrating.

Some people will tell you that because you’ve chosen this life, you will be fucked when you’re old. My guess is that these people are baby boomers or they’re envious of your relative freedom. Life is long and if you’re good to your body and mind and soul, it is even longer. You can decide one day to do something else.



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