Frequently in this space, we will consult a new entry in the 1987 book The Modern Man’s Guide to Life to see how the advice therein has aged. Yesterday, we addressed what to do if you’re on a flight and the pilot dies; today, a word of advice re: interacting with the ladies.

Do you ever see a pretty lady-creature walking out in public and wonder: How will she know I think she’s pretty if I don’t yell and/or make slurping noises in her general direction? Well, then do I have some timeless advice for you!

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On the topic of catcalling and general dealings with women, The Modern Man’s Guide to Life urges:

  • Do not whistle, shout or make animal noises at females in public.
  • If you are over the age of forty, do not make suggestive remarks or double entendres as a part of a flirtation ritual with a younger woman.
  • Do not make rude or suggestive comments to any females with whom you have a less than intimate acquaintance, and especially if you are in the company of one or more other males.
  • Never touch a female with whom you have a less than intimate acquaintance in any way differently than you would touch another male.

In other words, keep your hands to yourself, eyes up here, and leave room for Jesus, while we’re at it. This is as good advice in 2015 as it was in 1987, and will continue to be good advice until the end of time. The troubling aspect of this passage, however, is that cool-headed ’80s men felt the need to state these rules to less reasonable and way more gross men. Can you imagine reading this and having a “wait, seriously?” moment where you realize, Wow, I’m not supposed to touch women who didn’t invite me to touch them? Anyway, don’t violate someone else’s personal space: a rule to live by, always. Even if you’re under 40.


Adequate Man is Deadspin’s new self-improvement blog, dedicated to making you just good enough at everything. Suggestions for future topics are welcome below.

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