8 things to master before you’re 30

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Before you get all huffy and emasculated (“Why is a girl giving advice on a men’s Web site? On how to be a man?! WAH! WAH!”), let me give you a behind-the-scenes look on how this list was concocted: eleven guys, three girls, ranging in age from twenty-two to fifty-one, all consuming cold beverages on a Sunday afternoon. Each point was discussed, dissected, nodded at proudly, and amended with stories—including one of a man-boy shitting the couch. But that tale is for another article. So go ahead, call me sexist for being a kind, blonde soul and doling out some advice. Or just jerk off to a picture of the chicks’ shiny tits in the sidebar, release some pent-up rage, and hear me out. The most popular points of what to know before you’ve reached the big 3-0.

Let’s start with a sad fact: That metabolism is going to catch up with you. We know twelve dollars worth of Taco Bell and Angus Burgers are am-azing. You have to kind of start caring about what you eat and not depending on fast food for every meal. Next point: Wining and dining is not a myth. Getting that special friend revved up for play starts with some good eats. Sure, you can drain your wallet at the nearest Olive Garden and toss her some free, stale breadsticks while whipping out your cock. Or, you can put together that meal you’ve perfected and look like a total, oh-so-manly pro. Cooking can be fun (not like, “Wee!” fun, but like, “Wow, I made this and it actually tastes decent” fun). Props to the men who can make the best breakfast.

Don’t feel obligated to don a suit, tie, and freshly shaved face. Just ditch the khaki cargo shorts (they’re flesh-colored, need we say anymore?), tell your collar to settle the f-ck down, and banish the shiny, neon, chest-hair-showing, label-screaming, rhinestone-y-shit. You’re getting old. No one wants to see that. Dressing like a sexy D.I.L.F. will take some practice knowing what you’re comfortable in and probably the hand of a good woman who knows what WWD stands for.

Do you have to deem someone else responsible while attempting to parallel park? Does your forehead become damp at the prospect of backing into tight spot? (Everything about that sentence made me squirm—in a good way.) My last car was covered in duct tape for a reason. But the men we chatted with swear that a dude who becomes flustered by a three-point turn deserves a shameful sigh. Practice your skills in a nearby church parking lot like I let my 13-year-old sister do when I was baked in high school (probably why she’s a much better driver than me). Or just do what I did and move to a public transportation-infested city so no one has to become a victim of your awful depth perception.

Kick off this key stepping stone to manlihood by memorizing a staple cocktail — Manhattan, anyone? Sure, Ice Houses were never really rad to begin with, but they become even more socially unacceptable in general as everyone around you gains, um, success. Manhattan (or dry martini) mastered? Well, look at you, you elegant dick. Try tackling the challenge of learning to hold your liquor next. Puking your innards out is only permissible at bachelor parties, behind closed doors, and when you become a famous alcoholic novelist. Proceed by knowing how to open a bottle of wine, and not cringing when popping a bottle of champagne.

There comes a time in every man’s life where getting his finger bitten off in a bar after starting a brawl is not tough. Nor is having your girl bust you out of jail (even though back in the day that was so punk rock). Be that guy everyone loves: “No, no, no, let’s calm it down everyone,” he says, glowing, as two backwards-cap wearing “Ivy League” dogs bark at one another outside of the pub. Women swoon at the sidelines, on looking guys kick the dust on the ground, wishing they could be as stoic as you.

This category includes the following: A) Realizing the appropriate cut-off time for a booty-call, B) Texting to turn on (and thus, not repulse), and C) Learning to seduce via Skype sex. It’s the age of new media. Get with the times, kid. Some dudes disagreed with me on the video chat sex bit, but let me just say this: Get a girlfriend, travel for business, enjoy coaxing said woman into unleashing her inner Internet porn persona. We all have them in there somewhere. And hey, it’s free.

One overriding consensus under this point: Texting dick pics = Meh. You’d be better snapping a shot of your hair looking especially cute, because I’m really wanting to pull it right about now.

We’ve met women who have actually fallen in love with guys who have nonchalantly changed a tire in an end-of-vacation crisis. Hooray for independence and having the know-how to solve a problem! Feel as comfortable changing a newborn’s soiled, gag-inducing diaper as you do that tire? We’ll be sure to drink to your high level or modern manliness. If you want the future mother of your children to take care of all that shit for you while you run around and mow the lawn and scratch your balls, consider becoming one of those sex tourists in Thailand. But first you should make some cash money. We hear you’ll have a lot of competition with other damaged-ego white dudes. We also hear their food is cheap, spicy, and delicious! Mmm!

Okay, okay totally biased. (I’m actually transparently biased on everything, but you guys still want to read my shit and virtually befriend me, so whatever.) You know I already care about spreading the good word on getting a girl off. Great, fulfilling sex is just the launching pad for a click-your-heels-at-the-end-of-the-day sort of life. And it all begins down there. And maybe this point is a metaphor for mastering the art of being more considerate of others. Morality and great oral? Anyone?

Originally published on November 8, 2010.

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