Advanced Man Skills

Updated: August 13, 2012

 By RU Contributor J. E. McCollough


There are plenty of articles on ‘things men should know’ posted on the web and published in men’s magazines. It seems everyone agrees a Man should know how to change a tire, build a fire, grill a steak and do basic chores around the house like fixing a toilet or pounding a nail. And, of course, every man should know how to tie a necktie, dress well, order a glass of wine and how to drive a manual.

But, these are all skills that can be learned in a few hours, max. These aren’t things that make a man. Character is what makes a man, and character is only learned from brutally hard life experiences. Reading this list won’t teach you how to be a man, it can only encourage you to seek out the experiences you need so you can learn how to be a man.

Believe me, I’m still learning.

1. Know how to take rejection – Rejection may feel personal, but it’s not, it’s a fact of life. If you ask the girl out and she declines, don’t keep texting her. If you get fired, start working on your resume. Picking himself up after getting punched in the gut by life is a man’s obligation.

2. Know how to tip – Tipping is an expression of politeness, of consideration. You don’t have to tip your server at Denny’s 50%, but tipping appropriately is an essential part of being a gentleman. A real man treats anyone providing him with decent service with politeness and respect, whether it’s the waitress, the mechanic or the flight attendant. Be rude to your server on a date and watch how quickly the girl you’re with starts looking for the exit.

3. Know how to drink – Possibly the best advice ever given in a movie is from Dirty Harry, when Clint Eastwood growls out, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Obviously, this applies to a great many situations, but if you apply that advice to your alcohol consumption you’ll never wake up in the drunk tank surrounded by horny homeless guys. Not an experience you want, trust me.

4. Know how to keep your anger in check – A real man can take an insult, smile, and keep drinking. That asshole will end up in jail at some point. There’s no reason for you to end up in jail with him.

At the same time…

5. Know how to throw a punch – And take one. Both literally and figuratively. If you’ve never looked another man in the eye and punched him in the face, you’ll die questioning your manhood. A guy who is afraid to be aggressive when he needs to be, and who has the judgement to be able to identify such situations, isn’t a man at all. And if you’ve never taken a hit, well, a man with a glass jaw isn’t much of a man.

6. Know how to kiss a woman – Mae West said it best, “A man’s kiss is his signature.” Kiss a woman well and she’ll want to know more about you. You might not have anything more to offer, but you’ll have gotten that far, at least. And, she’ll never forget you.

Lastly, there is one crucial skill every man should know. It falls in that earlier category of something that should really only take a few hours to learn, but, sadly, some guys never figure it out.

7. Know how to unhook a bra – Fumbling around at that critical moment can ruin everything, she could just decide to close up shop or, even if she lets you get lucky that one time, she knows it’ll never happen again.

No advice I can give, though, compares to Rudyard Kipling’s:


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!





  1. Mr. Twisted

    August 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Out-friggin’-standing article.

    #5 is absolutely spot on and should be taught in schools. The modern man is missing that.


    August 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Fucking spot on. Good shit.

  3. bgchamberlain

    August 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Loved it. And loved the order — ’cause if you aren’t the man in 1-5, you don’t NEED 6 and 7. Wouldn’t argue with anything in there! The ex and I were separated, and he was pushing to get back together. We’re crossing the restaurant parking lot when a pickup came around the corner too fast. Ex got himself out of the way, leaving me to get myself and the four year old to a safe point. After that, NOTHING he could have done would have convinced me to go back.

  4. MLDoyle

    August 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I love that there is even a discussion about how to be a man. There are times when I wonder if men even think about such things anymore. I would add one thing to the list, one that has always driven me crazy. 8. Learn how to make a fucking decision! If you ask a woman on a date, don’t follow that by asking her what she wants to do! Decide BEFORE you ask, what you want to do, how you want to do it and prove that you’re decisive. Real men are decisive but open to suggestions.

  5. DesertRat71

    August 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Good article! The title is, however, *advanced* man skills, so, if I may expound a bit (geared more specifically to the readers of this site)…

    8.) Know how to finish a fight. It’s a self-defeating endeavor to throw a punch and then get your ass kicked. Get some training if you’ve had none. You won’t win them all but if the other guy finishes it with one punch, turn in your man card.

    9.) Know your nomenclature when it comes to edged weapons and firearms. Your date will fizzle fast if she brings up her latest trap score and you say that you hope the furry critters died painlessly.

    10.) As a corollary to (9), know the difference between a shotgun and a rifle, between automatic and semi-automatic, pistol and revolver, and why a magazine is not a clip. Be able to define the terms bullet, cartridge, round, and shell and be ready to discuss the differences.

    11.) Be versed on the laws in your area and if you can carry, do so. The bad guys will and when you’re out on a date she’s your responsibility. If someone tries to rob the two of you and she pulls her 1911 while you reach for the sky, turn in your man card.

    12.) If you do carry and you elect to tote a 9mm or (and this is painful to write…) a .380 (ouch!), turn in your man card. You will be issued a full complement of pink panties.

    13.) If you routinely get manicures and pedicures, turn in your man card.

    14.) If you routinely get manicures and pedicures while finishing in the top five of your ISPA category, bring me your man card; I’ll that see it gets properly punched and will buy the first round of drinks.

    15.) If you’re standing on the medal podium of the Olympics and you feel a tear run down your cheek because you won silver and not gold, turn in your man card.

    16.) If you’re standing and listening to the playing of the National Anthem and you feel a tear run down your cheek, rip up your man card; you no longer need it, your qualities and character will be self evident.

    • DesertRat71

      August 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Fat fingered 14, ISPA should be IDPA. Lapse of attention to detailon my part. No excuse.

  6. Raul Felix

    August 21, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Learn to perform cunnilingus.

    • Name

      February 13, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      ‘Cause if you can say it,you can do it….

  7. Whitey

    November 18, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Regarding #7, I wish I learned that one sooner.
    At the tender age of 22, I found myself about to score way out of my league with a lovely 20-year old brunette with natural 38Ds. So I’m rounding Second Base when, at the moment of truth, I experience technical difficulty. In my defense, she was blowing me (quite well, I might add) so my concentration was somewhat disrupted. Anyway, being an eager lad, after 3 more failed attempts I reassess and resort to the “Bigger Hammer” method. I reach blindly into the nightstand drawer and fumble through my 1911, spare mags for same, socks, etc. in search of the appropriate tool. She asks if everything is okay as I find what I’m looking for. I tell her to hold still, unfold my knife, and make the necessary cut. She is immediately pissed at me for ruining her bra (how the hell was I supposed to know the damn things cost so much?), but luckily for me channels her ire into a sexual maelstrom that left me barely conscious at the end. That relationship didn’t last long (thank God; fun in the sack, IGMing bitch otherwise), but it taught me valuable skills which 7 years later I now put to good use scoring way out of HER league with my wife (stunningly drop-dead gorgeous hardbodied Asian chick)–she doesn’t have to replace her lingerie after we have sex.

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