By staff writer JD Rebello

“I wouldn't be the man I am today without these rules. You too would be weaker without them.”
-Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California and former World Bodybuilding Champion

Introduction: In my 20 years of existence as a member of the male species, I have learned certain rules, nay, guidelines, nay, shit you better do or get your ass beat. Unlike girls, who backstab, cry, scream, produce delirious drama, and lead lives as if they were muses for Dashboard Confessional, men operate under a certain code. That code is as follows.

I. Bros before hoes.

I cannot stress this enough. Always remember, girlfriends come and go, but your boys are always there. Breaking this rule is to commit the cardinal sin against Team Testosterone.

II. Never drink the last beer, unless you've been granted specific permission that it's OK.

III. If a girl falls into the following criteria, she is off limits forever until the end of time:

A. Was an ex-girlfriend.
B. Your friend specifically told you he wanted her.
C. Is you're buddy's sister.

However, if it's your buddy's cousin, well she's up for grabs, and you're welcome to rub it in his face for years to come.

IV. Never diss a guy if his team just lost a crushing game.

I lost approximately nine friends last October who felt the need to bust my balls when the Red Sox lost to the Devil's Bitches. Just leave it alone, it's kinder to pick on them for a dead relative.

V. You must never own a cat.

VI. If you get 2 tickets to the big game, the priority list for granting the second ticket is as follows:

1. Your best friends (in order of how long you've known them).
2. Your acquaintances.
3. Your co-workers.
4. The mailman.
5. The UPS guy.
6. NASA.
7. John Kerry.
….1,485,726. Your girlfriend.

VII. You are allowed to enjoy exactly one chick TV show, and one chick flick.

(Mine are Dawson's Creek and Love, Actually.) You may have no more. And if you like Grease, well, we're already too late.

VIII. Birthday and Christmas presents for your guy friends are optional.

Beer always makes a great gift.

IX. If you go to the bar with your buddies, you must buy a round of drinks at least once.

X. There are no mercy rules when playing someone in Madden, hoops, street hockey, bare-fisted boxing, etc.

XI. If you owe someone money, pay them back as soon as humanly possibleunless it's a gambling debt, which must be paid immediately.

XII. Standard shotgun rules are as follows.

A. Shotgun may only be called within full sight of the car.
B. Shotgun must be called outside.
C. Shotgun calls last approximately ten minutes.
D. Shotgun never carries over to a second ride.

XIII. NO PDA (Public Displays of Affection).

Hey, congratulations, another girl can stand the sight of you. You don't need to wear her like a fucking trophy.

XIV. It's alright to cheat at any game where money isn't involved.

In certain circumstances, relationships may be classified as “games.”

XV. Don't tell other guys elaborate stories about your weightlifting exercise routine.

No one cares.

XVI. Never openly question another guy's sports wisdom, unless said information specifically pertains to your favorite team.

It doesn't matter how ludicrous the other guy sounds telling you that Jake Plummer was better than Steve McNair last season, let him be.

XVII. When out with the guys, never accept a call from your girlfriend—unless she's dying or trapped under a burning fuel truck, and if that's the case, make it quick.

XVIII. Always allow a buffer zone at urinals and on couches.

XIX. Never share a bed with a guy, unless there's no way around it.

XX. Bros Before Hoes.

I know, I already used it. I can't stress it enough, though. It is absolutely infuriating how many of my guy friends have become insufferable dicks since they've gone out with someone.

Follow these rules, and be a man!

More Golden Rules:

The Golden Rules of Instant Messenger »
The Golden Rules of Instant Messenger, Part II »
The Golden Rules of Facebook »