Men, mind your manners

London, Sep 27 | Updated: Sep 28 2007, 05:16am hrs
Forget good looks or smooth talking, manners are what matters when it comes to men.

And so Britain's age-old arbiter of good taste, Debrett's, has published a new guide to chivalry for the modern man.

From tips on whether it is appropriate to open a door for a woman in today's post-feminist society, to how to maintain an erotic life with a lover(avoid treating her like your mother)Manners for Men promises to equip any male with the style and panache to confront every social challenge.

"There is nothing more attractive than the man who knows how to handle himself in every situation," editor Jo Bryant said as the book was launched this week.

"Chivalry is...less action-based these days," the guide, written by E Jane Dickson, says. Impeccable manners are what mark a man out, and they must be universally applied.

"Our hero...speaks to waiters in the same way as he speaks to his boss, and can relate to children without coming across like a hyperactive reject from Saturday morning television."

In Manners for Men, smoking is placed squarely in the "bad habits" chapteralong with arrogance, tantrums, patronising behavior and being drunk.

For men at work, there is guidance flirting (don't do it too much), dealing with female bosses (respectfully), and on stress (not sexy).

"Clutching your forehead every time your Blackberry bleeps does not mark you out as an Alpha male, it makes you look like a salary monkey on a short leash," the guide says.

Flirting, it declares, is "a powerful social and professional tool", but it warns: "It should never be a transparent attempt at self-advancement."

"It is imperative, for the good of your career and your relationship, that you show precisely the degree of respect and professionalism towards a female superior that you would to a male," the guide advises.