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Doing so would violate the Code.

“Men don’t go out to an intimate French restaurant and share a bottle of wine,” said Geoffrey Greif, a professoratthe University of Maryland School of Social Work and author of “Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships.” “The codes are part of how we live. Go to a basketball court anywhere in the United States, and there are certain rules. ‘You make it, you take it.’ Nobody has to explain.”

Know the Code

Rule No. 76: Do not occupy adjacent movie theater seats, sports arena seats or divider-less public urinals unless all other options are unavailable.

Rule No. 76(a): Rule No. 76 does not apply to the troughs at Wrigley Field.

The Code goes back. Way back. Possibly to the biblical injunction against coveting thy neighbor’s wife; probably to Hammurabi’s injunction that if a man has smitten the privates of another man, he shall be scourged with sixty blows of an ox hide.

Junk punching: Even in ancient Babylon, a definite Guy Code foul.

For much of recorded history, the Code wasn’t, well, recorded. Male friends simply had to figure it out, either through astute observation or messy trial and error. Written lists covered the biggies but failed to address smaller, everyday issues, like a buddy having a really hot sister.

(For the record: Constantly reminding said friend of said sister’s hotness? Cool. Almost mandatory, actually. But acting on said assessment? Not cool).

In the here and now, however, the Code has become the subject of public delineation and debate - part of a larger cultural celebration and embrace of male friendship, an XY flowering that began with a skateboard magazine editor coining the term “bromance” in the 1990s, reached a tipping point with Judd Apatow’s cinematic oeuvre and entered a baroque period with the short-lived 2008 MTV reality show “Bromance,” starring Brody Jenner.

Also assisting? Writer Jennifer 8. Lee, who in a seminal 2005 newspaper article popularized the term “Man Date” - essentially, two heterosexual men socializing without “the crutch of business or sports.” Ms. Lee was drawn to the subject after observing the “internal sense of gerrymandering” men had regarding one-on-one hangout time.

Meeting for brunch? Man Date.

Meeting at the exact same restaurant, at the exact same time, for the exact same brunch, but nursing dueling hangovers? Not a Man Date.

Q: Is it acceptable for a man to use the word “cute” when describing another man or couple?

A: No.

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