To the Manners Born

updated 12/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/15/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST

Hey, caveman! Lose the gum. Turn off the cell phone. Quit swearing. Clean up your act.

Who says? Peter Post, author of Essential Manners for Men and great-grandson of Emily Post, who wrote the book on finger bowls and thank-you notes. His message: Polite moves like making proper introductions or letting others finish speaking can help you score points at work, set an example for the kids and even heat up your sex life. "If you behave in a way that makes people happy, you'll be more successful," he explains. (Say no more!)

Post, 53, who lives with wife Tricia, 52, in Vermont, is a director of the Emily Post Institute in Burlington and teaches etiquette at corporate venues. Though it's less glitzy, he claims his job is just like what the Fab Five do on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: "They tell [men] what to do in their lives to make a better impression."

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