Not this kind of Taxi Driver. Hopefully.

In my increasingly cynical mind, men can quite often be placed in the accessories category. They’re handy to have around in a pinch and can often improve your overall look (at a wedding, say). I’d even go so far as to say that if you choose ’em wisely, they could be downright useful. 

Now, let’s be clear: I’m not suggesting you date all of these men. What I’m suggesting is that you befriend them, with one eye on the long game – you want these guys to stick around through thick and thin and to be there for you when you’re loved up with someone else. 

So while one night of passion that turns to friendship and mutual respect is fine, don’t try to date your essential males, unless you want to be 12 penalty points deep with no lift home at midnight in December…

The taxi driver

This is the male-friend equivalent of the black shoe: it’s a no-brainer. It’s incredibly useful to have a taxi driver on side because he’s up at all hours and, if he likes you enough, won’t charge you for the lift home. Plus, he’ll be there at 3am when you’re drunk and angry at the world and want to vent. Chances are, he’ll even find it entertaining.

Mahoney in police academy

Hands up if you, as a child of the 80s, also fancied Police Academy’s Mahoney?

The member of An Garda Síochána

I can count the number of genuinely attractive guards I’ve ever met on one hand, so I’m not advocating searching our police force for your true love, but having a guard on side is never going to be unhelpful. You can call him when your wallet’s been stolen and you need to report it (because it’s impossible to find the number of your local station on the Garda’s entirely unresponsive site); you can ask him to suss out your new neighbour who seems a bit dodgy; and he’s indispensable when it comes to penalty point quashing*.

arnie in conan the barbarian

Arnie was hot. Once. Here’s the Conan The Barbarian-based proof. Ok, and also in Predator.

The personal trainer

Get a PT on side and you can get training advice for free, on those odd days you decide you’re bothered enough to get up off the couch midway through season four of Gossip Girl. If he’s a good enough friend, he won’t even get angry when he bumps into you, three weeks later, having driven five minutes down the road to feed your hangover in McDonald’s.

aidan in sex and the city

Aidan could hone a plank of wood like no other man, and was utterly wasted on Carrie. Sighsies.

The handyman

Now, before you get your smalls in a twist, I do my own DIY. I mean, it’s not hard – I have a hammer and a power drill and I know what a U-bend is. That being said, sometimes things happen that are beyond my area of expertise. Like when the curtain pole just fell – fell! – straight out of the wall. A handyman is your only man. (In some cases, like mine, this could be your dad – but ideally it’s someone else, because when my dad comes over he expects to be fed and really, who has the time?)

Nicky Clarke

Hey Nicky / You’re so fine / You’re so fine / You blow my mind / Hey Nicky. [Not]

The hairdresser

Strictly speaking, this person could be male or female, but of all my girlfriends, several of them have a close male friend who just happens to be their personal, free-of-charge, blow-dry-included hairdresser. It’s like they’re Katie Price or something, off to have their hair cut for free by their glamorous bestie. Except they’re not paying. What could be better?

* Kidding, kidding. Honest.