The History and Future of the Man Cave
What is a Man Cave? The History and Future of the Man Cave:
If you are exploring the idea of creating a new man cave, or you are looking to make your man cave (or help your man – ladies) even better, there is one important place to start. You need to know what a man cave is to you.
Yes, you read that correctly, what is a man cave TO YOU? In my opinion, there should be no singular definition of a man cave. To some, a man cave is a room, to others it may be a garage, or even an outdoor space. Man caves come in small spaces and outrageously large spaces, and neither is the best solution for everyone.
Defining the Man Cave
If you are thinking that this is a broad definition of a man cave, you are correct. It may be the broadest definition for a man cave that I have ever seen. Typical definitions of a man cave include limiting the man cave to a room in the house, or dictate beer signs, pool tables, and sports as predetermined necessity for a man cave. While this definition may serve the traditional man cave stereotype, the reality is that man caves can be much more than just a room in the house where a man goes to hide.
Take the office, for example. A man’s office is widely regarded as his space. He controls what it looks like, where the furniture goes, and who is invited to use it. This is undoubtedly a man cave, but it isn’t always at home. Don Draper from the TV series Mad Men had quite a manly office, which he often retires into to escape the pressure of others. I’d chalk that up to a man cave any day.
A man cave doesn’t necessarily even need to be inside. I once visited a house that had an amazing outdoor man cave, complete with a big screen television, refrigerator, grill, and ample seating. It had all the comforts of a cave, but was outdoors – and it made for some amazing summer grilling parties!
The lesson? Escape the confines of the “cave” and create your own man space, wherever that may be.
The Earliest Man Caves While the term “man cave” hasn’t been around that long, the idea of the man cave may even date back to cavemen themselves. Medieval castles often had rooms used by the resident lord as a man cave. Sometimes called a cabinet, these rooms resembled a study or office, and were furnished with book shelves and art. In some cases, these rooms served as treasure troves where the lord’s most prized possessions were stored. The lord would invite only his most trusted advisers into his cabinet. Sounds like a man cave to me.
The Golden Age
The next advancement in man-cavery (yep, I made that word up – it just seems right) came from media – but not from the expected source. This man cave iteration came to us from the comic book. Comic books surged in popularity after their introduction in the 1930’s, and few were more popular than Batman. The 1942 Batman #12 gave us the first illustration of the now infamous “Bat Cave”, Batman’s underground fortress. Batman’s man cave emphasized a number of lasting man cave principles – exclusivity, isolation, and of course – technology! The bat cave was one of the earliest examples of what some technology can do in a man cave, making him the envy of every guy who ever liked gadgets. The Bat Cave continues to inspire modern man caves – check out this incredible Batman Man Cave.
The Future of the Man Cave
Don’t worry, man cavers, the man cave is NOT dead! It has just changed a little. Yes, the man cave of today might still share some resemblance to the man cave of the past, but a lot has changed. The man cave is no longer the place where a man goes to get away from the world, it is a place that is styled by the man but should be enjoyed by friends and family. No longer is the man cave just a room in the house, it is now any space that the man can show his own sense of style.
The future of the man cave depends on throwing out all the old stereotypes and adopting the new definition:
Man Cave: Any space that is exclusively designed, furnished, and styled by a man.
Get out there, man cavers, and make a space your own, any kind of space. Feel free to call it a man cave, and do what you want with it, just make sure that it represents your own style and taste.