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What is a Man Cave? [Definition and Purpose]

In the search of what to do with an empty room here in the house, I stumbled on Man caves. The idea sounded interesting and I did some research. There is a lot to say about man caves and their occupants. What is it? What do they look like? What do men do in a man cave?

I think most people will be a bit confused and have some questions when they hear the phrase “Man Cave” for the first time.

Some of those questions:

  • What is a man cave?
  • What do men do in their man cave?
  • What does a man cave look like?
  • Why would you want one?

Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions.

What is a man cave [definition]?

A man cave is a space where a man can be by himself or with some friends. This space is decorated and furnished how he likes it and in that space, he can do whatever he wants. Man caves come in many sizes and can be built in any available space although the basement and garage are popular options.


Man caves aren’t all the same. Man caves and sheds can be big, small, cheap, expensive and much more It all depends on who builds it. The person who builds the man cave is going to put in whatever he likes and wants. Of course there are some common themes that you’ll often see in many different caves.

It doesn’t have to be in the house either. While the garage and basement are popular choices, you can also build a man cave that’s separate from the house. A man shed or cabin is a man cave in a separate structure.

In short, don’t think you can say that one thing is a man cave and another thing isn’t.  

Is a man cave only for men?

In general, yes. It’s a place for a man to hang out alone or with some friends. If it’s a public man cave, there might be an official rule that says only men can enter. If it’s just a man cave in someone’s home, it’s up to the owner who he lets in. That said, most man caves are intended to be male spaces.

Isn’t that a bad thing?

Is it necessary to have a space for only men? Yes it is. It’s very important for men to have a place where they can be themselves. There are fewer and fewer spaces where men can be men and where they can be with just other men.

More and more traditionally male spaces are being “sterilized” shall we call it? There is a lot of negative press on men and especially men that want to be masculine. In many cases a LACK of masculinity is actually a bigger problem. A man cave is a place for men to be comfortable with other men and develop their masculinity.

What do men do in their man cave?

So now we’ve got a short description of what a man cave is, it raises the question: What’s it for? What do people do in their man cave?

There are several activities that man caves are used for. Here are some examples:

  • Alone time
  • Relaxing
  • Hang out with friends
  • Watching sports
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Working out
  • Collecting
  • DIY
  • Working on cars/motorcycles/other
  • Drinking beer
  • Play pub games

Idea behind these activities

Men want a man cave because they need a space to do some things that make them feel masculine. Usually it’s nothing really exciting, just things men like to do. Many men will have a place where they can be by themselves and do things they like. They might not call it a man cave but in essence it’s very similar. Many men feel pressured by the constant criticism in the media nowadays and having a space to do manly things helps men with feeling more masculine.

Also, many men in long term relationships feel like they’ve lost some of their masculinity or sovereignty.

At other times these are just the things men like to do and they want a space to do it.

What does a man cave look like?

You might be wondering what the inside of a man cave looks like. You might be curious since you’re not allowed in your man’s man cave or you don’t have a man cave in your house.

A great place to start if you want some real pictures is the man cave Reddit.

Some things you’ll see often (but not in every man cave):

  • Posters and/or paintings related to the man’s interest
  • A bar area
  • A seating area
  • Pool tabe
  • TV
  • Cool gadgets
  • Toys that have no place in other rooms of the house
  • A DIY project
  • A kegerator

In short, it’s often a place that’s decorated how the caveman likes it. A place that is conducive to whatever the man wants to do and where they can have their own space.

A part of making a space your own is to decorate and dress it up how you like it.

Common themes

There are some themes that are more popular than others to build a man cave around. Here are some of the most popular:

Some man caves have a single theme and are very well planned and tidy. Others are just a collection of things the occupant likes without a common theme.

Reasons to want a man cave?

You can already extract some reasons why you would want a man cave from the previous segment but it doesn’t hurt to summarize and maybe give some more. Obviously I’m talking to men here.

  • You need a space where you can have some alone time and relax.
  • You need a space that you can call your own. You want it to be and feel like it’s yours. A place that is how you want it to be and where you’re comfortable. It has things you like and is decorated how you want it.
  • You need a space where you can indulge in whatever hobby you have without being disturbed.
  • You need a space where you can (re)connect with your masculinity and your own identity.
  • You need a space to be creative in a way that isn’t possible in other places inside the house.
  • You need a space to hang out and bond with other men.
  • You need a space to work on self-improvement.

Need some help creating your man cave?

Now you know what a man cave is and what it’s used for, you might be interested in creating your own. Here are some posts that are meant to help you decide what you want and how to go about creating your man cave. Start at the top with the man cave FAQ. Also feel free to look around on this website. There is a lot of information that can help you.