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What’s the purpose of Man Caves? [Introduction]

In the search of what to do with an empty room here in the house, I stumbled on Man caves. The idea sounded interesting but I had some questions: Why would you want one? What is a man cave? What is the purpose? What do you do with it?

These are some questions I’ll try to answer some of these questions. Reading several articles online shows that man caves have gotten some mixed attention over the last years. Some positive and some negative. In this article I’ll try to just answer the questions posed before and give an overview of what man caves are. Judgment will mostly be reserved for a future article.

Check out some of these other articles;

What is the purpose of a man cave?


What’s the purpose of a man cave? A man cave has more than one purpose. The most important is to have a private space for alone time or a room to hang out with some friends. This time can be used to get back in touch or further develop their identity and masculinity.

If you don’t know what a man cave is, start with this post: What is a man cave?

There are several activities that are very common in man caves.

  • Alone time
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Watching sports
  • Practicing hobbies
  • Having a place of your own
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Working out
  • Collecting
  • Etc.

It seems that many men lose track of themselves during along term relationship. Children, career and wife are all taking up so much time that they don’t have/take the time to do the things that made them who they were.

Identity

I Think many men in that situation feel kind of lost, frustrated, detached from who they were and have no way to get away from it. At work you have your “work identity” which is usually different from your real identity. At home they feel like they are supposed to be someone they would have laughed at a couple of years earlier. They feel like their partner has control of the house and don’t have a place they can call their own.

Masculinity

In short I think many man feel like they’ve lost a part of their masculinity and need some space to reconnect with it. For most men, their masculinity is an integral part of their identity. Many places in today’s society don’t encourage masculinity at all. Some places even actively discourage it.

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest reasons why men want to create their own spaces. They want a place that is at the very least not hostile towards the masculine parts of their identity.

If you’re looking for more information about masculinity, this is a good place to start; What is the definition of masculinity.

Alone time

Besides that, everyone needs alone time. Some people more than others but everyone needs some. Many people are too busy with work and family however to get enough alone time.

The man cave is a way of carving out the space and time to (re)connect with their former/real identity. It’s a place to have some alone time. It’s a place you can physically go to, close the door and you’ll be alone.  It’s a place to unwind after work and work on some hobbies without being disturbed. Maybe it’s even a place to improve yourself through exercise and reading.

A man cave is also a place where a man can set his own rules(within reason of course). A simple example would be the use of coasters under glasses.

Negative

On the negative side of things you could say that man caves are a way to get away from something. Maybe they’re trying to getting away from a partner, children or other obligations. Instead of solving the problem, some men will just lock themselves in their man cave and avoid their problems instead of solving them. This is obviously not the optimal way of dealing with things.

Balance

As with most things in life, things aren’t good or bad. Actions can be good or bad but things usually aren’t subject to moral judgment. In my opinion the same thing is true for man caves. The way a man cave is used, determines if it’s something positive or negative.

As I see it now, the positive way to use it is to (re)discover your identity/masculinity and develop yourself as a man. In this situation you’re actually using the space to solve or prevent some problems you might have.

The negative way to use it to get away from problems you should be actively solving outside of this space. Also read this article; Why you shouldn’t have a man cave.

Man Caves come in all shapes and forms. Like to work on motorcycles? Put a motorcycle and tools in there. It's up to you to decide.

Summary

Man caves are a way for men to have a space where they can be men. A male space that can be exactly how they like it. Many men feel beaten down by the image of masculinity in popular culture. Many men also feel like they’ve lost some masculinity during their life for whatever reason. Man caves are a way to (re)discover their real identity. They’re also the only place where toys and decorations are exactly what the owner wants.