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Who are Man Caves for? (Maybe not who you think!)

You might be wondering, who are man caves for? Aren’t they only for nerdy men that can’t do anything else than lock themselves up in a room and play video games? There might be a few of those, but I don’t think that’s the majority. There are different types of men that want a man cave. Find out more below.

For more information also read these articles;

Image of man caves in pop culture


Let’s start with looking at some examples of how man caves and their occupants are portrayed in popular culture. Click the links to read the articles.

As you can see from those articles, man caves are definitely not universally seen as a positive thing. I think the negative articles miss something in their analysis. Maybe I’ll write about that later. But for now I think it’s safe to say many people think a man cave is for losers and sexists. There are plenty of men that are not losers or sexists that want a man cave.

Purpose


To discover what type of men, man caves are for, we have to look at the purposes of these spaces. The last article on this site aimed to answer exactly that question so let’s take a look at that one more time.

If you want to read the whole article, click here. Below is a summary.

The purpose of a man cave is to have a place for yourself where you can set the rules, decorate the way you want and do what you want to do. This can be anything from reading to playing video games to working out. It’s also a space to (re)connect to your identity and possibly work on improving yourself.  

Living arrangements


Married/Living together

The most obvious candidate for wanting/needing a man cave would be married men and men who are living together long term. Many men tend to lose track of their own identity when they are married or living together for a while and especially when there are children involved.

This is understandable. Raising children, working and maintaining a house and marriage all take up a lot of time. All these other activities don’t leave a lot of time free for other things. That means that many times things like hobbies, catching up with friends and many other things that a guy might have been interested in before, take a back seat. Alone time is also pretty scarce usually.

Some men will recognize this early and try to do something about it. One of the things they think might solve the problem is to have their own man cave.

For other men it takes a bit longer. Once the storm of having small children has died down a bit, they discover they have neglected their hobbies, friends and even identity. That is probably a time when many men start wishing for a man cave.

The question if they should have their own man cave is for another time since it depends on quite a few factors.

Of course women face many of the same problems in the same situation. That’s not what this article or website is about though.

Single

For single men it’s a bit different.

The stereotype is the nerd who’s locked himself in his mom’s basement, filled it with questionable anime posters, Mountain Dew, Cheetos, dirty clothes and just plays video games and watches porn all day. He calls it his fortress of solitude and does nothing to improve his life.

While there might be a portion of single men who would fit this description, I don’t believe that’s all or even the majority of the single men.

The other part of men might have a space where they can relax, practice their hobbies and be themselves. This takes different forms and they might not always describe it as a man cave. First there are two distinctions to be made in my opinion. The two distinctions are; -Living at home and -Has his own place.

Living at home

Hopefully these men are still young. That means they don’t really have a man cave in the way the married men do.  They usually only have their own room in their parent’s house. It does tick a lot of the boxes for purposes of a man cave.

  • A place to be alone
  • A place to indulge in whatever hobbies you like
  • A place you can decorate the way you like it.

In many ways you can call this a man cave. It’s used to do whatever you want and decorate how you want it. It can be a part of developing your identity. Many times parents will have some type of influence though.

Has his own place

If a man has his own place it’s a bit different again. If you’ve got your own place and don’t have any roommates, there is no reason to have a separate room for your activities. There are certainly men who like to convert one of their rooms into a space that is specially tailored to their interests.

It’s still good to have a specific place where you can clear your mind and keep your hobbies contained in a specific space. Maybe you don’t want your soldering iron on the coffee table or your current knitting project to end up in the sink. Then it’s a good idea to have a separate room for those things

In that case a man cave is more like a hobby room, but there is a very large overlap anyways.

Interests


Another factor in wanting a man cave is what character you have.

It’s obvious everyone has a different character. Different characters makes people have different interests and want different things.

Outdoor

If most of your interests are outside your need for a man cave will be less. Kayaking, fishing, hiking, etc. are all activities that you can use for the same purposes of a man cave. You can have alone time, relax, bond with other men, improve your skills, etc.

Those are things man caves are often used for. That doesn’t mean you don’t still want your own space in the house. Maybe you want a place to maintain your gear and equipment when the weather is too bad to go outside. Or maybe you just want to have a place you can decorate with all the signs and posters that wouldn’t fly in the rest of the house.

Indoor

Other men have interests that are usually practiced inside. Examples are; playing video games, making music, watching movies, reading, etc. This type of men is obviously going to be more likely to be interested in having their own man cave.

Personal situation


Obviously the personal situation someone is in is a huge factor in wanting a private space.

Maybe you’re reading this and you think: “I don’t need any space for myself. I get enough time for myself and have plenty of space for everything I want to do.” If so, good for you!! All the more time, effort and money you can put into other things you value.

As we discovered before, many men are not exactly in that position. They feel like they’re missing something. This is often a freedom to be themselves and express/develop their identity and interests.

That’s the positive way of looking at it. The other side is that some men feel the need to escape the situation they’re in for several reasons.

Answers


So with all that said, let’s see if we can quickly answer some of the questions posed in the introduction.

Are man caves only for married men?

No, all men can want and have a man cave. Men who are married and living together are more likely to want a man cave but have to deal with their partner in order to get it done.

Single men who have their own place have much more freedom to do what they want obviously. They have less of an incentive to have their own private room because their whole house/apartment is their own.  These men might convert a free space into a man cave though. In practice this is probably very close to a hobby room. The overlap between man caves and hobby rooms is quite large anyways.

Single men who live at home usually have some kind of automatic man cave. They often convert their room in their parent’s house into something like a man cave. They are already staying and living in that room so it’s not really “extra”.

Married men are most likely to WANT their own man cave. If they can have it is another question.

Are man caves only for losers?

Popular culture has portrayed man caves as being for losers.

In real life though, that’s not necessarily true. I don’t think wanting a man cave is related to wanting a man cave. Sure there are losers that want/have a man cave. There are also plenty of successful men that do.

That means that the stereotype is partly true. There are some men who could/should do plenty of things outside the house before they should start thinking about something like a man cave. There are plenty of men that work hard, are successful and have a good relationship with their partner. They just need their own space.

What type of man wants their own man cave?

There is not one type of man that wants a man cave. There are some characteristics that we can influence if a man wants a man cave;

I think men with the following characteristics will have a higher chance of wanting a man cave.

  • Married or living together for a while.
  • Has set aside his identity and interests for his; family/work/children/partner.
  • Feels like he’s lost his identity and would like to get back in touch with it.
  • Has interests that need a separate room.
  • Needs a place for alone time.