The History Of The Man Cave

Let’s take a look at man’s evolving need for personal space.

Every guy knows the importance of a man cave. But you may be surprised to learn they’re not a new trend—men have built rooms made for quiet reflection and unashamed pantslessness for thousands of years. Let’s take a look at man’s evolving need for personal space.  


Illustrated by Michael Dziekan | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

The first man caves were, of course, caves. Dating back around 800,000 years, they were inhabited by the now extinct species Homo nohomobro. Manthropologists believe males of the species built these small enclosures as places to “just go bang rocks by myself for a while.” Fossil evidence also indicates males used the spots to celebrate after successful hunts while the tribe’s females gathered elsewhere in the shelter. Cranial reconstructions show that the eyes of the female were particularly adapted to rolling.


1. Thin layer of fossilized Buffalo pterodactyl wings deposited during tribal gatherings.

2. Lava lamp made with actual lava.

3. Comfy reclining slab.

4. Wheel, up on a cement block. Evidence suggests occupant had one like it when he was 17 and was trying to restore it.

Ancient Greece

Illustrated by Michael Dziekan | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

While much social discourse in ancient Greece took place in the public square, many philosophers did their best thinking in private chambers. These testicletoriumswere often elaborately decorated and gave citizens a quiet oasis to ponder the nature of exist­ence, masculinity, and boobs. Refer­ences to these dens appear in some major Greek writings. In fact, in one interpretation of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” man leaves his dimly lit shelter not to seek enlightenment but rather because he has run out of chips.


1. Acoustics perfect for surround sound (60-person Greek chorus sold separately).

2. Tile floor with drainage system for easy post-orgy cleanup.

3. Walk-in sandal humidor.

4. Souvenir bobblehead from the first Olympics.

Colonial America

Illustrated by Michael Dziekan | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

As our young nation struggled for in­dependence, so too did the architects of democracy, who used these spaces for everything from drafting legislation to spanking Puritans. Raucous parties were common: It’s rumored John Hancock enjoyed putting his “John Hancock” on the forehead of whoever passed out first (and we don’t mean his signature). It is not known which Founding Father first installed such a room in his home. Our guess is Ben Franklin. That dude invented pretty much everything, right?


1. March 1776 issue of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, featuring centerfold Betsy Ross (pictorial: “Star-Spangled Sex Appeal”).

2. Secret supply of Just for Men wig-whitening gel.

3. Hemp stash.

4. Big Patriots fan, obviously.

The Future

Illustrated by Michael Dziekan | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013

In light of modern man’s reliance on smartphones, tablets, e-mail, social media, and other digital services, it’s hard to imagine how the man caves of tomorrow will isolate us even further from meaningful human interaction. Perhaps we’ll discover an alien race whose man-cave technology far outpaces our own. But until the glorious day arrives when we finally turn outer space into personal space, we can only dream of what wonders await.


1. Hipster “fixie”jetpack.

2. Authentic vintage beer sign from the year 2028.

3. Xbox 360000 with 470-inch 3D holographic television.

4. Entire man cave collapses into Jetsons-style smartphone app for light transport and easy instal­lation anywhere.