The rise of singledom continued into the 21st century, but thanks to a decimated economy, the bachelor’s identity regressed from confident Lothario to impertinent man- child. Ostentatious pads no longer served as home-sized props with the intent of dazzling ladies, but instead became an extension of the inhabitant’s activities – the new breed of bachelor isn’t as preoccupied with hooking up as he is with his hobbies. Just take superhero billionaire playboys Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne: One spends most of his time in a cutting- edge workshop tinkering with various Iron Men; the other lives in an underground bat cave riddled with tech toys for his nightly escapades. Even the famous shared rooms of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were a combination dining room, interview room, laboratory, and library.
Speaking of shared rooms, an increasing number of young bachelors are pooling resources to live together in communal apartments. These pads often feel like a continuation of college frat life, equipped with video game consoles, beer kegs, and pool tables to prolong the carefree adolescent lifestyle. Bachelor pads are now stereotyped as being jockishly messy, with dirty dishes and clothes strewn about – a far cry from the indulgent digs during the Golden Age of the bachelor – and while there are still sleek, modern apartments for single men, the aspirational notion of bachelorhood has certainly diminished.