Traditionally, members-only clubs have been soaked in exclusivity, exclusion, and, to a certain extent, colonial snobbery. Close your eyes and you are immediately submerged in images of wood, oak, and leather, with elderly gentlemen in three-piece suits sipping whiskey, and smoking cigars or pipes,
while determining what the future of the world will look like.
These clubs were also the domain solely of men. In his 1943 paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow, while unpacking what became Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, said the following about The Love Needs: “If both the physiological and safety needs are fairly well gratified, then there will emerge the love and affection and belongness needs…. He (the person) will hunger for affectionate relations with people in general, namely, for a place in his group, and he will strive with great intensity to achieve this goal.”
Since that first time we sat around a fire in a cave, human beings have wanted to belong to something; to be a part of a community, through language, interests, taste, or thought. It is this desire to belong that birthed the concept of the private or gentleman’s club as a place for men of “importance” to come together.