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Do you have BDE?


No need to panic, it’s not the latest STD on the one-night-stand scene. Nor is it the acronym of a learning difficulty which would have been called a ‘case of the dumb’ some twenty odd years ago.

“It was coined on Twitter,” explained India Knight on her The Sunday Times Magazine column last weekend, “in the context of the late chef Anthony Bourdain, whose easy charm and confident swagger were, someone posited, a sign that all was well in the trouser department.”

“Then the singer Ariana Grande alluded to it,” continued the writer, “in the context of her actor-comedian boyfriend Pete Davidson, to whom she got engaged extremely quickly.”


BDE stands for Big Dick Energy, and Knight confirms it is officially a thing. She describes it as “a form of laid-back, woman-friendly uber-confidence,” “the greater part of sex appeal,” and the reason why “someone not obviously devastatingly attractive, for reasons nobody can quite explain: or why good-looking person A is more devastatingly attractive than good-looking person B.” Idris Elba, Sinatra, JFK, Roger Federer are some of the examples she cites.

With BDE on the one hand, it is natural for the conversation to turn into SDE, Small Dick Energy, “where the owner of the dick is permanently angry and sad about the contents of his pants, and where his anger leaches out to all aspects of his life.” “Small Dick Energy is toxic and negative; Big Dick Energy is generous and unthreatened.”

Of course, as Knight later explains, BDE doesn’t actually have anything to do with what’s in the pants department. You do not have to be necessarily well-endowed to have BDE, in fact you do not even need to be a man. Rihanna, Beyonce, Janelle Monae, Madonna are some of the examples of women with bags of BDE Knight lists.

Reading Knight’s theories on BDE, naturally my mind turned to all those with BDE and SDE I have come across in life, then of course the often well-known Nigerians with BDE and SDE. It is easy to recognise those with BDE.

Actor Richard Mofe-Damijo, photographer Kelechi Amadi Obi, advertising guru Steve Babaeko are some of the names that come to mind. As for women, publisher Betty Irabor, architect Olajumoke Adenowo, actor Joke Silva, OAP (and my dear friend) Elvina Ibru are some of the women that come to mind with their ever upbeat attitude, generous spirit and easy swagger. With those who have BDE, it is not forced or faked, their larger than life energy is genuine, lavish and magnetic. Their charm is easy, breezy, natural. You are drawn to them, enveloped in their vibrant energy.

Then I cast my mind to all the SDE people I have come across. Those businessmen who saunter, in all their short man syndrome glory, around Eko Hotel lobby and poolside, waiting to cut the next business deal… The flashy young boys popping champagne at clubs at 4 in the morning… The men who are rude to the waiter, abuse the gateman, mock their staff… Those that brag about the number of women they have in each area code, the number of Ferraris they have in their courtyard, the amount of money in their Swiss bank account, and of course, lo and behind, the size of the package in their trousers. Note of caution: Those who boast about the size of any package definitely lack BDE.

I recall the man who was picking up young girls at Auto Lounge when his wife was due to give birth in the UK, or the man who went out chasing skirt the very night he shed crocodile tears at the airport telling his girlfriend he’d just proposed to he would miss her when she was in the UK. There was the man who tried to corner a business associate in her hotel room after a night out while his wife was up at 3 in the morning waiting for his safe passage over the Third Mainland Bridge. All SDE.

I recall the woman too, who when threatened, would resort to petty gossip about other women she felt threatened by. There was the one who, at the sight of first conflict, would raise her voice rather than better her argument. The one who invited a society lady to her event and got mad when she got more media attention than her. The countless women in celebrity circuit who huff when they don’t get a front row seat at a fashion show, puff when their seat is not saved at a film premiere they showed up half an hour late too, cry foul when they are found out they have been living champagne lifestyle sponging off a married man. All SDE.

So have you got BDE? If you believe you do, make sure you don’t brag about it because that’s an SDE move. BDEs don’t brag about BDE; they know they’ve got it, we darned well know we’ve got it. No need to flaunt it.

If you find you have SDE. As opposed to the size of your package, or your gender, you still have the chance to turn things around. Just stop acting in ways that project to the world your fragile ego, your competitive spirit and your small dick. It’s time to grow into a bigger one and exude all the boundless generosity, endless charm, magnetic energy that come with it.

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