What Is Big Dick Energy—and Who Has It?

Culture
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In polite company, you often can’t bring up the size of somebody’s genitalia. However, this week, because of—who else?—Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, we can. Bless up.

Remember when Ariana tweeted that her new fiancé was…as lengthy as their courtship was short? (10 inches.) As with every tiny detail of this celebrity relationship, everyone was beside themselves about it, and one person on Twitter quickly summed up Davidson’s appeal using a very special term: “Big Dick Energy.”

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The Cut went deep on it yesterday, and now we’re all talking about it. But what does it mean, exactly? Like all brand new, zeitgeisty, totally fabricated concepts, its boundaries are a little fuzzy. The term was coined by Twitter user @imbobswaget, in an irreverent tribute to Anthony Bourdain after his death:

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Like many phallocentric ideas, it has something to do with whether a person has confidence due to how society valorizes ideas of traditional cis masculinity and sizable reproductive organs. But basically, when you see a person walk whistling down the street, visibly thinking, “Because I’m worth it”—that’s Big Dick Energy.

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You don’t need to have a dick to have BDE, which is what makes the definition a little complicated. Sometimes it’s easiest to understand what Big Dick Energy is by discerning who has it and who doesn’t. Try it for yourself: Pick a person and think. Do they have that Je ne dique quoi? You kind of know, deep within your soul, don’t you? Yep.

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In ELLE.com’s humble collective opinion, Tina Knowles has it. Lenny Kravitz has it. Amal Clooney? Yep. Batman has it, but NOT Superman. Oliver from Call Me By Your Name has it. Judi Dench has Big Dick Energy; Judge Judy, duh. Jeff Goldblum practically invented Big Dick Energy. The Barefoot Contessa? No shoes, but BDE in spades. Kermit the Frog? Big. Dick. Energy.

But Pete Campbell from Mad Men? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, Peggy Olson doesn’t either. Jonah Hill? Sorry, man. Obviously not Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. No late-night TV show hosts have it (except Desus and Mero). It’s not a bad thing to not have it! Not even Hugh Jackman or Donald Glover do. It doesn’t make any person less powerful. It’s just a specific kind of vibe, like being a Capricorn.

Anyway, now that you’ve brushed up on this highly nebulous characteristic, here’s a quiz that will both help you hone your understanding of Big Dick Energy and test your knowledge. Ready? You better B(D)E ready.

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