Big Dick Energy

Are you familiar with Big Dick Energy (BDE)?  You probably are, even if you don’t know it yet.  BDE is defined as confidence without cockiness.  Despite the apparent phallus descriptor, BDE is not actually about the size of a penis, and the phrase by and large seems to be used with gender neutrality.  I personally think it falls in the category of things you know when you see.  I’m not cool enough to know the intricacies of BDE, so I have relied on people way cooler than myself to enumerate some examples for clarity.  One example that stands out is a wealthy person who drives a safe yet affordable ecological car.  That is some BDE!  Another example could be as simple as someone taking time out of their day to help others.  Helping someone study for an exam or volunteering at a polling station, both great examples of BDE.

Now opposing BDE is SDE (Small) or if a person is really awful MDE (Micro), and while BDE is the type of energy that most people want to be around, SDE is something that should be avoided at all costs.  SDE is generally cockiness without skill.  But SDE is so much worse than that.  I have come to think of SDE as the behavior of someone who is lacking in one area so tries to overcompensate in another.  Examples abound!!!  That raised truck with the giant wheels and loud muffler…that may not be sending the message you think it’s sending.  That keyboard courage, and Facebook fearlessness does not have the appeal that you may think it has.

I realize that SDE/MDE sound like pejorative terms, but I assure you they aren’t.  SDE/MDE are personality traits that lots of people exhibit.  SDE/MDE are descriptors.  And while you and I may not love the SDE/MDE personality there are plenty of people out there who really embrace the lifestyle.  In reality there is a spectrum with Dick Energy all over it, the Dick Energy Spectrum (DES).  We all land somewhere on the DES.  Climbers included.  This very point got me thinking: “what are some examples of BDE and SDE throughout the climbing community?”  

Offering a belay to someone without a climbing partner, that is the epitome of BDE.  Taking someone on their first outdoor climb, teaching them proper crag etiquette, and safety procedures…BDE!  Sharing beta with someone who asks, is a good example of BDE.  I have a friend who gave a new climber his old harness, and another friend who gave away an extra pair of shoes, these are both examples of BDE.  Sharing your crag snackies with the crew?  Grande!  Bringing a dog climbing with you, that’s BDE, dogs are the best!

Unfortunately, SDE and MDE are often found in and around climbing gyms and crags as well.  Sending someone’s project just to flex.  Come on, that is teeny peepee!  Spraying beta1 to folks who never asked?  MDE!  Bragging about your sends.  SDE.  I think one of the most unfortunate examples of MDE is the flex spray, i.e. spraying beta to someone just to prove that you sent their route.  That is Micro for sure.  An even worse example is spraying to someone who is just trying to climb alone.  Just because someone is alone isn’t a pass to tell them how to do something.  

The list goes on and on of course, but you get it.  All of our actions lie somewhere on the DES, and as we all know bigger isn’t always better.  But when it comes to DE, be cautious, because size does matter!


  1. Spraying Beta = Telling someone how to climb a route.

35 Replies to “Big Dick Energy”

  1. Firstly, I’m not a climber so that was a tad confusing at the end until I saw the bottom comment (thank you for that). I’ve never heard of BDE but I have have to say I love the concept. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Spud, thank you! That was such a nice comment. I was worried this wouldn’t go over too well, so I am very happy to hear that you liked it!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. At first, I thought you were treading a fine line here. But after reading the whole thing, I see your point and agree. Whatever acronym you want to use, it would be good if we all could display more BDE. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I thought I knew everything Jajaja SDE? But I gotta thank ya for this descriptor of personality types. I once saw a friend without dress 🧦 and I went home and I pulled him aside and I offered him the white 🧦 to complete his outfit. He was eternally grateful and I just thought it was the right thing to do as I was in 🇩🇴and the one thing that people need are just the basics like 👞 🧦and 🩲!🙏♒️🐕Was I BDE in that moment?😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My WIFI connection is bad because we’re experiencing bad weather, but I wasn’t about to miss reading something with this title, so I tried and tried and tried 😅 oh that’s not a bad energy to have 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never properly understood what BDE meant, but you explained it prefectly in just 3 words: “confidence without cockiness”. This was a good read!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I almost didn’t read this ’cause i thought it was going to be about energy drinks. Not at all what i expected. Thanks for the laugh!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bahaha!!! I love it. There’s a lot of SDE and MDE where I live. I encounter it personally all the time. It comes in the form of “you can’t”, which really means, from the speaker’s perspective that they can’t. It’s why I have no friends: people don’t like being wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d love for you to put this in my June Magazine (all bout men) if interested please send me a Insta DM @msheelmagazine. See that flex right there? AKA, BDE! 😘😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This was so entertaining to read…now Im gonna go about my day thinking about the energy size hehe!

    Liked by 1 person

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