The Inventor of Big Dick Energy on the Rise and Demise of a Horny Twitter Joke

The inevitable life cycle of a meme, as explained by someone who watched other people take the credit (and profits) for her idea.

I really don’t think I’m the first person in the history of time to speculate about the size of someone’s dick, or to analyze why I find someone attractive. It’s very possible, though, that I’m the first person to make a dumb tweet about “big dick energy,” which I dedicated to honor the memory of Anthony Bourdain not long after he passed. The conversation about Bourdain happened on a night of my friends and I drinking some orange wine and lamenting that none of us would ever get to fuck him, because not only was he hot, he was a man who was very curious and empathetic, and a good listener—which you know is a rare find. We came to the conclusion that he must have had a huge dick to match his great personality.


Friends in my Twitter circle responded as they usually do: mostly aghast, lightly horrified since Bourdain had just died, and a little loath to admit that I was right. Big dick energy became an ongoing joke. Damon Albarn had it, I decided, as did Mandy Patinkin. Judnick Mayard tweeted that the only two white people to have big dick energy are David Beckham and Frances McDormand.

Big dick energy took off widely. I am largely baffled by the traction of it all, as a whole! When news outlets started picking up stories about big dick energy, the Pete Davidson/Ariana Grande discourse was really the catalyst—people on Twitter had applied “big dick energy” to Davidson after seeing Grande tweet about his penis size and a picture of her licking a lollipop and gazing at him hornily. This wasn’t necessarily wrong, but I started seeing a lot of big dick energy nominations—and coverage—that I didn’t feel really got what it was.

I won’t even say the takes I’ve seen are bad. I just don't agree with them. I saw more than one tweet declare that Oscar the Grouch has big dick energy, which I wholeheartedly disagree with. I've since decided that big dick energy is really in the eye of the beholder: It was interesting seeing the large scope of who was included in the big dick energy discourse. People declared big dick energy gender-neutral, in contrast to my initial take, which expanded on the heteronormativity of my own desires. I saw a claim that Beyoncé has big dick energy—which we can all unequivocally agree: yes, she does. She, Rihanna, and other non-penis-havers with BDE prove that you don’t need to possess a physical big dick to embody big dick energy. Outside of that, I don’t think it makes sense to try and define it—we’re all so uniquely attracted to different things.


Big dick energy got stale the way most memes do: It got repetitive. When you’re seeing 500 tweets where people are just rattling off random celebrities they find hot, it’s boring! Just too many chefs in the kitchen, trying to cook up a definition of what it memes when it wasn't that deep to begin with. Worse, outsiders started trying to explain the joke.

The disheartening part of seeing my idea covered by all kinds of publications in the past few days was that none of them reached out to me before publishing pieces about big dick energy. Others were credited or paid for my work. The Cut actually started selling “BDE” (or big dick energy, minus the big dick energy) T-shirts, which I found wild—I really don’t think they’re hurting for money. After I raised this on Twitter, The Cut was very quick to reach out to me, and the people I spoke to were profusely apologetic. (I don’t know if they would have reached out if I didn’t have the Twitter following that I do—and if several of my friends hadn’t gotten in their mentions.) The writer and a senior person there asked what they could do to rectify the situation, discontinued the T-shirt and offered me whatever profits had been made, and left the door open for ideas about how they could do better with situations like this in the future.

Can publications do better when it comes to capitalizing off internet memes and jokes they aren’t directly responsible for? I don’t know. It’s hard to trace back ideas to their originators on Twitter, where new tweets are being made about the topic each minute. Honestly, I think I’ve already phased out using Twitter for any of my better observations. It’s been made apparent that, as a collective group, millennials aren’t always good at giving credit. The mindset that the discovery of an idea is akin to creating it is something that’s too embedded in all of us, and I don’t think it’s going away.

So: Is big dick energy dead on Twitter? Please, God, yes, let’s kill it. But should we carry on in our daily lives, declaring not just celebrities, but people we interact with on a daily basis, harbingers of big dick energy? Please, God, yes, let it live: I still love you, Robert De Niro in that one Godfather 2: Electric Boogaloo scene where you’re wearing a henley, Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, every single one of my friends, and Point Break (the whole movie). Your big dick energy is eternal, even when the internet’s memory isn’t.