This writing is now available as a podcast episode!
According to Urban Dictionary, BDE is:
confidence without cockiness. It is never misplaced and it cannot be simulated. It is the sexual equivalent of writing a check for $10k knowing you got it in the bank account [sic].
Let me add: you don’t need a bio-penis to have BDE. Venus and Serena Williams have BDE. So does Idris Alba. Cate Blanchett.Thomas Beatie. Jeff Goldblum. Ryan Reynolds. Chrissy Teigen. Nikkie Tutorials.
The list goes on.
The phrase that stands out for me in the above definition is ‘confidence without cockiness’.
In a previous writing I’ve done on Nice Guys, I mentioned some thoughts on this, and had a few people curious, and today’s prompt to write about BDE reminded me.
Confident vs. Cocky
Back in my days of exploring the world of pickup artistry (over a decade ago), a friend of mine in that scene asked me to record a few videos for him with tips for men from a woman on what we look for.
My immediate thought was that a man should show confidence but not cockiness.
My favorite people are confident. My least favorite are cocky.
They can look a lot alike, there is no doubt, and we are all a mix of feelings:
- lack of confidence
But confidence is bandied about so often as a desired trait in dating and connecting that I thought it’s worth taking a look at again.
Well, insecurity or cockiness (versus a lack of confidence) is a sure sign of emotional weakness, and expression of confidence is the opposite of those.
What is confidence, in the sense I’m using it? The security to know that you can rely on your own strengths, and that what you offer others you can back up.
What is cockiness, then? A boast that cannot be backed up, and cannot be relied upon.
I also mentioned lack of confidence (I don’t know or I don’t have) and insecurity (I’m afraid that what I have or know is not good enough).
Here are some definitions from dictionary.com
- belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.
- certitude; assurance: He described the situation with such confidence that the audience believed him completely.
arrogant; pertly self-assertive; conceited: He walked in with a cocky air.
A confident average-looking person will often be more attractive (full package) to others because of their actions and demeanor (especially over time) than a model-looker who is cocky and brash.
How to tell the difference?
Here are a few examples I have used (and/or experienced during dating):
Confidence is knowing they can wait however long it takes for the “good stuff,” because they know they are worth the wait.
A cocky person tries to rush sexuality (or anything), because they are not sure they can hold up the likability pretense long enough for them to get in someone’s pants if it takes more than three dates.
A confident person simply waits, knowing that if the other does not want it (whatever “it” is) as much as they do (or more), it’s not meant to be, and that’s to the good.
As an aside, one of my favorite books is “The Art of Seduction,” and truly long for the days when an elegant seduction took months of wooing and slow descent into passion. Luckily for me, I actually got something similar in my Pet.
Confident people are often easygoing, and have a smile on their face (but not always, confident does not equal happy, necessarily, nor does happiness require a smile), and speak at normal or softer-than normal volume.
Cocky folk are often loud and/or brash, to make up for the smallness they feel inside.
Confident people rarely anger. They roll with the punches, and know they will find a way to come out on top.
Cocky people often get upset easily, yell, and hold grudges.
Confident people enjoy engaging with opinions other than their own.
Cocky people get defensive when people disagree with them.
A confident person is rarely jealous or controlling. They have no need to be. They know that the right type of person will always want them, and they are not interested in the wrong type of person.
Cocky people will get into fights over the “scarce” resource of affection, trying to prove their worth.
Confident people are the same online or off, on phone or text, they are innately sexy.
Cocky people act much more sexually aggressive in text/IM/PM than in person, because in person, they may have to back it up, and they are insecure about their abilities (which may or may not be accurate).
To me, it is summed up simply… Confident people know what they do well and focus on BEING that person and improving other areas.
Cocky people try to make everyone believe that they are better at things than they actually believe they are, and focus on how they appear, rather than actually trying to improve themselves.
Is lack of BDE a failing in a human or a potential mate?
I don’t believe so. In fact, like I said, I think we are all a mixture of feelings of confidence, lack of confidence, insecurity and cockiness in various degrees.
We are all works in progress.
I would rather have a lack of confidence in myself or even insecurity (and do, in many areas) than to be cocky.
I often fail, and I try to correct and grow from it.
Some people prefer a lack of confidence in a mate. They find displays of confidence unattractive. They prefer outward displays of humbleness.
BDE is also not a universal standard.
Some people see BDE where I see cockiness. Some people see cockiness where I see confidence.
We all bring different perspectives and life experiences to our observations.
And few (if any) people are confident in all areas, one person’s priority may not matter as much to another. Sexual confidence versus professional confidence versus confidence with a whip…the list goes on and on.
What are your thoughts?
Do you have any good examples of confident BDE versus cocky insecurity that I missed? (I am sure there are thousands.)
Do you find yourself relating to any of these examples, or seeing people in your life (past or present) in any of these?
And I almost forgot…
Here is a website pretty much entirely devoted to Big Dick Energy and general all-around bad-assery:
I hope you enjoy it! *grins*