In his best-selling book Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis, a one-time Salomon Brothers bond salesman, coined the term ‘Big Swinging Dick’ (BSD), a charming epithet he reserves for those traders who do their jobs with inimitable bravura.
The BSD is a man for whom fear is just a four letter word and the speed with which testosterone rushes through his veins is matched only by the pace of dollars accumulating in his bank account.
Lewis was writing about his time on the trading floor in 1980s – a period in which the hair was big, egos bigger, and the BSDs positively gargantuan. Since then a lot has changed. Salomon Brothers is no more (it’s now part of Citi) and the BSDs have been on the wane for years.
Enter Dr Bissoon, a New York-based doctor of osteopathic medicine. Until recently, Bissoon, author of The Cellulite Cure, spent his days pumping drugs into the orange-peeled behinds of well-heeled ladies on the Upper West Side. Today, it is not the ladies, but the gents who are overrunning his surgery.
“Since the recession started, more guys want to be on top of their game. All of these men are under tons of stress, and stress will reduce their levels of testosterone. As one patient told me: ‘There’s a whole bunch of whizz-kids beneath me who are ready to take my place’,” Bissoon told the FT.
The doctor says that 90% of those who visit his surgery typically work in the finance industry. Male patients report symptoms that suggest they are experiencing the ‘andropause’, a male version of the menopause. A shot of testosterone, they believe, will give them more energy and a competitive edge, whilst also pepping up their diminished libidos.
So, the 1980s may be a distant memory, but the big swinging dicks are making a comeback. Wall Street watch out.