Kate Beckinsale’s recent dating history, from what we’ve seen in the press, is a curious assemblage of men who could quite generously be described as himbos. For a time in 2019, she was entangled with Pete Davidson and after that enjoyed a similar entanglement with Machine Gun Kelly, a tall rapper with bad tattoos. Recently, she has been linked to a 21-year-old British man named Goody Grace, seen here in Page Six wearing an angora cardigan and a bewildered expression. All of these men appear to offer little to no redeeming value to Beckinsale, a 46-year -old woman and veteran of the stage and screen, but the subtext is as clear as the smirk on Davidson’s smooshy little face: When the dick game is strong and you’re having a lil’ fling, other characteristics, like intelligence, probably don’t matter.
To be clear, I’m not arguing that the man shouldn’t be smart, but it’s nice if that man doesn’t have a particularly vested interest in “smart” things, like philosophy or film editing as an art as exemplified through the work of Walter Murch. It’s not that Davidson, Machine Gun Kelly, or Goody Grace are particularly stupid, and it would be rude of me to assume as such, having not met them in person. But the impression I get from the two men pictured above is that they are a lesser-known iteration of the himbo—dirtbag stoner men with a slow smile and a serviceable amount of intelligence that always lets Beckinsale or whomever else falls into their orbit feel like they have the upper hand. Being with a man who is objectively not as smart as you are is not settling—it’s simply being pragmatic.
A relationship with a man who has no interest in arguing about or even discussing things like the films of Terry Gilliam or Marxism, and who would rather tinker around in the garage building you a bookshelf, can be just as fulfilling as (and definitely less exhausting than) dating a man who considers himself to be your intellectual equal. In theory, arguing with that man about anything is easier—not necessarily because you always win, but because it simply happens less. Conversations about how your day was or what made you angry online are no longer three-hour affairs, interspersed with counterarguments and cross-examinations. They are simply pleasant exchanges of information, and the dirtbag himbo you’ve chosen for right now is eager to receive. How refreshing, really, to just say some things that happened to you and not be challenged in the same wheedling, insistent tone that other men who, say, know an awful lot about music or film often do in an attempt to assert their intellectual dominance. Sometimes sparring with your partner is a particularly infuriating sort of foreplay that leads to mediocre to medium sex, but most of the time, it’s a headache. Wouldn’t it be easier, and therefore better, to entangle with a man who has no real need to prove his intellectual prowess, but will gladly help you get the thing off the top of the fridge and whose idea of a nice time is drinking three beers while assembling the TV stand?
The secret sauce in this relationship is the dick, and specifically, what it might do. Good dick is good dick, and that dick can’t quite help its owner. Pete Davidson, a man who I’ve written about enough times to probably require professional help, does not seem so stupid that I couldn’t have a conversation with him about anything at all but also doesn’t seem like someone who wants to debate any so-called “intellectual” topics very seriously. Call it complacency, or call it the confidence of a man who knows he can blow your back out in the 15 minutes you have before dinner, but whatever it is, it sounds perfect to me.
(Updated 3/2/22 with new details)