The time has come…to talk about Big Dick Energy. Now, I realize that cruising into your inbox on a Friday morning, demanding that you engage in a phallic discussion a mere handful of words into what is ostensibly a Bachelorette recap is a lot. But that's because I have no chill — it's one of the many reasons that I do not possess Big Dick Energy. I promise this will become pertinent soon, but the deadline for when it was still hip to talk about BDE is somewhere around yesterday, so we have to be quick:
Over the last few weeks, and especially within the last few days, two subjects have collided in a perfect Venn diagram of my "current interests" and my "constant interests": that would be, respectively, the expeditious coupling of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, and evaluating other people's personalities with little to no foundation. You see, a few days ago on Twitter, Ariana Grandem the Pint Size Pop Princess Who Yes Once Licked a Donut But Then Handled the Awful Manchester Tragedy With Such Dignity That I'll Surely Stan 4Ever … said that her new fiancé, Pete Davidson the Tall Goofy Kid From SNL Who Has Long Been Regarded as Confusingly Hot on the Internet … has a big dick.
This was helpful in confirming a few things people had been curious about: 1. Why Ariana, a beautiful young millionaire, would lock Davidson's goofy ass down so quickly, and 2. As Allison P. Davis at The Cut connected on Tuesday, it's really not about Davidson's big dick, it's about Davidson's inherent energy signaling to us that he could have a big dick.
As defined on The Cut (and as coined by Twitter before it): "BDE is a quiet confidence and ease with oneself that comes from knowing you have an enormous penis and you know what to do with it. It’s not cockiness, it’s not a power trip — it’s the opposite: a healthy, satisfied, low-key way you feel yourself."
BDE is non-toxic masculinity; it is the magnetism that comes with self-assurance devoid of ego. Unlike sexuality or gender, BDE is not a spectrum; it is a yes or no question. One either has BDE or one does not, and it is almost immediately identifiable upon exposure to it: Adam Driver, Dax Shepard, Glen Powell, Zach Woods— all my boyfriends, and all possess BDE in a similar form to patient zero, Pete Davidson.
Daniel Kaluuya? BDE. Michael B. Jordan? Duh, BDE. Chadwick Boseman? Hot, but no; I'm sorry, I don't make the rules.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione? No BDE. Fred, George, and (book) Ginny? All BDE.
Did Desiree Hartsock have BDE? Obviously not. Did Rachel Lindsay have BDE? A more surprising no. Did JoJo Fletcher have BDE? Of course. These are the facts, I don't know what to tell you.
It should hopefully be obvious by now that you don't need to have a big dick — nor a dick at all! — to have that Big Dick Energy. The characteristics rendered by BDE are flexible, but I'd say a good litmus test if you're trying to decide if someone you know has BDE is if they could pull off suddenly getting very serious, biting their lip and looking you up and down (Prince Harry — BDE!), and/or if you could reasonably imagine them laughing like Denzel Washington in Training Day.
The most superlative case of BDE to our known world is Rihanna. Perhaps the second most is Wills from this season of The Bachelorette…
…which is now the second time I've compared Wills to Rihanna, and brings us to our main event.
I understand that this is a long time to have been both quantifying and qualifying metaphorical-penises in a Bachelorette recap. But after spending two days thinking about BDE — who has it, who doesn’t, and if there's any way I can grow into it [ed. note: I can't! I try too hard!] — I realize that perhaps nowhere does BDE play a more significant role than in the Bachelor(ette) Journey 4 Luv™.
A powerful and quickly recognizable energy can take one far in this world where so little time is spent together; where political views aren't discussed, and sex isn't had, and you're expected to learn to trust each other through an elaborate series of obstacle courses and winter sports. That said, BDE is not always a positive for those affected by its power — BDE is surely to blame for the coupling of Courtney Robertson (BDE) and Ben Fljanik (BDE-susceptible).
See, it's important that we learn to recognize BDE so that we may appreciate it without exposing ourselves to its power unawares.
And, of course, not having BDE is only a negative when contrasted next to an assumed equal who does have it. That's what gives you, say, Dawson not being able to understand why everyone wants Pacey's dick more than his, or for our purposes here: what gives us the beautiful disaster that was Chris R (the antithesis of BDE) butting up against Wills (Big Dick Energy oozing out of his RompHim). When Chris, a man wounded by his own unearned pride, approached Wills and Becca, he assumed he was approaching someone like himself — someone who would be so beholden to the Bachelor ideology, that he would step aside when the magic words were rolled out: "Can I steal her for a minute?" Do I even need to tell you that's now how it went? I can hardly wait to, but I must, because first there are some other energies we need to address…
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF NONE
Did you assume I'd spend most of this recap talking about my favorite step-child Jordan instead of dick-auras? Yeah, me too. But all cards on the table, I wrote a full love letter to Jordan over on Vulture including his season 14 roster of best lines ("Cheers to you for being a bitch!") and his best shout-outs to scrambled eggs ("He’s walking around, cooking scrambled eggs all day!") precisely so I could limit myself to only the actual happenings of Monday night's two-on-one here on the always focused TATBT. I know I talk about Jordan like he's a fun guy because he says things like "before you put your socks on, put your confidence on," and I maintain that he's incredible TV, but I get that he's also awful…
But you know who's so much worse?
DAVID! Because David thinks he's a Good Guy when really he is an insufferable, antagonizing Taco Bell burp of a man. What kind of douche canoe tells a woman that he's ostensibly likes that another man thinks he's settling for her? Not only is that so hurtful, but nothing would turn a woman off faster than knowing that her one-twelfth-boyfriend could even conceive that anyone would think they were settling for her. Especially if she catches you making this face after she says that's triggering for her given that her most recent fiancé (two months ago #neverforget) basically said he settled for her, then asked for a do-over when she was just trying to have a nice weekend together and talk about her new bumblebee wrist tattoo…
In grand Two-on-One tradition, the producers place a full-size mattress in the middle of a desert for three people to sit on. Since the gang is in Las Vegas this week, everyone is under direct Nevada sunlight, which is just so rude, especially considering that Becca is already having to pretend that she's remotely interested in either of these bozos when all she really wants to be doing is mounting Colton, or staring into Blake's sparkly eyes, or talking about how much of a nerd she is with Wills, or stone-cold marrying Garrett. Instead, she has to listen to David talk, conservatively, for 45 minutes about how Jordan is there for the Wrong Reasons. When they're done talking about another dude on their date, David gloats: "We talked about it extensively, we exhausted the topic, and I just put it to bed." Bro. If you're using the word "exhausted" after a date, ya done fucked up.
So then Becca pulls Jordan aside and is like, Hey did you say you'd be settling for me. Jordan informs her that David is lying, and then gives her some background information about his complicated family life, which is unnecessary for our purposes here at TATBT of treating Jordan like a caricature who proudly calls himself Captain Underpants…but Becca clearly appreciates it because she opts to hold onto Jordan and leave David in the desert with nothing but his vocal fry to keep him warm at night.
But no one bids David farewell better than Jordan himself, who informs him that "Love is the greatest power on earth — being me is my greatest power! Being you ISN'T YOUR GREATEST POWER, THAT'S WHY YOU GOTTA TALK ABOUT ME!!!" And a follow-up: "You’re uninspiring, you lack integrity, you lack passion, you lack charisma. YOU LACK YOUR OWN PERSONALITY." Incredible stuff. Jordan is at his best when talking how awful someone else is… and at his absolute worst when talking about how wonderful he is. Which constitutes about 98 percent of his spoken word because no one loves Jordan more than Jordan, except maybe me.
When Jordan and Becca head to dinner, Jordan says he's ready to dive deeper with Becca, and Becca tells him she's an open book. "What's a weekend like for you?" he asks.
Now, I want to mock Jordan for this seemingly shallow question, but when Becca tells him that she goes to church every Sunday with her girlfriends and likes to start Saturdays out by reading, I realize — that is hands down the most personal information I've ever learned about Becca. She goes to church every Sunday!? She reads?! These are things I would not have otherwise known had Jordan not asked, and they are much more specific than say, calling herself a nerd, or having a side-of-hand cross tattoo!
Unfortunately, the conversation then naturally turns over to Jordan to reciprocate, and what Jordan does on the weekends, and every day… is talk about himself. He begins showing off some modeling faces for Becca wherein she is clearly mocking him by asking him for more, and he is loving it. "I mean, I can probably move every part of my face," he brags to her moments before looking around animatedly and saying hopefully to the producers at large:
I'm sure they wished that too, but despite whatever her punishment will be, Becca could no longer feign a desire to learn more about Jordan’s salt spray regimen, and so she had to cut him loose. In the rejection limo, Jordan gives us his greatest gift yet: "The thing I appreciate most about her is the fact that she stated she’d never met anyone like me."
HUMP DAY ON THE RIVER VIRGIN
Listen, I don't have a ton of basis for this statement except that he has come out of the woodwork to try and date two famous women and has now been photographed back together with one of them that he swore he was over to Becca's face, but: Colton is on some bullshit.
He just doesn’t seem that into her??? Everything he says sounds like he studied it on a notecard huddled under a blanket with a flashlight in his bunkbed the night before: Tell her you don't take the word "love" lightly so that when you say it to her she'll lose her mind, tell her you don't take the word "love" lightly so that when you say it to her she'll lose her mind, tell her you don't take the word "love" lightly so that when you say it to her she'll lose her mind…
Becca says the chemistry between she and Colton is "SO GOOD," but I say, Really girl, but it looks like you keep trying to kiss his neck and he keeps sensually holding hands with you instead like those 19 Kids and Counting people. Of course, much like Colton, the editors are also on some bullshit, and as a reminder of what's to come, the camera lingers on a sign that reads "Virgin River" for what I would estimate was a full three minutes. Because, I swear, this production team is entirely full of unreformed high school mean girls and that puppet that rides the tricycle in Saw.
Nothing of interest happens on this one-on-one except that Becca tells Colton she just looooves being with him, and she just trusts him sooooo much because of all the time they spent together riding camels, and he tells her this:
GIRLS DON'T LIKE BOYS, GIRLS LIKE [WAYNE F*CKING NEWTON]
This episode, it spoils me! Not only do I get a slew of Jordan all-star moments, not only will Chris R — who I can't stand — lose his grip on reality in the near future, but Becca takes all of her remaining boyfriends on a group date to Wayne Newton's estate. None of the bros recognize it because I guess they've never seen Vegas Vacation which is criminal, but they do all freak out when they see Wayne Newton, and Wayne Newton's face, which I will make no further comment on, except to say that he is 76-years-old and I was very nervous about him teetering out on that horse.
As it turns out this is yet another date where Becca's boyfriends have to write song lyrics about her, and I'm calling injustice! Of course Wayne F*cking Newton and Richard F*cking Marx think "music is the language of love" because they are musicians. But that doesn’t mean that John the Creator of Venmo should have to make up lyrics to "Danke Schoen"!!! My love language is recommending TV shows and always knowing what the current $5 box is at Popeye's, but you don't see me quizzing Wayne Newton on the difference between Blackened Ranch and Mardi Gras Mustard, do you???
Nonetheless, John the Creator of Venmo and his other brother-boyfriends do have to make up lyrics to "Danke Schoen," and it's totally worth it to watch Wayne Newton hold back not one bit about how terrible they are at songwriting. I had no idea coming into this episode that Wayne Newton would teach me an incredible new flex when he says, "However, in my opinion — which I respect..."
In my opinion! Which! I! Respect! It really doesn’t matter which opinion Wayne Newton was offering, just that he explicitly respects all of them. It's the only way I'll ever express my own opinion — which I respect — ever again! Wayne F*cking Newton, man!
Now, I know I seem like a judgmental nightmare monster most of the time, but I'm actually quite empathetic to these dummies while watching The Bachelorette. Yes, they applied to be a part of this international torture parade, but still, when I realized Chris was about to take part in his second date where he would have to make up lyrics about Becca, a woman that he's spent a total of two hours with, three-quarters of which has been spent making up lyrics about her, I felt for him. And then I realized…
How seriously Chris was taking it. [Ed. note: This is what I get for briefly sympathizing with Eddie from Friends!] The dudes have to perform the songs they make up to the tune of "Danke Schoen" in front of a crowd of eager Reality Steve spies, of course, and Chris is not impressed with the other performances. He's a professional at singing shitty songs now, you see, and he tells the camera with all the seriousness of a man about to charge into war, "The main priority is to work the crowd, have fun, and let it all hang out there on the stage." Chris might be the least fun contestant to be on The Bachelorette in years, but he fakes his ass off, and gets the biggest round of applause.
And I am here to tell you, this man is proud of himself. At the evening portion of the date, Chris is acting like Becca watched him scale a building to save a child and then promptly took off her panties and offered them to him in appreciation. In reality, while Chris is smugly saying, "I'm ranked as one of the top frontrunners, so tonight I don't have to worry about anything," Blake — basically a non-negging Disney prince come to life — is telling Becca that he's falling in love with her, and she is returning the sentiment. Not to Blake's face obviously, but to the cameras Becca says she's falling in love with him too: "And honestly I've known this whole time." That is really sweet! I'll hunt her down when she hurts him.
Not to mention, all of Blake and Becca's sweetness is canceled out, when Chris sits his lazy ass around, not going to talk to Becca, and then gets mad when she ends the cocktail party and gives the rose to Blake, who said he was in love with her.
This weak-willed, wishy-washy, whiny, toxic doofus, I swear. One thing goes wrong because he made it go wrong, and Chris is mad at Becca and thinks she owes him something. Bro! Get ahold of yourself! You're dating a woman with 12 other boyfriends, she's not coming to you! And homeboy is seriously mad about this perceived rejection that he created, saying the if she doesn’t want him here, he's going home, and if he did, Becca would be missing out on "and amazing friend and future partner," and…
Do I need to tell you that he does not go home? Oh yes, he whines some more and says, I kid you not, "Becca definitely needs to win me over. She needs to show me something that shows she sees potential in me, and if not…"
Now, Becca does not possess Big Dick Energy, but she also does not suffer any fools. She also…doesn't like Chris. So not for one moment do I believe she even entertained the idea of trying to show him that she sees potential in him, even though she somehow heard that he was threatening to go home at the group date. Instead, she sits his ass down at the Cocktail Party and tells him to explain himself.
Chris, rather than explaining that he felt insignificant and insecure, keeps telling her over and over that if he really wanted to go home, he would have gone home already. But Becca doesn’t care about the conclusion Chris and Chris' hairline have come to now, she cares about why he went off the rails in the first place. Because, as you can imagine, Becca likely craves stability and clear emotional communication from her next relationship. Instead, when Becca asks Chris to think about if he can put in the effort to work through problems every single day in a relationship, Chris' dumbass responds, "That's something I don’t even need to think about." When! Will! These! Guys! Understand! That! A! Relationship! With! Becca! Requires! Emotional! Work! And! THOUGHT?!
Becca tells Chris she has to get up before she loses it, and that's when Chris realizes that perhaps he did not have the upper hand in this one-way polyamorous relationship that he thought he did. So, Chris decides that he'll go interrupt another bro to get more time with Becca. Unfortunately for Chris, that bro…
…is Wills. Who, as it turns out, is overflowing with BDE. When Chris approaches Becca and Wills having their signature We're nerds but we're HOT, isn't that so crazy?! conversation, to ask if he can "steal" Becca, they look at him like a waiter who just sat down inside the booth to take their order. Becca informs Chris that they just sat down and he says, "Really?" Really! This bro really says really in response to her not wanting to talk to him because she just sat down with someone she actually likes. A heads up: if someone doesn't want to do something with you, they won't be any happier about doing it with you once you’ve goaded them into it.
And this is when Wills seals his status as a Bachelorette-BDE-allstar. Bachelorette Big Dick Energy understands that this woman is tired and that she doesn’t constantly want to be putting out fires with her boyfriends; she needs someone to help her carry this load, and for the second week in a row, Wills says, I will bear this burden of this annoying bro for you, Becca. He tells Chris he will give him two minutes if that's okay with Becca — she says it is — and then he comes back immediately after two minutes and tells Chris his time is up. And what does Wills say when he returns?
What's up, my guy?
And Chris has the nerve to tell Wills that wasn't two minutes! Wills says he gave him his time, and Chris tells Wills "this is, like, legitimately serious." Were Wills a smaller, less secure man (ringing any bells?), this is when he would have blown up at Chris in anger. Instead, Wills calmly asks if his time is not also serious with Becca? Chris stutters some more about how his needs and desires are more important than theirs, and Wills says calmly…
Becca, surely overwhelmed by the BDE emanating from Wills, doesn't say anything — just stares Chris in the eyes like, Well? And when Chris looks back at Wills pleadingly, she finally tells Chris that she will find him later just please leave.
She does find him later, and just when I assumed he could not get any worse, he says the word "flusterating" about 20 times. Chris is still losing his mind that he's going to be sent home just because he said he wanted to be sent home, but when Wills returns back to the group, he is not even a little bit flustered by their earlier conversation:
And somehow, Becca keeps Chris, and sends home Venmo John!
Now, I like to think that I'm not a shallow person, and I certainly have not chosen a profession that would indicate I am interested in having a Scrooge McDuck pile of coins to roll around in…
But I have to imagine that were I to be faced with 20 equally hot guys, and also had the knowledge that one and only one of them was a sweet, genius millionaire… I just don't know that I could follow my heart when every other part of me was screaming to choose John and his Big Let-Me-Be-A-Stay-At-Home-Novelist Energy. But Becca is a nobler woman than I, and Wills' dick has bigger energy than Chris'. Again, these are simply the facts…
See you back here next week to talk about other internet phenomenons, and The Bachelorette if there's time. If you haven't subscribed to TATBT, now is your chance before these recaps officially shift to subscribers-only next week. Don't miss out on finding out what the teens — and also ten grown men dating the same woman — are up to!