Author Topic: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence  (Read 2891 times)

TheWanderer247

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The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« on: September 20, 2019, 07:19:55 PM »
There's been several articles over the years with different theories as to the cause of Barrie being impotent. The most recent is what was known as Psychosocial Dwarfism, where long term malnutrition & neglect will make an otherwise potentially normal person into an individual who never fully developed physically to their full potential.

I do know it's noted from his friends that the reason Barrie was so thin and short was because of him not eating enough as a child, but considering Barrie's mother was apparently a small woman herself I'm not so sure I can say that his stature & impotence could have been caused by neglect & malnutrition, as he was genetically predisposed to be short anyways.

I do know that certain diseases can cause impotence, such as the mumps and scarlet fever. I knew of a woman who couldn't have children because of the latter, so had to adopt children. Was it ever noted that Barrie suffered from these once common ailments? I know his life from birth to the age of six is basically an unknown era of his life's history, but maybe he could have had it and that's what caused the impotence?

I wonder, though, if it wasn't psychological too. Then again, if he was damaged early on in childhood physically he never would have mentally or emotionally ever had the want or need for it. It just wouldn't have factored into the equation psychologically, cus the hormones wouldn't have been involved.

Maybe someone more "in the know" can answer the question, or has a better idea of what happened to him.

Brutus

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 06:44:17 PM »
We don't know whether he was actually impotent or simply did not have any sexual desires, which are two different things) but I wouldn't want to hazard a guess as to the cause of it.  We do know for certain that he wasn't suffering from Psychosocial Dwarfism, because there is no evidence he was malnourished as a child - by all accounts, the family lived well, if frugally perhaps but that would be normal for members of the Scottish Free Kirk. More to the point, he was not a dwarf as he measured 5 ft 3 1/2 in (161 cm) - a short stature for a man by today's standards, but it would not have been considered extremely short at the time.

By the way, mumps do not cause impotence, although it can affect a man's fertility, and I've never heard that scarlet fever can cause it.

TheWanderer247

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 09:35:27 PM »
I don't know if there is a genuine difference between someone being physically incapable or having no desire to engage in it--- if a man has absolutely zero desire, one can only assume four things: Either he never physically matured, or, illness & injury done so, or, hormone levels were practically non-existent, or,  something neurologically "off" that couldn't trigger such desires even if he was physically normal.

The latter would be extremely rare, because even neurologically impaired individuals have desires, etc--- besides Barrie oftentimes noted that it wasn't for a lack of trying on his part, and lamented not being able to love like other men, as well as his penchant for falling madly in love with beautiful women, so clearly he had desire. He just couldn't do the deed.

As for his height, I think there's some speculation as to that. Some biographers say that he was roughly 4'10", although he says 5'3.5" on his passport. I know Chesterton himself was 6'3"-6'4" and absolutely dwarfs Barrie in that shot from their cowboy movie. Regardless, psychosocial dwarfism doesn't necessarily mean one will be a dwarf (4'10" & under) but rather their growth and development is stunted, as most victims end up on the short side of normal.

I'm reminded of what's known as "daddy long legs syndrome" in the case of gigantism, where the body is so focused on growing that everything else has been compromised, especially the sexual organs, where they are not just impotent but sterile. Bernard Coyne & Julius Koch, one of the few known men over 8'0" tall, were unfortunates of this malady. I believe the correct technical term is eunuchoidal-infantile. Of course, that isn't the case here. Although it is noted that in hereditary pituitary dwarfism that impotence occurs, as some of these individuals never physically mature.

Maybe Barrie had extremely low testosterone and high estrogen levels, and that might be the cause of his impotence and possible sterility. If he existed today, it's probable simple monthly shots of testosterone would have basically cured him.

Then there's either illness and injury. It's possible that sometime in his childhood he was damaged and never could have sex period. But that appears to be an unknown as nobody is forthcoming & Barrie himself apparently never denoted the hypothetical cause of his condition. As for the mumps, historically, it could cause both impotence & sterility though it was rare. I imagine a lower class family in Scotland in the Victorian era probably wouldn't have been able to get the best care, etc--- and who knows maybe he had a very bad case (if he ever had it anyways).

As for scarlet fever, the way I understand it is this, any long-term fever of any kind can permanently effect the sexual organs of men or women. Maybe that could have been the case for Barrie, as a child or sometime as an early teenager. A high grade fever that lasted too long can cause irreversible harm.

Sylvia8

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 11:36:12 AM »
Hi,

Asexuality is not being sexually attracted to men or women or anyone or anything else and that is the definition Nicholas Llewelyn Davies gave of mister Barrie so it could just be that too... No hormonal problem in it and so yes there is a difference between being physically incapable and having no attraction. People often mistake libido and sexual orientation. It's like the contrary of bisexuality if you will... So no neurological problem either, it's just a sexual orientation.

I'm not familiar with the psychosocial dwarfism but J.M.B. seemed to have all his intellect and even if he was smaller than other men, we can't say that he was impotent. We know his brother David died when he was 6 and that's very sad.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 02:40:25 PM by Sylvia8 »

Dani1923

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 04:00:32 PM »
Sylvia,

I personally donít think Barrie ever wanted to get married. Right before he married Mary, he wrote about a nightmare he had about being married. And Barrie didnít seem to want to spend a lot of time with Mary either. It is possible that he just married the wrong person, but since he never tried to re-marry again, I highly doubt this. Although you could argue that he wanted to marry Sylvia LD, but if he actually would have gone through it if Sylvia wanted to, will forever be unknown. Would he have done it because he wanted to have a romantic relationship with her or so the boys could have a stable family unit (for the time period), again weíll never know and is up to interpretation.

Sincerely,
Dani

Sylvia8

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2020, 01:47:21 PM »
Hi Dani,

Yes, I wanted to say he tried, he wanted to be able to be married but it wasn't for him. You can be aromantic but like romance and want to have romance but it's not you. One can even dream about romance but be unable to show some in real life.

Sincerely,

Sylvia

« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 02:06:11 PM by Sylvia8 »

Dani1923

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2020, 03:05:37 PM »
Totally agree Sylvia!

Sincerely,
Dani

andrew

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" ...
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2020, 08:41:02 PM »
Nico told me a story that made him chuckle. In the 1920s, he and Peter were at a dinner party, and one of the guests started talking about Barrie and "his boys" - "oh yes, dontcherknow, his Adelphi flat is full of them" ... Instead of being horrified, both Peter and Nico found the whole idea highly amusing because so totally untrue.

Of course many defended Michael Jackson as being an innocent who loved the company of children because he himself had been deprived of any real childhood. It now seems reasonably certain that while this may have been true, there was a sexual aspect to that love; some have asked, could that not have been the case with Barrie? 

I personally think absolutely not. MJ and JMB were so totally different in nature, and while MJ clearly groomed both his child friends and their parents so that he could take them off and be alone with them, Barrie never did any such thing. Nor did any of the boys - including Jack, who harboured a certain antipathy towards Barrie - ever accuse him of any kind of sexual malpractice in later life. The chapter in the LWB where David spends the night with him is often cited as evidence of JMB's (albeit subconscious) lust for George, but I read it entirely as a cry from the heart of one who longed to father a child of his own, but was physically incapable ... 

Dani1923

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2020, 04:53:04 PM »
Interesting story/fact Andrew! Although I personally think that youíre right about MJ possibly having an attraction to young boys, unlike what a certain recent documentary might lead you to believe, I donít think he ever harmed any child. The two most famous cases from 1993 and 2005 are clear evidence of this. Not sure what your stance is on this...

andrew

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2020, 08:21:09 PM »
Tricky. Had I been on a jury I'd have to find MJ not guilty since there's clearly a sizeable element of doubt, but I found the evidence of those two boys/men pretty convincing. As to whether he "harmed" them, well yes, I'd say so. But like so many historical abuse cases, who knows how "harmed" they'd have been had it not surfaced in the public arena.
I once had to write a movie for Warner Bros about runaway kids - a sort of modern Oliver Twist set in New York, and intended as a family musical (it was never made) ... so at Warner's expense I spent a few weeks in New York, riding with the NYPD Runaway Squad as well as hanging out with runaways themselves at various shelters. What struck me was that there was no clear pattern of behaviour. Most had been preyed upon at some time or other, but while one would weep while recounting his experiences, another would shrug them off as no big deal. I remember a couple of NYPD cops telling me that being picked up by a gentle/caring/loving paedophile was very often the best fate that could befall a runaway - how several years ealier, dozens of former boys had shown up as men at a well-known paedophile's funeral. No doubt some came to piss on his grave, but apparently most brought flowers with messages of gratitude.

Does this in any way justify child sex?  In my view, absolutely not, for while it may not do any lasting harm to some, it clearly causes serious psychological injury to others when they grow up and realise what happened to them, even more so if they harbour feelings of guilt, perhaps for having gone along with it or even encouraged it. And even if these damaged ones represent the minority (as some maintain), it is surely the duty of society to do everything in its power to protect the vulnerable among us ...

God this sounds pompous! Nor has it much to do with Barrie, for while I'm 70/30 sure that MJ engaged in sex, I'm 99/1 certain that JMB never even came close. As many have suggested, he was asexual, whereas MJ was most decidedly not - you only have to watch his live performances to know that, brilliant though they were. I rest my case, though feel free to blow it apart ...

Sylvia8

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Re: The Cause of Barrie's Impotence
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2020, 03:41:17 PM »
I have the same opinion you do Mister Birkin. I think you can see through people really well