Thursday, 31 March 2011

Andrew Lloyd-Webber's impotency is a confession too far

I’m certain Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber had the very best of intentions in volunteering that prostate cancer surgery has left him impotent.
In revealing his condition to Piers Morgan on the latter’s ITV1 Life Stories show next week, he will communicate to millions of men in similar circumstances that they are not alone – and that they should take heart and like him be glad to be alive.
However I think the composer’s total frankness has been misplaced. By all means talk about prostate cancer and the necessity for men to have regular checks, but to focus on the possible side effect of the treatment that worries men most isn’t going to encourage visits to the doctor.
There is also the “too much information” aspect of Lloyd-Webber’s openness. Of course I can’t speak for his wife Madeleine or his children but in their shoes I would deem my father’s inability to achieve an erection a private matter.
In any case there’s more to love (and for that matter lovemaking) than penetration.
But it’s not the sexual context that perturbs me. I’m not among those made uncomfortable by the thought older people might enjoy – and therefore miss - sex.
The manner Tony and Cherie Blair were ridiculed in some quarters when, obliquely, they said they still find the other desirable would have passed unremarked across the Channel.
There are just some intimate details which should be kept to oneself. Doubly so if the lives of other people would be exposed by the ‘confession’.
In accounts of caring for spouse or parent suffering, say, Alzheimer’s, it is enough to know they have been stricken by the disease without details of their incontinence and the like. Good manners alone demand discretion.

1 comment:

  1. Will he still be able to write musicals?

    ReplyDelete

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