Poetry Explained: Damaged Goods

Audio of the poem Damaged Goods

I felt wronged and defiant

When I wrote the poem, Damaged Goods

The poem is almost 10 years old and is one of my favourite to perform to this day. It was written as a means to track the thoughts going through my mind after receiving a text from a lover where he had called me damaged goods.It is a rant, raw, full of anger and wit.

Video of me explaining Damaged Goods

It offended me that someone who was exhibiting similar behaviours to me had the audacity to call me out in such a mean way. I think he reacted that way to me because subconsciously he hated his own promiscuity.

When I received that text I was yet again reminded of the unhealthy obsession society has with a woman’s body count (the number of sexual partners a person has had). I still think it is unfair that because I was born with a vagina, my body count was seen as something I should be ashamed of. Had I been born with a penis, my body count would have been celebrated. 

I also found it frustrating that my desire for sexual pleasure was invalidated because I was born with a vagina. At the time of writing the poem, it was still seen as taboo for women to be aroused and enjoy sex. There was an erasure of female sexuality. 

Looking back at my behaviour, I am aware sometimes I was using sex in an unhealthy manner. At times I was using sex to relieve past traumas where consent was not given. This was certainly true when I would get drunk and wake up naked the next morning in a stranger’s bed with little recollection of what had happened the night before. 

Bearing this in mind, I cherish these experiences as they taught me so much about myself and consent. Writing this explanation has shown me how much growing up I have done since then. I stopped drinking alcohol to mask the shame I felt towards sex. Learned to honour and reclaim my sexuality as a woman. I have also confronted a lot of internalised homophobia and identify as pansexual/queer. It has been a beautiful journey of self discovery 🙂

Have you been made to feel shame because of the sex you practice? How did you deal with it? I would love to know in the comments.

x x x 

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