Sep 19, 2023·edited Sep 19, 2023

Premise: I learned what freeuse is 10 minutes ago, and what seems to be the consensus is that it’s a kink/dynamic in a relationship in which sex can be initiated anywhere anytime without asking the partner for consent.

But then in your code snippets i see that you called the freeuse question “Freeuse (society where people casually have sex with anyone) _multiplepartners”.

The ”anyone” and “multiple partners” were unexpected to me. Apparently there is also the idea of “freeuse society”, which is what your code label is describing, but that’s a different thing from the kink.

So… how is the freeuse question formulated in your survey?

If we consider the definition of freeuse I gave in this comment, then I see why Mason has those opinions and i agree partially with her.

If we consider the anyone-multiplepartners definition then it looks to me like a completely different discussion, because we would be talking about poly people who have a bunch of casual sex, and that’s just a drastically different demographic.

Edit: I just saw the metadata of your survey in the twitter screenshots, so the people classified as having the “freeuse kink” are actually saying that they find erotic the idea of a freeuse society.

So… you needed to test for “freeuse kink”, but you actually tested for “freeuse society enjoyer”, which is a very different matter. Am I missing something?

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Sep 20, 2023·edited Sep 20, 2023Author

Freeuse is a term that generally applies to a society or norm, this is the most commonly used term. (The 'multiplepartners' thing is a backend categorization question, wasn't presented to users).

Which, iirc I did point out to Mason at some point in the discussion (edit: nvm I said it elsewhere).

Regardless, she said "looks good to me" when I showed her the freeuse verbage question, so I consider the description I used to be compatible with what she was thinking about.

If this is a sticking point, then my guess is people into nonconsent would probably be another good calibration

Also; my guess is that if there is a meaningful difference between freeuse subtypes, it would be in a worse direction; as in, I'd assume women into freeuse societies are probably *more* extreme/deviant than women into personal freeuse relationships, and if there's any sort of personality or connection flaw I'd assume we'd expect to see it worsen the more deviant you get.

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Sep 20, 2023·edited Sep 20, 2023

Her original tweet was in response to some TikToks, one of which actually gives the definition of freeuse as the couple dynamic. So it looks like that’s the definition that is gaining traction on socials with this trend, and that’s the phenomenon that Mason was critiquing.

It sucks that she probably saw your code, thought “ughhhh code! Lines! Boring!” and blindly greenlit it without realizing the misconception :(

I don’t know about using nonconsent as a proxy… imo the only way to get reliable answers is to ask the correct question, anything else would be much less meaningful.

Sorry to ruin the fun! I appreciate your articles and your surveys, I hope this will eventually lead to less confusion and better knowledge for us all to enjoy.

Edit: regarding your comment about possible correlations between freeuse subtypes - i would actually expect there to be a substantial behavioral difference between a person willing to concede sex to anybody, and a person which such a strong bond with their SO to the point of giving away themselves completely and exclusively. I feel like that’s a similar difference between a monogamous and a hyper-poly person.

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I've added in the personal free-use definition into the survey, and will check again once we get enough sample coming in. I predict with pretty high confidence we'll get the same results, and if so will edit this post with an update. If the new updates verify Mason's prediction in any one of the three questions then I'll post a new blog post with a retraction.

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I've definitely heard both definitions for free use, before, but for the average porn consumer on a site like AO3, what Aella is describing is more often seen in the Public Use tag, than the Free Use one. Public Use also often includes things like where the entire society isn't free or public use, just a portion, often as a punishment in something like a stockade.

I will say there's significant overlap in the kinks, as someone who is turned on by both, but would only want to be in a Free Use Relationship, and would hate actually being in a Free Use Society, even if it's a turn on.

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Came here to say exactly this. I looked it up and the first ten Google results gave me the definition you're giving, not the society one Aella is giving.

Seems like this explains the difference in opinion to me. The "couple" free use thing sounds like something that women who are desperate for a boyfriend and desperate not to be abandoned would be into. It is basically giving your one partner total power to do anything to you anytime. I get why the other lady predicted it would appeal to the heartbroken clingy insecurely attached sad sacks.

But the free use society...ie have sex with strangers wherever whenever...is literally the total opposite of that and seems like someone who is just into thrills, strangers, and generally high libido would be into.

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…did we just settle a twitter debate? And everyone wins? Damn

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I suspect there's a story something like this going on:

- The sexual revolution gave new freedoms to women

- Group A were basically fine/genuinely well-aligned with The Old Ways

- Group B genuinely struggled with The Old Ways

- Group C lean in the direction of Group A

- Group D lean in the direction of Group B

- C and D are adaptable and can tolerate differing levels of societal conditioning about their sex lives. Research could tell us the relative sizes of these groups and identify subgroups and totally different groups (like maybe asexual people are totally orthogonal to these groups)

- Political arguments are going to happen with the primary, passionately-motivated group.

My experience here is in dating across these group lines. I have dated women (females, but I don't want to sound like I'm wearing a fedora) who genuinely are Type A Sex Hobbiests all the way to nearly asexual women.

It's not uncommon for me to talk to women who are genuinely confused/upset that OTHER women have differing opinions on sexuality than they do. It's always in the anti-porn/anti-promiscuity direction (I believe I have a biased sample, because those are the women I'm going to disagree with most easily).

I'm pretty confident that at least some of the women I've dated genuinely liked porn, orgasms, masturbation, being promiscuous. I had to learn to have meaningful conversations about these things to suss out the kinds of women who actually enjoyed what we were doing together vs women who were just doing it because they thought it was what I wanted. If I didn't get the mischievous smile and bright-eyed look when talking about mutual interests, the tone of a connection were going to be pretty different.

So, back to the post and not humblebragging, I suspect that people struggle to untangle their own deep feelings about sex from how OTHERS experience sex and assume that all people who are like them feel the same.

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Another difficulty I sometimes think happens in these situations is that people mix up individual differences with social dynamics.

This can go both ways. Some people experience a social dynamic (e.g. being pressured into freeuse) and see a bunch of issues with this, and then they use individual-difference language such as "having a freeuse kink" for being in that social dynamic. But also, sometimes people see a social dynamic, and essentialize it as an individual-difference thing ("ah, you're upset at me, this must be because you are inherently crazy"), or perhaps hear some people talking about a social dynamic and essentialize this.

I'm inclined to say that one should just completely and clearly distinguish between the two. It's probably not so hard to do in surveys. I have the impression that standard survey questions already mostly measure individual differences (though some things can sometimes be changed to make them focus even more on individual differences), so the question is more how to measure social dynamics.

One way of measuring social dynamics that I've had some initial promising results with is the following: First, I describe what kind of social dynamic I am looking for (this could for instance be something like "Men pressuring you to be freely sexually available to them"), and then I have a section asking them for the period/event/etc. in their life that most matches that dynamic.

I usually start such a section with a qualitative question asking them to describe what happened in their own words. (Helps make the answers feel concrete, inspire additional questions, catch problems, etc..) Next, I ask some questions about the nature of the dynamic (e.g. checkboxes with what kinds of locations, actions and people were involved, with a free-text "other" box). And then I ask some fixed-option questions about the intensity of the dynamic (could be stuff like "How long of a period did it last?", "Did this lead you to have sex you didn't want to have?", "How much?", "How badly?", etc.), possibly with some qualitative questions intermixed (e.g. "How much did you fear for what would happen if you didn't comply?" followed by "What kinds of things did you fear could happen if you didn't comply?").

Obviously this gets kind of lengthy; can easily balloon up to ~20 survey questions. I imagine that it could be shortened once one has the data, but I haven't experimented with shortening these sorts of things yet, only with collecting the unshortened version.

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I do like the idea of long form interviewing, with specifics, to get even higher quality data. I would like to see Aella Survey 3.0 where it's full length interviews and paid interviewers extracting scenarios and then tagged and categorized by AI or something.

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Also, if I see "freeuse" on someone's fetlife profile I might think the following this, which are somewhat different and I'm not sure how well these are represented in the article content:

- "Even if I'm on a zoom meeting, you can do whatever you want to me" (okay, probably that's an extreme example) but basically, even if I'm not feeling it at the moment, go for it

- Someone who basically has no qualms about having people pile on them at an orgy, like, inviting non-partners into the Implied Consent Zone (I think this is very much different than what was being talked about in the original article)

- Kink signalling/advertising about how sexy and hot they are and probably it doesn't mean anything

If someone really meant "If we're at the beach/club/orgy please do whatever you want with me regardless of whether you ask for consent" I would very much consider that a freeuse kink. This is a very different thing than just "sometimes I'm not feeling it and just do what you want to my body anyway" in a committed relationship.

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I find this whole discussion a bit confusing. So telling one's partner "I agree to have sex with you whenever you want to, you don't have to ask every time" is a... fetish? If one partner has a responsive pattern of sexual arousal and the other partner has a spontaneous pattern of sexual arousal, isn't it just practical to let the partner with the spontaneous desire decide when and how to have sex?

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"freeuse" to me always seemed more like a statement of "you own me and get to do what you want when you want." No, "sorry I'm playing videogames right now" or "jeez, can that wait I'm on a zoom meeting!"

I think words like this are products of fetlife, with people try to hyper-target their sexy pictures to get attention from hotter people like a startup adding new buzz words to their Instagram ads to sell fancy knurled metal light switches.

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It most of all makes me think of a post of Mary Harrington, https://reactionaryfeminist.substack.com/p/is-male-headship-actually-a-kink

which suggests that the norms that are supposed to make casual sex less dangerous have become so universal that people feel obliged to follow them also within commited relationships. What would have simply been called "trust" a generation or two ago is now supposed to be called "freeuse".

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Thanks for the link! That was a really good read!

- Probably a lot of normies who don't post on reddit fall into the "trust" category that Mary Harrington is talking about. Implied consent, the HR department falls away once you get to a high trust relationship

- I think there's still room for some kinky performative "I'm going to make you do this right now because I was just watching Instagram videos about bikes and somehow a bunch of hot thirst traps came up and I know you're reading but you have no choice"

- If some 22 year old listed "freeuse" on their fetlife profile, I'd discount that as being a real genuine desire and increase my opinion that it's just signalling

- If a 45 year old married couple had "freeuse" on their fetlife profile, I would increasingly believe that it was a genuine kinky performance

- No opinions on the male supremacy stuff

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There definitely is room for freeuse to be done in a kinky way, just like there is room for all kinds of sex to be done in a kinky way. The only thing that surprises me is that agreeing to have sex in a way that only suits trusting relationships is considered inherently kinky.

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Sep 21, 2023·edited Sep 21, 2023

I do think your second graph has a decent amount of truth.

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It is practical, and yet the default way relationships work in a decent sub culture is that a high libido partner is not supposed to initiate more sex to their low libido partner wants, otherwise it's emotionally abusive or could even be considered sexual assault. Some people don't understand responsive pattern of sexual arousal, and this leads to both people in a couple having sex less than they actually want. Free Use is a way to change the conversation and make sure consent is not something the initiating partner has to worry about accidentally violating.

And yeah, as others say, something that is a practical solution to a relationship has been classified as a kink because of how much importance we have placed on consent. (Which yes, I think is a good thing.)

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Go to pornhub and type in "freeuse" and then you will know what it is.

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I would prefer not to (life can be great without porn). I'm more interested in what it is not. Where's the limit where an arrangement is NOT freeuse? Are all arrangements involving blanket consent freeuse?

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I don't understand your objection to answering your questions at the source...

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In response to people curious about definition/reality vs fantasy of free use: I'm a lady with some free use interest (view free use porn, have somewhat of a free use policy in my relationship, have attended free use style sex parties). I think there's significant diversity in the style of free use people are into. As someone mentioned before, a lot of free use porn specifically has women seeming indifferent to being used (like playing video games while being railed). That's not all all my personal cup of tea - instead, I'm interested in"free use" as part of a broader D/s dynamic and high level of trust/intimacy in my relationship. It turns me on to have my husband have the right to fuck me whenever, but of course in reality he respects concepts like zoom meetings, exhaustion, and illness. The concept of a free use society is kind of hot as a fantasy, but not my main one.

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Yeah I would say my wife and I have a relationships that is like 5% "free use". Basically if I am being responsible and reasonable and private, I have fairly free reign to grope/kiss her (and do frequently), and to initiate sex ~ once a day +/-.

She rarely minds if she is say working on her laptop and I come up and stick my hand down her shirt and make out with her for a minute. Or if I am doing dishes and grab her as she is walking through the kitchen and push her up against the counter and stick my hand down her pants for a minute or two. Or grab her ass in public repeatedly when we are at angles/spots where few/none can actually see.

She is I think much more permissive than is "normal".

That said I don't really "push the boundaries" too much because I am pretty sure she wouldn't like that. So its not like I have my hand down her pants right out in the middle of a mall or something with people all around, or I am grabbing her while she is carrying a bunch of heavy shit or on an important meeting.

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What's the IRL accepted definition of or general consensus on what "freeuse" kink is? Porn with this label seems to have this element of:

"I'm just going about my day and don't notice that while I'm reading my book or playing on my phone, you're having sex with me, so I'll just continue with my hobbies and you go ahead and do you. I may or may not acknowledge you're there". There's also a goofy vibe as well, like there should be some Bugs Bunny music in between segments.

I'm gonna guess this is not an accurate depiction of what real-world freeuse kink is. I have an idea what it might be but I'd be guessing. Would someone mind enlightening me with a proper definition please? Is pretending like you don't know part of it?


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Why hello Other_Equals_Bad, we haven't seen each other in what... five minutes?

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For me, as someone who does type in Free Use on occassion, for me it stems from both logic, so maybe it correlates with disagreeableness, ie, person or I want it now and it's just logical conclusion to feed that, and the PleaseMe girl aesthetic. I want it when I want it, and acknowledge it in the other person to, throwing yourself in hedonistic passion cause their inundated with desire is I think appropriate behaviour. Person is good controlling themselves all day, but I have to edit something... I get it, sometimes one if the people needs to be "moved" into it. It's a very similar subgenre to the subreddit Bored and Ignored https://old.reddit.com/r/BoredandIgnored/

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> women with a freeuse kink report a better time with hookups. In hindsight this maybe seems pretty obvious; if you’re sexually aroused by casual, no-strings-attached sex, you’re probably gonna enjoy hookups more.

Speaking as a masochist, albeit a male one, I would be curious to know whether this was a case of bugs-to-features. If you are into free use for masochistic reasons, then just being inconsiderately used *for real*, as long as you felt safe, might plausibly be a turn on, or weirdly satisfying in a dark way.

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I predicted the direction of the result before I saw them and I'm not surprised. The survey demographic you described as "liberal, young, and western" certainly explain why the two significant hypotheses have a tiny d. Introduce a pool of "conservative, older, and nonwestern" into the survey and those effect sizes suddenly shoot up.

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Kinda surprised you don’t use P-Values and Standard Deviations instead. Any reason for Cohen’s D instead?

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Effect size (Cohen's d) is more relevant here. It's common in population sampling because it indicates how much one variable is effected by the other. A p-value would make sense only if there were a stronger relationship / correlation between free use and the VOIs (variables of interest) like longer relationships and bad hook up experiences. P-values indicate how likely it is that an error was made in rejecting a null hypothesis. The data here indicate that there is no relationship, so Knowingless accepted the null hypothesis and the p-value became irrelevant. As for standard deviation the "interest in free use" and other VOI positive responses are already in the minority so what's the point? Knowingless didn't care about how niche free use was, she was looking at how likely it was that people with interest in a certain kink had certain life experiences. Human sexuality is so particular and personal that its usually a safe bet, as Kowingless made, that they aren't cased by certain life experiences or linked to other behaviors.

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