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For sexuals: Why is sex so important to you?

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Jade Cross

I can't see how a relationship with someone else that doesn't involve anything commonly called romantic, or sex, or commitment to them is anything other than a friendship, and pretty transient one at that.

Relationships like fwb involve sex but they are not committed nor romantic. Relationships between aces or even an ace an a sexual (whether exclusive or sexually open)are relationships that do not have sex factor to them but they have romance and commitment. A qpr can have commitment but no sex or romance.

I just think that its kind of unfair to pedestalize the idea that only a relationship that has commitment, romance and sex altogether is deemed worthy of the title "relationship". Otherwise it would imply that any that lacks even one of those factors, is not "real"

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Telecaster68
I just think that its kind of unfair to pedestalize the idea that only a relationship that has commitment, romance and sex altogether is deemed worthy of the title "relationship". Otherwise it would imply that any that lacks even one of those factors, is not "real"

I'm using 'relationship' as shorthand for quasi-marriage type relationship, as it frequently is used that way and I can't be bothered to define every single word I use in every single post. (This is a big AVEN problem, since everyone's allowed to use words to mean whatever they want).

My problem is with expecting an arrangement without commitment, romance, sex (or exclusivity come to that) would be as important in anyone's life as one with those things.

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Jade Cross
I'll have to ask then. Telecaster, if memory serves me right, youre married to an ace right?

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Telecaster68

Yep - well, she doesn't identify as such, and she wasn't when we got married, but if it quacks like a duck, etc.

And yes, to anticipate your next question, the absence of sex is a strain on how I feel about the relationship, and I would find it more fulfilling if we were having sex in a more allosexual manner.

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Serran

I can't see how a relationship with someone else that doesn't involve anything commonly called romantic, or sex, or commitment to them is anything other than a friendship, and pretty transient one at that.

Well, I wasn't talking about a relationship lacking any of those things. I was talking about a relationship that has all, or a combination of those things, but where the person's friends/family don't have to come in behind the romantic relationship. My Aunt is sexual, married to the guy (that's a pretty big commitment) and they're very romantic and affectionate. But, friends/family are very important to her and her spouse actually understands that and doesn't even attempt to make her choose between them. He doesn't have to be the most important, trump all other relationships. And... that's why I actually like him, cause he gets that. She's not moving, she's staying with her family and her best friend. Most her other partners have wanted to be the #1 trump all and it caused nothing but drama, because they got jealous when she had responsibilities to her family or friends that came before them. He's just willing to help out in those responsibilities, he even volunteered them for stuff during their first valentines day together (but we arranged so they could be alone together instead).

But, you can easily lack all those things and still be in a relationship. Say, two asexuals fall in love but they are both moving away soon. Neither wants to do a LDR. Their version of "romance" that makes them feel all butterfly tingly for each other is something "unusual" like having hours of deep conversation on literature. They agree to date, until they move away. There is no commitment, nothing "typically romantic" and nothing sexual, but it's still a relationship. Because they both have romantic feelings for each other and agree to be in a relationship. It's not up to anyone to judge the validity of a relationship except the two people in it. I've seen a lot of "relationships" I don't see how it is anything more than just sex buddies, but it works for them as a relationship, so ... not my place to judge it.

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Jade Cross
Then you know why I will say that you cannot judge others relationship and say that they are not real, when your own relationship and marriage are lacking the sexual component to it.

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Telecaster68
I was talking about a relationship that has all, or a combination of those things, but where the person's friends/family don't have to come in behind the romantic relationship.

Yeah, nobody was laying it out explicitly, but that was the picture that was forming in aggregate.

Most her other partners have wanted to be the #1 trump all

Which would indicate that marriage-esque relationships are generally viewed as more important, when push comes to shove, than others, wouldn't it?

because they got jealous when she had responsibilities to her family or friends that came before them

... again, that's my point. Explicitly marriage, but implicitly with marriage-esque relationships, the norm (so nothing to do with morality or 'oughts') is that friends and family don't come before your partner. They get first dibs on you, you get first dibs on them.

None of which is to say friends and family are cut off, or don't get an influence, or if there's a specific reason, for instance, if moving abroad would disrupt kids' education, or looking after a sick relative clearly that would be a big reason not to move, but I don't see the point of saying you're in that kind of relationship with someone if they don't come first in your life.

Outside of polyamory sites and AVEN, this really isn't a controversial idea.

Say, two asexuals fall in love but they are both moving away soon. Neither wants to do a LDR. Their version of "romance" that makes them feel all butterfly tingly for each other is something "unusual" like having hours of deep conversation on literature.

It's a relationship, and a perfectly valid one of course. But its commitment is very limited precisely because they've said the cons of an LDR outweigh their feelings for each other. I'm struggling to see how it's more than, say, a holiday romance in essence. And you've entirely left out the key point about whether friends and family are more important.

Then you know why I will say that you cannot judge others relationship and say that they are not real, when your own relationship and marriage are lacking the sexual component to it.

I'm just as entitled to have an opinion as asexuals are on sexual relationships and there are plenty of those on AVEN. I'm perfectly prepared to question the validity of my own marriage because of an absence of sex, as it happens - that's why I'm here, in part.

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Jade Cross

I never said you werent entitled to your own opinion. You are very much entitled to it just as anyone else is here, thats what helps make these discussions interesting. Otherwise, if we all thought the same, there wouldnt be a need to be here or at least I wouldnt hang around anymore if there is nothing new to learn.

That being said, in strictly ideological terms here, you cant realistically play the game of the pot calling the kettle black. If all relationships are going to be measured by the same standards, yours will not be an exception to the pattern and say that its a real relationship just because, and that others are not, when your lacking one and what sexuals consider the deal breaker factor for most (if not all) relationships of this nature in your own.

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Telecaster68

It's not a matter of one of those elements being missing, it's the complete absence of all of them - sex, romance, commitment, exclusivity. If a marriage-esque relationship has none of those (as apparently it can, according to posters on this thread), how is it different from the kind of relationship I have with any of about 10 friends? It's not, as far as I can see, in which case it's not a marriage-esque relationship.

And saying 'you cannot judge'... is pretty much saying someone's not entitled to an opinion.

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Jade Cross

Like others have posted and gathering from what you just posted, it seems that you agree at least to some extent; not all relationships will have all those elements present in them. Some relationships will lack commitment, some will lack romance, some will lack sex and some will lack exclusivity, which if Im understanding correctly, refers to monogamy? But they do not stop being relationships for it.

Regarding the judging part, I did say that it was in strick ideological terms that I was speaking because I know that otherwise its free reign for everyone. If we are each left to interpret what a relationship is, then all forms of interpretation are valid. However, if we are going to judge relationships by a single set of rules of views, in this case the ones you mentioned, then in that part, you cannot say that your relationship is any more real than others are because you yourself mentioned that you could only see a relationahip with someone else that lacked these components to be nother more than a friendship, and a transient one at that.

Outside of that, youre pretty much free to believe what you want. Im just saying that if the idea is to be role modeled in a matter os speaking, then the ones who present the idea must be the first who have them present before showing it to others.

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Tarfeather

It's not a matter of one of those elements being missing, it's the complete absence of all of them - sex, romance, commitment, exclusivity. If a marriage-esque relationship has none of those (as apparently it can, according to posters on this thread), how is it different from the kind of relationship I have with any of about 10 friends? It's not, as far as I can see, in which case it's not a marriage-esque relationship.

Telecaster, I can levy your own criticism of labels back at you here. What someone perceives as the difference between their relationship and a friendship, might not fall into neat little boxes of sex, romance, commitment and exclusivity. Interpersonal relationships are highly complex, and it's possible that something feels more like a "relationship" to someone, even if they can't analyze and dissect why it feels like a relationship. "The whole is more than the sum of its parts", especially as in this case, none of us can possibly be consciously aware of all the parts involved.

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Telecaster68
Some relationships will lack commitment, some will lack romance, some will lack sex and some will lack exclusivity, which if Im understanding correctly, refers to monogamy? But they do not stop being relationships for it.

In the strict sense of 'relationship', no. But I'd say a relationship that didn't involve sex, romance, commitment or exclusivity wouldn't be a relationship in the sense of quasi-marriage, which was the original sense used on this thread.

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Tarfeather

By the way, I don't really agree with any of the criticism regarding "judging". I don't think your opinion is wrong to say, Telecaster. I just think it's untrue. And that's my opinion. :P

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Jade Cross

Some relationships will lack commitment, some will lack romance, some will lack sex and some will lack exclusivity, which if Im understanding correctly, refers to monogamy? But they do not stop being relationships for it.

In the strict sense of 'relationship', no. But I'd say a relationship that didn't involve sex, romance, commitment or exclusivity wouldn't be a relationship in the sense of quasi-marriage, which was the original sense used on this thread.

Ignoring for a moment what was the original sense of this thread, if I asked you right now to describe your marriage to me, would you tell me that its a real relationship or is it more of cohabitation of friends?

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Telecaster68
What someone perceives as the difference between their relationship and a friendship, might not fall into neat little boxes of sex, romance, commitment and exclusivity. Interpersonal relationships are highly complex, and it's possible that something feels more like a "relationship" to someone, even if they can't analyze and dissect why it feels like a relationship

I agree. But the original point, a couple of pages ago, was bafflement and exasperation that 'relationship' relationships have priority over friendships and family, as though this was some weird unreasonableness. I was pointing out that, outside AVEN, it's pretty much a given (allowing for responsibilities like childcare, looking after sick parents, etc) and relationships don't make much sense without it.

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Telecaster68
Ignoring for a moment what was the original sense of this thread, if I asked you right now to describe your marriage to me, would you tell me that its a real relationship or is it more of cohabitation of friends?

That's a question I ask myself most days. And I'm far from the only one - for instance the DeadBedrooms subreddit is full of partners in sexless relationships with the same issue, and plenty who are vehement that it's a friendship not a marriage-esque relationship.

ETA: Jade, don't go to DeadBedrooms. You can't afford the PTSD counselling.

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Jade Cross
Im only interested in your answer for now.

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Tarfeather

We call that being unsure, Jade. :P

I agree. But the original point, a couple of pages ago, was bafflement and exasperation that 'relationship' relationships have priority over friendships and family, as though this was some weird unreasonableness. I was pointing out that, outside AVEN, it's pretty much a given (allowing for responsibilities like childcare, looking after sick parents, etc) and relationships don't make much sense without it.

Can't we be exasperated by things that "normal" people do? I mean, I'm pretty exasperated by the average person's grasp (or lack thereof) of basic logic. And I'm also exasperated by the fact that someone could value a 10+ year friendship / family bond so little, they'd throw it under the bus for a partner they just met.

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Telecaster68
Can't we be exasperated by things that "normal" people do?

Obviously. But as soon as I pushed back about it not being weird and unreasonable, there was a bunch of attempts to demonstrate it was weird and unreasonable, from I think a combination of wishful thinking and lack of experience of relationships that would fall under 'the norm'. There are loads of posts all over AVEN for example extolling friendships and bemoaning how sexuals focus on their partners, and many asexuals have never been in any kind of long term quasi-marriage relationship.

Just as with the whole sorry 'sexuals just want to bang randoms on sight' delusion, AVEN (like any internet community) can be an echo chamber reinforcing the most frequently reiterated views. The echos need disrupting sometimes.

And I'm also exasperated by the fact that someone could value a 10+ year friendship / family bond so little, they'd throw it under the bus for a partner they just met.

Nobody was saying 'just met', particularly, and certainly not 'throwing under a bus'. Just prioritising. I was at pains to make the marriage-esque point throughout, but if someone felt sure of their commitment to someone they hadn't known long then it would apply, sure.

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Jade Cross

Can't we be exasperated by things that "normal" people do?

Obviously. But as soon as I pushed back about it not being weird and unreasonable, there was a bunch of attempts to demonstrate it was weird and unreasonable, from I think a combination of wishful thinking and lack of experience of relationships that would fall under 'the norm'. There are loads of posts all over AVEN for example extolling friendships and bemoaning how sexuals focus on their partners, and many asexuals have never been in any kind of long term quasi-marriage relationship.

Just as with the whole sorry 'sexuals just want to bang randoms on sight' delusion, AVEN (like any internet community) can be an echo chamber reinforcing the most frequently reiterated views. The echos need disrupting sometimes.

And I'm also exasperated by the fact that someone could value a 10+ year friendship / family bond so little, they'd throw it under the bus for a partner they just met.

Nobody was saying 'just met', particularly, and certainly not 'throwing under a bus'. Just prioritising. I was at pains to make the marriage-esque point throughout, but if someone felt sure of their commitment to someone they hadn't known long then it would apply, sure.

To be fair, the notion that sexuals just want to bang on sight is a type of self inflicted blow brought on by lack of proper illustration on the matter. If 9 out of 10 people you see only say "I want sex" thats the notion you will have of sexuals, at least as an ace.

However this in turn causes sexual to say that such a thing is not real and that may be the real case but sexuals for the most part, dont say "I want sex because of......" unless directly asked to explain. If that was the case, I think there would be less confusion regarding the matter.

The notion that romantic partners take priority over friends or family is something I cant agree on because while Im not in a relationship, I do see plenty of people who are and most of them are not saying "sorry I cant hang out, gotta go spend time with my partner". In fact the opposite is true. And most people would call that being overly clingly or insecure in their relationship.

Many times I tend to see them talking (well arguing over the phone) with their partners saying that they want to go have a night out with friends or want to go see their families, etc. And if I count the times Ive seen people complaining about their partners and saying that they need a break, I would wager that partners many times come close to second in priority.

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Serran

Most her other partners have wanted to be the #1 trump all

Which would indicate that marriage-esque relationships are generally viewed as more important, when push comes to shove, than others, wouldn't it?

To those people, it does. But, not to all - I was giving an example of some people view it that way, some do not. The majority of people I know think you should stop talking to friends/family completely if the partner really wants you to... doesn't mean I agree with them, just cause they're a majority in my life. So, whether or not the romantic partner comes #1 is up to each individual and as long as both partners are OK with that, then that's just a different type of relationship than you would be interested in, is all. But, it's also not limited to say, asexuals, because my Aunt is quite sexual. :D

And also, just because something may be the "majority" doesn't mean people can't be exasperated with it. I find the whole "we" thing that couples turn into a lot of the time obnoxious and baffling. Like, they totally lose all sense of self once they get into a relationship. Friends, family, work, everything just becomes unimportant because they got in a relationship. They can't even go out by themselves cause it has to be "we" and "I" exists no longer. It's strange to me. And probably why I agree with poly, in theory, even though I know I can't make it work in practice. The whole each person being equal, can still be free to do other things, needs can be met elsewhere, it's OK to have life outside of the relationship, etc makes total sense to me from a logical standpoint. My ex's idea of "If I wanted to hang out with someone else, I would be married to them instead of you" philosophy for why he stopped going out with friends once we got together was ... so alien. I was like "GO! Hang out! Do the things you like that I don't with these people!" and he just didn't get why I would want him to do anything but spend all his free time with me.

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Tarfeather

And also, just because something may be the "majority" doesn't mean people can't be exasperated with it. I find the whole "we" thing that couples turn into a lot of the time obnoxious and baffling. Like, they totally lose all sense of self once they get into a relationship. Friends, family, work, everything just becomes unimportant because they got in a relationship. They can't even go out by themselves cause it has to be "we" and "I" exists no longer. It's strange to me. And probably why I agree with poly, in theory, even though I know I can't make it work in practice. The whole each person being equal, can still be free to do other things, needs can be met elsewhere, it's OK to have life outside of the relationship, etc makes total sense to me from a logical standpoint. My ex's idea of "If

Exactly. I don't even get why that's necessary.. I'm such a clingy person, and ideally I'd want my partner to spend time with me every day. But that still wouldn't preclude me from carrying on my normal relationships with my friends. With some of my friends in relationships, I get stuff like me hanging out at their place in the evening, their partner coming over, and then me getting the strong sense that they want me to leave.. Or I text with a friend late at night, and they say they have to go, because "their girlfriend is wondering what they're doing at the phone all the time". Now that I think about it, almost seems like for them, "night time" is reserved for their partner.. Which makes sense in a sexual relationship, I guess, but to me it's very alien.

But I do have one other friend with a partner, who while being extremely caring about his partner (driving her to work on days she doesn't feel good, leaving early if she's been to the dentist, etc.), still manages to have a fulfilling social life outside of her, and who treats me and his other friends normally still. In fact, our respective relationships are something that connect us as friends, as we're the only people in our group who have partners that could as well be friends, whereas the other guys in our group tend to have relationships with girls that are just so obviously incompatible personality-wise. :/

Oh well I'm ranting. Oops. :blush:

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Telecaster68

Absolutely it's nothing to do with asexuality necessarily. I think it does have some link with aromanticism though - I've noticed aromantics seem to prefer a cooler relationship and don't like having the focus on themselves. Again, not necessarily bad, just not what most people expect in a 'relationship' relationship.

The clinginess is a different beast though, I think. Cutting off contact with everyone else at a partner's request is classic sign of an abusive relationship for a start. But even where that isn't the case, when couples cocoon themselves they can't be bringing anything else to the relationship, particularly the things about themselves that made them attractive in the first place. But there's a middle ground to be found and it'll vary from couple to couple, from time to time, and figuring out how it works is one of the things you do in relationship.

Tar - the phone thing... romantic coupley evenings are definitely a thing, particularly early on in a relationship. A bit like the 'is it too late to phone someone' idea. And I'd guess there's a subtext that his girlfriend might suspect he's chatting to another woman who's tucked up in bed...

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Serran

Tar - the phone thing... romantic coupley evenings are definitely a thing, particularly early on in a relationship. A bit like the 'is it too late to phone someone' idea. And I'd guess there's a subtext that his girlfriend might suspect he's chatting to another woman who's tucked up in bed...

Why does texting / chatting in the evening make people think their partner is cheating? I mean, why be with someone if you're that distrusting of them anyway? o.O See, baffling! I chat to friends most in the evenings cause that's when they are not at work, like most human beings that have regular jobs/school. If anyone wanted me to just talk to them during "normal business hours" or whatever, I would never talk to them! I can get wanting to spend some days together as a couple, but... yeah. I am with Tar. :o

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Jade Cross
Same. I wouldn't want to be in a relationship where the other person is goung to be monitoring me and distrusting of even a second that I dont answer them.

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Telecaster68
Why does texting / chatting in the evening make people think their partner is cheating?

Insecurity I guess. I'm not saying it's standard and to be expected etc. just following a possible line of thought. It could equally be that his attention is with them, together, in that room, in the same way that texting someone while you're having a face to face to conversation with someone else can be annoying.

But I do find I'm fairly aware of what my wife's doing, not in a distrusting, monitoring way, I just notice. Like if she's looking for something, I'll generally be able to guess what she's looking for, or how a sentence is likely to finish, or she can do it with who I think a particular actor is in a TV programme. It's not sinister, it's just knowing someone really well.

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fuzzipueo

Thanks to the preceding conversation, I now have the song Suspicion running through my head. Also, the State Farm Commercial....

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Kai99

It's perfectly possible to have a short-lived or non-committed romantic relationship that you'd never consider something like leaving your friends for. commitment != romance

By definition, yes, if it's shortlived or non-committed. I'm saying that's the difference - an exclusive, long term, committed relationship (which QPRs aside will be what AVEN brackets as romantic) does take precedence over friends. Otherwise it makes no sense to say there's any commitment beyond other relationships such as friends.

I agree with this. As much as I freaking love my friends, a committed relationship will definitely have a higher level of importance. I don't expect my friends to up and move to where I move, and they don't expect me to do that for them. My best friend here in college will probably be following her boyfriend to California after graduation. Almost all of her friends are here in Alabama and that isn't stopping her from leaving. My other best friend is stationed in Japan. Friendships aren't a commitment. You gain friends, you lose them. I really care about my Co workers, but that isn't going to stop me from leaving for the next best thing, and they aren't coming with me. When you are in a committed relationship, you make sacrifices for one another. If one person has an great job opportunity in another state, than the other one follows. Even if you are leaving a place near family and friends, you still follow your partner out. That partner is the one who you travel around the world with, that partner is the one who you buy a house with. That partner is the person who you will see at the end of the day when your bone dead tired. As far as Poly relationships go, it is much much harder for three or four people to make such a sacrifice, than it is for just two people. I mea here is a question for Polys. If one person moves, will you move with them?

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Notte stellata

I mea here is a question for Polys. If one person moves, will you move with them?

Personally I'll only move with my husband (my other SOs are long-distance anyway). Not that other SOs are less emotionally important, but I only have a life-sharing commitment with my husband. A lot of poly people are like this. They have one primary partner with whom they make big life decisions, and other non-primary or secondary partners may or may not be equally emotionally significant, but they don't share a life together. But poly people in group relationships (three or more people all in a relationship together and living together) are probably more likely to all move together.

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Geo

It is important because of the emotional closeness, bonding it provides.

On a purely neurological level, orgasm produces a flood of oxytocin in the brain, which makes people feel more bonded to those they're with at the time.

Emotionally, it combines the mental and physical like nothing else - the kind of emotional closeness a lot of asexuals get from cuddling etc., plus the sensual physical pleasure. And there's a kind of spiral of intensity: you're getting enjoyment from your partner's enjoyment, they're getting enjoyment from your enjoyment, and you're getting enjoyment from that enjoyment. That's a very deep pleasure and it amplifies as it bounces back and forth.

Many people said that it is not really about physical pleasure, orgasms (though it is a bonus). That if it was, masturbation would be enough for them. But it is not.

There was also some neuro research I saw that somehow measured that orgasms from sex with a partner were a lot more intense than orgasms from masturbation. It's certainly my experience.

Do you literally need to be IN someone to feel connected to them?

Not always. But physically, you can't actually be closer than that, so for a lot of sexuals, it's the most intense way to feel connected.

Are hugs, kisses, cuddles not enough? How are they different?

There's also the rising sense of urgency, building up to orgasm, and the huge release when it happens. That doesn't happen with cuddles.

I agree with most of this. I don't think I've seen a better explanation of sex on Aven before.

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