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Mary Lambert

I think, my ACE husband has ruined sex for me?

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uhtred
55 minutes ago, vega57 said:

Happiness is internal.  One can be happy whether they're in a relationship or not...whether they're getting a steady stream of sex or not...whether they have they eye color they want...or not.  

 

And look at all those same people who find love, yet are not happy.  A relationship can add to your happiness but not be the source of it.  *YOU* are the source of it.  

And yes, there is literature about that, too.  

 

It can cause them to feel happier, but again, not be the source of their overall happiness.  

Funny how many of those same people will go out after 'sexless' relationship ends and report that they found LOTS of sex...but not love...and yet, they're happy.  

People vary.  For you, happiness may be internal. You may be able to be completely happy by yourself without  love or social interaction.  Not saying you don't want those things, but you may be able to be happy without them. 

 

Other people are not able to be happy without what they perceive a love.  

 

There are billions of people, with a lot of variation in what matters to them. 

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ripley
3 minutes ago, alligator said:

I feel like this post has gotten a little out of hand. @Mary Lambert, I'm really happy that you have accepted that your husband is asexual. I know with good communication, and compromise from both sides, you two can have a healthy relationship from this point on :) 

I agree with @alligator.

 

@Mary Lambert, I really hope that amidst all the debate (that while interesting does feel ... a little off topic at this stage), you’ve managed to find some advice that might be helpful and useful to you. I really hope that you and your husband find the balance that works for you, and for your family, whatever that balance might be. 

 

And hey, at least you can say you’ve definitely seen how diverse and different our opinions can be around here! We all have different views on topics like this, which I think is fascinating to see how varied they can be.

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uhtred
14 minutes ago, FictoVore. said:

To those who are still under the mistaken impression that in all relationships, under all circumstances, the one who doesn't want the sex is the one who holds the power:

 

Until you've felt the powerlessness of knowing saying 'no' to the person you love will mean you lose them, no matter how badly you want to say no because you know it's going to hurt and you'd rather have your teeth pulled than do it again but the prospect of being alone hurts you even more, you'll never be able to grasp what it's like to not have any control over the sex that happens in a relationship. I'm not the only person here who has gone to great lengths to explain the feeling of having literally no control over the sex in the relationship without it actually being rape, but it just falls on deaf ears to the extent it feels like I'm bashing my head against a brick wall - which after everything I went through as a direct result of a relationship like that those are emotions I should not still have to be feeling - but now they're as a result of certain members saying that people like me had all the choice, we held all the cards, we must have wanted it on some level - Disgusting. Even my ex, who was the one who put me through all that, would be disgusted at some of the claims being made here about the ones not wanting sex having the control, and he's about as deep in the gutter of humanity as it's possible to be. I can't even fathom what it would be like to exist in a brain that can't comprehend that experiences other than your own do exist, and that relationships (including sex) can work in different ways for different people depending on the individuals involved. Shocking I know. 

 

I never wanted to be in so much pain down there that I had to take painkillers mixed with spirits multiple times daily just to be able to walk to the shop to be groceries, or to be able to vacuum the floor, or even just go to the bathroom. What I wanted was to be loved and truly believed no one else would have me, and that if he left me I'd be alone. My case is obviously extreme, but there are many much less extreme cases on AVEN where the ace hasn't wanted the sex but has had no choice but to have it if they want to keep their partner. You KNOW you'll probably never find anyone else to love you the way you are (you're a broken mess, that's what I told myself anyway) so you endure. It's still not rape though. It's just an experience that's very different from that of the sexuals who choose to give all the power to their asexual partner because they would rather suffer in celibacy than break up.

 

Two sides of the same coin, but you'll never understand.

 

And this is slightly off topic so I'll leave it at that.

 

 

Its symmetric. Both want /  need the love of their partner.  One can only feel it without sex, the other only with sex. Each has picked the wrong person to love because there is this deep divide that can never be bridged.  

 

Asexuality, or even large variation in libido is not generally talked about so people get into relationships and fall in love without realizing that there it is a critical part of any relationship. 

 

The really sad part is that both *could* find other relationships and be happy, but either they believe that they can't, or (worse) believe that their partners can't, and so sacrifice themselves in a thoroughly misguided attempt to make their partners happy.

 

The only case where I don't have sympathy is when someone knows that their partner is unhappy, but acts in ways to try to emotionally blackmail that partner into staying in a relationship. 

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gaogao
1 hour ago, uhtred said:

The dynamics vary with the relationship. It depends on whether either person is willing to end the relationship.  If the sexual is not willing to end it, then the asexual controls the amount of sex, because they can say no with no consequences.  If the sexual is willing to end it, but not the asexual, then the sexual controls sex. 

 

*Why* some people will end relationships and others won't is much more complex.  Sometimes its practicality, sometimes its an (often badly misplaced) desire to not hurt a loved partner. 

I think this is a really succinct way to put it...

 

But I think what we need to take away from this post is that either option is bad. If only the sexual is willing to end it, the relationship cannot continue in a healthy way because the asexual will still need to consent wholeheartedly for a good compromise in terms of sex to occur - otherwise, they will essentially end up being coerced into sex by their partner. If only the asexual is willing to end it, the relationship cannot continue in a healthy way because the sexual partner (unless they can find a way to make peace/cope with absolute celibacy) will be hurting themselves desperately to try continue the relationship. Either scenario opens up the scope for extremely unhealthy relationship behaviour - especially if the person who is unwilling to leave does not know what their own boundaries are and starts to sacrifice their physical and mental wellbeing to satisfy the other's demands. 

 

I think a good sexual partner who knows they cannot be in a relationship without sex will have to recognize if their asexual is pushing themselves too much. A good partner will end it there regardless of whether the asexual wants the relationship to continue or not - a decent person would NEVER want to see their partner suffer like that. Yes, this in itself will cause a lot of sadness and suffering, but it's better than feeling like you are raping your partner every day. If I can't show my girlfriend that I can handle the amount of sex I have committed to giving her, I think she would end the relationship immediately, even if I begged her to stay with me and tried to push myself to give even more.

 

If, on the other hand, I realise I can't actually give her sex at all, I will have to see how she copes but may have to end the relationship anyway, because I can't watch her suffer - no matter how much she says she wants to stay. Unless she can show me she is still okay being celibate, I won't be able to take it. Like Ficto says, I've seen my gf depressed, i've seen her lash out at herself, I've seen how negative a lack of sex makes her feel - it is horrible and unhealthy both for her and for me. If I break up with her over this, of COURSE it will hurt her a lot, but if it needs to be done it needs to be done because it is unfair and horrible for her to have to suffer, even if I am happy.

 

So the point is that In order for a sexual/asexual relationship to work - and stop either partner from hurting themselves too much - there must be compromise on both sides by recognizing that the relationship may have to end for either partner's own good. The sexual will have to commit to less sex than they might otherwise be happy with, or no sex at all, and the asexual will either have to accept that they must have a little bit of sex sometimes, or watch their partner suffer celibacy and try their best to assuage that to the best of their ability.

 

That's why In order for a mixed relationship to work, I think there actually needs to be 100% mutual willingness to end it on both sides, if it doesn't work out. There also has to be a 100% mutual willingness to see if it does work out, and trust that when someone says they are ok, they really are ok. All of these things are important.

 

ps. imo this is how it would be in an ideal world... most relationships are far from ideal.

 

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vega57
21 minutes ago, James121 said:

Reading it and interpreting it are two different things. My vicar did specifically ask if we were initmate and had connected well sexually prior to our marriage. We had 5 pre marriage sessions with her aimed at steering us in to a healthy married lifestyle. On entire 30 minute session revolves around the importance of love making and intimacy. There are plenty of other religious people who speak of sexual connection being important in marriage but by virtue of what you are saying, these people have all misinterpreted the bibles teachings?

I never said "ALL".  

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vega57
19 minutes ago, uhtred said:

People vary.  For you, happiness may be internal. You may be able to be completely happy by yourself without  love or social interaction.  Not saying you don't want those things, but you may be able to be happy without them. 

 

I DO have love.  Friends, family, neighbors, strangers.  And I DO socialize.  Heck my best friend, who I've known since we were 2, and I once didn't talk to each other for 5 years.  Wasn't because we were mad at each other or had any kind of mishap.  We simply ... got busy with our lives.  And when we DID finally talk again, it was as if we just picked up the conversation from where we left off.  Did we miss each other?  Sure.  Did we feel unhappy with the rest of our lives because we missed each other?  Nope.  

 

If you want to know more of what I'm talking about, read Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning.  

 

Quote

Other people are not able to be happy without what they perceive a love.  

It's not so much that they're unable as they're unwilling.  Sometimes it's easier to keep the status quo, even it makes you miserable, simply because the pain is familiar.  All I'm saying is that it doesn't HAVE to be that way.  Of course, each person has to put forth the effort, but most won't.  

 

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James121
12 minutes ago, vega57 said:

I never said "ALL".  

So these people have not misinterpreted anything then which in turn means it is perfectly fine to state that marriage is suppose to involve sex as part of intimacy/love. 

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Username_2017
8 hours ago, James121 said:

In your opinion yes but in my opinion, if an adult wants to have sex (which is perfectly reasonable) they should be able to have sex. What is very unreasonable is to say no all the time and offer no solution....

I hope I've misread this. It seems very entitled. No one is entitled to sex...people cannot go around with an attitude of 'I want sex thefore I can have it'. That's a concerning attitude to have

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vega57
24 minutes ago, gaogao said:

I think a good sexual partner who knows they cannot be in a relationship without sex will have to recognize if their asexual is pushing themselves too much. A good partner will end it there regardless of whether the asexual wants the relationship to continue or not - a decent person would NEVER want to see their partner suffer like that. Yes, this in itself will cause a lot of sadness and suffering, but it's better than feeling like you are raping your partner every day. If I can't show my girlfriend that I can handle the amount of sex I have committed to giving her, I think she would end the relationship immediately, even if I begged her to stay with me and tried to push myself to give even more.

EXACTLY!!  Coming to this understanding takes a lot of maturity.  One really  needs to understand if your values etc. aren't in sync and that it can cause a lot of turmoil down the road.  Too many, however, don't want to be the one to 'give up', even though giving up is probably what's best for both people, even if both of them don't see it now.  

 

I

Quote

f, on the other hand, I realise I can't actually give her sex at all, I will have to see how she copes but may have to end the relationship anyway, because I can't watch her suffer - no matter how much she says she wants to stay. Unless she can show me she is still okay being celibate, I won't be able to take it. Like Ficto says, I've seen my gf depressed, i've seen her lash out at herself, I've seen how negative a lack of sex makes her feel - it is horrible and unhealthy both for her and for me. If I break up with her over this, of COURSE it will hurt her a lot, but if it needs to be done it needs to be done because it is unfair and horrible for her to have to suffer, even if I am happy.

Perfect.  

 

Quote

So the point is that In order for a sexual/asexual relationship to work - and stop either partner from hurting themselves too much - there must be compromise on both sides by recognizing that the relationship may have to end for either partner's own good. The sexual will have to commit to less sex than they might otherwise be happy with, or no sex at all, and the asexual will either have to accept that they must have a little bit of sex sometimes, or watch their partner suffer celibacy and try their best to assuage that to the best of their ability.

Many sexuals wouldn't simply accept sex from their asexual partner.  After all, the key to being asexual isn't the lack of the ability to have sex; it's the lack of desire to do so. I know that some would have no problem having sex with a partner that they KNOW doesn't desire sex (especially if their asexual partner convinces them that it's o.k. to do so, and that they're doing it *for you*).  But many wouldn't be interested.  

 

 

 

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vega57
7 minutes ago, James121 said:

So these people have not misinterpreted anything then which in turn means it is perfectly fine to state that marriage is suppose to involve sex as part of intimacy/love. 

Huh?!

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Username_2017

"Marital rape (or spousal rape) is the act of sexual intercourse with one's spouse without the spouse's consent. It is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Although, historically, sexual intercourse within marriage was regarded as a right of spouses, engaging in the act without the spouse's consent is now widely recognized by law and society as a wrong and as a crime. It is recognized as rape by many societies around the world, repudiated by international conventions, and increasingly criminalized."

 

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Username_2017
6 hours ago, James121 said:
On 4/11/2018 at 2:35 PM, vega57 said:

After all, are we all supposed to say 'yes' to sex just because someone wants it?

Within reason......yes

 

When I got married I pledged to make my wife happy and would endeavour to do so, so long as it was physically possible and not at the expense of my own happiness.

 

If I didn’t feel like that, I shouldn’t have got married

My comment above was aimed at this. The idea of expecting sex from a partner when they don't want it is out of date

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James121
9 minutes ago, Username_2017 said:

My comment above was aimed at this. The idea of expecting sex from a partner when they don't want it is out of date

How do you mean out of date? We are not talking about a carton of milk.

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James121
7 minutes ago, Username_2017 said:

My comment above was aimed at this. The idea of expecting sex from a partner when they don't want it is out of date

Ah I see what you are saying. You are saying that I am essentially mimicking rape. This is a pathetic argument. At what point have I ever said force, or without consent? Never! 

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uhtred
29 minutes ago, vega57 said:

I DO have love.  Friends, family, neighbors, strangers.  And I DO socialize.  Heck my best friend, who I've known since we were 2, and I once didn't talk to each other for 5 years.  Wasn't because we were mad at each other or had any kind of mishap.  We simply ... got busy with our lives.  And when we DID finally talk again, it was as if we just picked up the conversation from where we left off.  Did we miss each other?  Sure.  Did we feel unhappy with the rest of our lives because we missed each other?  Nope.  

 

If you want to know more of what I'm talking about, read Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning.  

 

It's not so much that they're unable as they're unwilling.  Sometimes it's easier to keep the status quo, even it makes you miserable, simply because the pain is familiar.  All I'm saying is that it doesn't HAVE to be that way.  Of course, each person has to put forth the effort, but most won't.  

 

What makes you think its "unwilling" rather than "unable".  Are you "unwilling" to enjoy kinky sex 2x / day?   I think more likely you are "unable".  Even if a partner you loved wanted that, you could not be happy providing.  In the same way many people are unable, not unwilling to be happy without an active sex life.  In general sexuality is not something that people can choose. 

Your feelings are correct for *you* but they don't represent other people's feelings.  

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alligator
6 minutes ago, Username_2017 said:

My comment above was aimed at this. The idea of expecting sex from a partner when they don't want it is out of date

Well with the sexual partner, you mean they shouldn’t force their asexual partner for sex if they aren’t in the mood? Because that’s almost all the time for ace people . 

Or are you saying that sexual partners should just expect sex just because they feel like they are intitled to it? 

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uhtred
9 minutes ago, Username_2017 said:

My comment above was aimed at this. The idea of expecting sex from a partner when they don't want it is out of date

"Don't want it" needs to be clarified. 

 

I don't think anyone here is advocating rape - ever, under any circumstances.

 

Lets take a different example: Slavery vs. work. 

 

I did't *want* to go to work today.   If I stayed home, there would be some consequences, and so I decided to go to work.   I *chose* do do  something I "didn't want to do", because overall that made things better for me.  If I were a slave, I wouldn't have that choice. I would be forced to work whether or not it was overall better for me.

 

If someone chooses to have sex when they don't want it because overall they think it will make their life better, (eg maintain a relationship), it may be an unfortunate situation, but it is not rape.  That would be if the choice was removed from them.

 

For both slavery and rape of course there is a grey area where the consequences of not going along are extreme, but I don't think the risk of having a relationship end is anywhere near that extreme. 

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James121
Just now, alligator said:

Well with the sexual partner, you mean they shouldn’t force their asexual partner for sex if they aren’t in the mood? Because that’s almost all the time for ace people . 

Or are you saying that sexual partners should just expect sex just because they feel like they are intitled to it? 

It’s quite funny how you can feel entitled to monogamy, entitled to respect, entitled to commitment but for someone to feel any entitlement to sex makes them comparable to a rapist. Here is the deal, if I got with a girl and they said from the outset “I’m asexual” I would not feel entitled to sex. Because I would know where I stood. Instead I would cut my losses and move on to a more suitable partner.

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uhtred
3 minutes ago, alligator said:

Well with the sexual partner, you mean they shouldn’t force their asexual partner for sex if they aren’t in the mood? Because that’s almost all the time for ace people . 

Or are you saying that sexual partners should just expect sex just because they feel like they are intitled to it? 

Either person always has the option of leaving the relationship. 

 

I think it is OK to say that you will leave a relationship if you don't get sex.  It is not OK to imply any sort of illegal coercion. 

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Username_2017
6 minutes ago, James121 said:

Ah I see what you are saying. You are saying that I am essentially mimicking rape. This is a pathetic argument. At what point have I ever said force, or without consent? Never! 

No I'm not saying you do that. I am saying that the idea that when in a marriage you have a right to sex is out of date. I may be coming from a different perspective but say my partner wanted sex every night and I only wanted it once a week, am I obliged to have sex every night even though I don't want to? No I'm not. My partner can go and find someone to have sex with every night and I can find someone who is happy to have it once a week

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Telecaster68
3 minutes ago, Username_2017 said:

say my partner wanted sex every night and I only wanted it once a week, am I obliged to have sex every night even though I don't want to?

Obviously not, you'd both compromise. But frequently, asexuals don't want to have sex at all, so no compromise is possible, and they're not happy with their partner having sex with anyone else. Some posters are saying asking for a compromise is tantamount to wanting marital rape to be legal, it seems.

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James121
1 minute ago, Username_2017 said:

No I'm not saying you do that. I am saying that the idea that when in a marriage you have a right to sex is out of date. I may be coming from a different perspective but say my partner wanted sex every night and I only wanted it once a week, am I obliged to have sex every night even though I don't want to? No I'm not. My partner can go and find someone to have sex with every night and I can find someone who is happy to have it once a week

I’m glad you didn’t mean that, my blood was beginning to boil at the thought. 

No one is entitled to sex....

Everyone is entitled to effort....

Asexuals are somewhat unique in that this doesn’t really apply but in your example, one person wants sex once per week, one person wants sex seven. You can compromise.

Enjoyable sex can be achieved regardless of whether you were particularly up for it from the outset (within reason). This doesn’t really apply asexuals because that would prefer no sex (in which case why are they in a relationship with someone who wants sex).

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vega57
20 minutes ago, uhtred said:

What makes you think its "unwilling" rather than "unable".  Are you "unwilling" to enjoy kinky sex 2x / day?   I think more likely you are "unable".  Even if a partner you loved wanted that, you could not be happy providing.  In the same way many people are unable, not unwilling to be happy without an active sex life.  In general sexuality is not something that people can choose. 

Your feelings are correct for *you* but they don't represent other people's feelings.  

Ability and willingness are two different things.  Willingness usually relates to a state of mind.  Ability usually relates to the mechanical aspects.  I I have a broken leg, I might be willing to run, but I don't have the ability to do so.  I have the ability to have sex.  My 'lady parts' work, save for a little lube, and no pain is involved.  But even though I have the ability, I don't have the will to do so.  

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ryn2
4 minutes ago, James121 said:

(in which case why are they in a relationship with someone who wants sex).

In at least some of the situations people describe here, because they didn’t realize they were ace - or didn’t realize the degree of mismatch would be a problem - until well into the relationship.

 

The ideal approach where both people know their orientation, hard limits, and ability to bend going in doesn’t always apply as well for established relationships.

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James121
1 minute ago, ryn2 said:

In at least some of the situations people describe here, because they didn’t realize they were ace - or didn’t realize the degree of mismatch would be a problem - until well into the relationship.

 

The ideal approach where both people know their orientation, hard limits, and ability to bend going in doesn’t always apply as well for established relationships.

I’ve never been able to understand that idea of not realising you didn’t like sex but it’s not something I’m going to elaborate on because that conversation has been done to death.

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Username_2017
10 minutes ago, James121 said:

I’m glad you didn’t mean that, my blood was beginning to boil at the thought. 

No one is entitled to sex....

Everyone is entitled to effort....

Asexuals are somewhat unique in that this doesn’t really apply but in your example, one person wants sex once per week, one person wants sex seven. You can compromise.

Enjoyable sex can be achieved regardless of whether you were particularly up for it from the outset (within reason). This doesn’t really apply asexuals because that would prefer no sex (in which case why are they in a relationship with someone who wants sex).

Because they don't realise that a relationship involves sex?

 

I don't ever think I 'learnt' that when I got into a relationship I was 'supposed' to have sex. It was just a go with the flow sort of attitude. 

 

Why would someone who doesn't think about sex, imagine that the other person wants it?

 

And by AVEN's definition I am sexual by the way

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James121
1 minute ago, Username_2017 said:

Because they don't realise that a relationship involves sex?

 

I don't ever think I 'learnt' that when I got into a relationship I was 'supposed' to have sex. It was just a go with the flow sort of attitude. 

 

Why would someone who doesn't think about sex, imagine that the other person wants it?

 

And by AVEN's definition I am sexual by the way

There’s thread after thread on this forum claiming that sex is everywhere and it’s rammed down your throat. How does anyone not know that a relationship doesn’t involve sex? 

That’s like cheating and claiming I didn’t realise we were suppose to be faithful to one another isn’t it?

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Username_2017

I am just explaining my experience I can't give you any more info than that but I think we can safely say that a fair amount of people don't realise. How...I don't know. But it's not their fault

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ryn2
9 minutes ago, James121 said:

I’ve never been able to understand that idea of not realising you didn’t like sex but it’s not something I’m going to elaborate on because that conversation has been done to death.

I’d word it more as “not realizing your feelings towards/ experiences of sex are vastly different than many people’s,” but I’m fine with leaving it as “it’s difficult - perhaps impossible - for either orientation to fully understand what it’s like to be the other.”

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Username_2017

The attitude I honestly grew up around was that men were sex obsessed and women weren't. What I was never taught or learned was that sex was an emotional need for some people and they need it regularly to function 

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