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Marriage Without Sex or Ceremony

For the Carnival of Aces in August concerning stages of coming out, to celebrate where I’m at, acceptance of panromanticism and synthesis of demisexuality. Labels and explicit body parts deliberately omitted in the post.

Marriage Without Sex or Ceremony

Let me imagine our future together, beloved. With so few of us, the chance we will click, I will love, you will love, we will last seems so small. In the meantime, let me dream.

guitaristWhere shall we meet? Sterile pixels make for futile browsing so it happens someplace real.

My eyes fall on you, for you. The sight strikes the chord of some ideal in my mind. Little do I know the types I like to look at joyous confident hands that speak as much as a face. Sharp, short hair tops a lanky body with bright mind in the eyes or a wide smile garnishes a buffet of curves and kindness and curls.

You may arrest my aurally, my ears greedier than my eyes in seeking to enjoy the world so speak. Speak so I may hear your melody drop into my mind for a solo among a chorus becoming a backdrop harmonising with you and me.

My heart will gallop but no blood flow lower down to beat a more bestial drum. I want to sit and stare, sit and hear, my chest aflutter with lungs failing to fill my groin at peace. If in fantasy I approach and touch I am an admirer without desire, like the knights thought chaste of old.

curls and headphonesWith less courage than those figures I skulk around the edges of a meeting a strange face growing their comfort in polite conversation. Confronted, I will flee into the cerebral and seek your mind out first of all. Seeking safety, seeking substance in you and what you will share and myself in what I dare.

A risk, each new acquaintance, trading in time and costing heart to carry on, worth each little glimpse of a person, richer for each moment well-spent. With you it lasts, as it will with a friend, stretching into the incalculable when we are becoming and attach.

Yet with you, a little itching, discomfort and hunger, formless as yet. A little more and a little deeper, each time we meet vivid and stark, cherished in recollection, in speculation before I embark on delving into the next layer of whatever intimacy we wish to share. This time an in-joke, that time an ear lent, without judgment, a trust we build until the foundation sets.

These beginnings resolve, then, in our life together, some years after I first payed you court. Perhaps you indulged this romantic, perhaps you liked it. We could be ourselves with each other, that counted for more. Let me sketch a portrait here, beloved, of a moment, our paradise for here on earth.

sunsetI come home in early evening. The night is pregnant with fruit and mulch. The leaves are sunset, the sky is autumn. The street’s asleep and safe to walk, except our neighbour gardening with a head lamp, outside to greet me at the door.

The rasp of unlocking, creaky hinges you need to oil. Arms heavy because it was my turn to go to the store. I am serenaded by the song of the day, what you did and heard and thought I should know and do later there’s coffee and don’t eat the leftovers they need to go. I hum in tune and stay in range until the final note is sung. Then I approach, my skin too thin and cold clinging that I brought in until you brush it off and settle the soft cover back over my flesh with your palms soothing and smooth.

We share the evening as we tend to do, tending each other until the one burning low is cheerier lighter again. If we are apart in an indepentent motion it is to come back together for the next turn around the room we have built to suit the whole of us, wholly ourselves here and between us only a third, the relationship blooming.

Rowing, screaming, we explode when my temper matches that of yours. We parry volleys of biting phrases, hitting soft spots with hard edges that exhaust, until I take a walk to draft a new treaty unless we negotiate there where we drop and rest together not knowing how we got next to the rails. Except we’re human, we will do this, our only hope forgiveness and an equal to balance us out.

I bring you a drink and you mine over the course of the evening as we finish up and wind down.

bed sharingAt night we diverge by sleeping together, not too much or little at all. Just right we lie in parallel, a duet of slow breathing, sometimes touching, sometimes not. You hog the blankets and I snore.

When I fit my hand to your jawline, the other scratching fingers into messy hair, perhaps we kiss, perhaps we don’t. Loving you this long, when the measure is years, I might feel a thrill, blush and turn aside. We undress, even helping, but the shape of your body does not make me want to move to do more.

Bold or scared, I raised that question, will you want sex when I won’t? But this is my dream. You were just as scared and when I spoke up, we giggled our heads off and hugged it out. You told me you wanted more of my time and my life, hoarding my affection as I did yours.

I dream we live and love together, vague shapes that will shift to fit the future. I have thoughts of having children, thoughts of whether you come to church. But I wish to leave it here, at the thought.

Two people with two hearts choosing each other with a love that fits them.

Stock images from pexels.com

Image of two people in bed from http://stage.hotel-hotel.com.au/project/the-ritual-of-reading-in-bed-with-rhys-nicholson/

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Attraction Not Required (Yet?)

With much hemming and hawing I’m edging into the world of dating, mostly because dammit, I want to try thing thing out and not just sit on the sidelines talking.  Can’t say much’s happened yet, aside from me feeling a little more at home tentatively saying I might like someone… just full of confidence, me.

Here’s what did happen: I stopped worrying I needed sexual, or at least romantic, attraction to even start dating.

It just doesn’t happen, with a few stats and a photograph in a profile. And I’m learning that that’s fine.

All I need is a ‘huh, something in common, may want to chat, might want to meet.’ A spark of general interest. Doable.

A few of those developed into chats, with either lacklustre response or none at all. I’m starting to suspect the folks on the other end are good at liking, not at chatting, and I’m not the best in keeping my phone to hand either.

But. But. It feels like a big fear’s been put to rest, the first of a few big hurdles that made me feel I couldn’t cross into this dating thing without being somehow fake.

I do not need to be attracted, at least in this initial stage. It’s fine just getting to know people.

That’s a relief.

It likely won’t stay smooth sailing, but at least I’m getting out of the harbour.

A [hu]man of good character

I was going to write “man person”, but no strikethroughs in titles allowed on wordpress. So, scholarly brackets it is. I’ll worry about being inclusive to aliens when we meet some. This is my contribution for the April – Carnival of Aces.

I

My friend tells her unlikely love story, and concludes, “I had a list, so I knew who to date. He just fulfilled every item on it. I knew he was the one.”

“I… can’t even imagine.”

“What’s on your list?”

“I don’t have one. I suppose I’d like to just… see what develops when I meet someone.”

“No list? C’mon, what’s your type, what’d you put on there?”

I’m quiet for a few minutes. Her sharing at least obligates me to give it serious thought. “Really wouldn’t know what to put on it,” I admit in the end.

II

There’s a list in my head. It’s for me, not any partner:

  • Be at peace with loneliness, so company is joy, not necessity
  • Have a good circle of friends, then worry about romance
  • Have a stable income, so you can support a household
  • Meet in real life for dates, online contact hurts too much

III

“D’you want me to set you up?”

“Er… are they nice?”

“Really?”

“Yeah.” How else do I ever meet anyone?

A month later, I’ve still heard nothing.

IV

What I want: a list of ways asexual people identify partners in life, so I can try things, and support from friends when I admit to seeking a partner.

What I have: a list of expectations people have for how a good, normal, healthy woman finds a partner, and all the ways they joke about helping, and won’t, because it’s too unusual.

V

“God, I hate being single.”

“We all deal with some level of loneliness, in or outside a relationship.” The later in the evening, the more philosophical, though not necessarily wiser, my brain.

“I guess, but, I’d really like some company, y’know?”

“Depends on the company,” I mutter.

VI

I forget my own advice, gradually.

Out of my own fantasy, the things I did like about being in a relationship, pop culture and idle conversations I build a new, false image I wish to chase.

I start living in fantasy land.

It’s an excellent image to fall asleep with, but a bad thing to believe in the waking world.

VII

“Well, it’s a blessing, really, for your life, if you don’t desire anyone.”

“Why?”

“So you can focus on other things. On God.”

“What do you mean?”

Well, like Paul said, if you lust after others, you must marry. If you don’t, you’re more blessed because you can focus on serving the Lord, like him. Feel happy.”

VIII

Even as someone who actually does ministry, this made me balk.

I feel this is going to become the asexual equivalent of the scenario where gay people are accenpted so long as they are celibate and “they focus on God’s love.”

Sex is for heterosexual people, right? Bleh.

Oh, I desire another. Just very, very rarely sexually.

I don’t know how, but I know I do.

IX

“I can’t seem to actually start. I remain this… armchair philosopher.”

“Why?”

“Scared? Lazy? Ignorant?”

“Just… start.”

I tell her of all my insecurities.

“Stop thinking so far into the future. Meet people. Give them space to become your acquaintance or friend or significant other, whatever develops. All you can do is create the opportunities and invest the time to grow new relationships. The rest is not yours to control.

X

Okay, helpful list.

To do:

  • Meet people
  • Stop worrying
  • Enjoy the meeting of minds
  • Be conscious of but not stopped by my sexuality.

XI

I am spending a lot of time with someone in a relationship that is… not going well. Mostly, I’m in charge of making sure she eats and has enough fun, someone else is playing the part of confidant.

They pose for a picture. “Wait. I need to unlock my phone for you. It’s secured with my thumbprint. No one else can access it.”

“Oh wow, that seems handy, in case it gets stolen.”

I get one of those glances, one of the heavy, unsmiling ones. “Yeah, well, I got tired of his spying, y’know? My messages are none of his business.”

He messages her daily. He reads her email. He upsets her, over and over.

Yet, she loves him, he loves her. They’re trying.

XII

The realisation comes gradually that I have been idealising realtionships.

Living in fantasy land is safe and easy.

There are things, being single, that I’ve been taking for granted.

Independence.

My own space, respected.

Being on an even keel with others.

I realise I do have a list.

XIII

List (to be specified):

  • Adult of similar age
  • High integrity
  • Similar ideals
  • Compatible life goals
  • Kind
  • Equally affectionate
  • Does not discriminate
  • Comfortable with who I am

Seeking: a person of good character.

Demisexual Body in Action

My contribution to the March Carnival of Aces, about physical health and bodies. Go check out all the contributions.

Explicit language about sex, though I try not to be graphic.

I

For twenty-five years all the landmarks of developing sexuality and romantic relationships pass me by.

I blame my impopularity, my insecurity, my anxiety, my depression.

I have a few crushes. I think those feelings are attraction.

II

I look at a man I have known for several years.

In disbelief I feel my lower stomach roil with heat and my groin clench. I flush.

I flee to the hallway and slide down a wall.

That was sexual attraction. Out of nowhere. Already waning.

I realise I have never, ever felt it before.

My mind explodes.

III

I find the word “asexual” online. I read, ferociously.

I am demisexual, I decide.

I feel highly relieved.

IV

The general practicioner looks at me. “Are you sexually active?”

“No.”

V

I tick the box for single on the document, on every document.

VI

I am in Amsterdam during Pride week.

I buy a purple dress and paint flags on my hands.

No one recognises asexuality as a thing. I comfort myself with forum hopping.

Weaving through the crowds I realise the most important thing about Pride is intangible: lack of expectations.

People bring their kids to experience a place and time when anyone’s sexuality and gender can be anything and it is okay.

VII

It is festive, but I am alone and unknown. I leave early.

On the way home I buy a black ring and put it on my right middle finger.

There, I am out.

I take a photo.

VIII

I fill out another form. Yes, I’m single, dammit.

For the first time, I want there to be a question about sexuality.

IX

“I’ve been flirting with you for ages!”

“I honestly didn’t notice.”

“Oh my God.” Skype makes his laugh a muffled thing. “Do you like me? I mean, you were not responding, so.”

“…yeah. But. I wasn’t gonna say anything. This is online.”

“You were just gonna pine. Pathetically.”

“Well, yeah. I’m… kinda glad to be having this conversation, though.”

“Me too.”

I discover that being in love comes with heightened awareness, especially of my body in the world.

Flirting, once I’m aware, is an addictive adrenaline rush.

X

I feel tender, vulnerable.

I stop blogging. This is for me.

XI

“Your vagina’s kind of narrow.”

I glare at my doctor. What part of ‘never sexually active’ was unclear?

“You never masturbate?”

I shrug. “Yeah.”

She grimaces. “This may hurt.”

She slides in the I.U.D. Aside from a dull ache, it’s fine.

Five years’ worth of birth control, installed.

XII

Our flirting, our conversations continue.

I am shameless. I grew up in a culture open about sexuality. I see no reason to hold back.

I find my imagination has the greatest influence over my body.

Anticipation can buzz for an entire day beneath skin.

I want touch, I crave it.

XIII

The flip side, he lives in another country.

I love the attention, the banter.

I want company. I want another body, close.

XIV

The calls become explicit too, sometimes.

I delight in the celebration of body, it is so new.

I am, perhaps for the first time, interested in manly bits.

I love the touch, even imagined, even removed. Giving and taking.

I love the gaze. I love the sounds. I love the play of talk and touch and exploration and affection.

XV

However, as it becomes more… focused, it becomes less interesting.

Reality is less without imagination fully engaged.

The more it is about just the genitals, the less my body and mind are into it.

The popping, crackling full-body fizz as we suggested, flirted, started, settles down into a low, steady buzz in my belly, depressingly familiar from masturbating.

Now, as then, orgasm is simply an end. A sudden stop to pleasant sensation, like stepping in a cold shower.

I have learned not to let that buzz culminate and tip over, but now it does.

“Did you finish?” he asks and I answer in the affirmative.

I do not fake that, but I fake how it makes me feel.

I fear he notices.

We end that call and I curl up wanting to cry.

Orgasms do not work as advertised and I want an afterglow badly.

The foreplay is not supposed to be the highlight, dammit.

XVI

When I start counting in months, I feel his physical absence acutely.

The difference with friendship turns out to be the level of preoccupation and the territoriality that comes with it.

He is a missing limb, in my thoughts but never under my hands.

XVII

We drift apart. His disinterest grows and I become stiffer the longer I want more than I can have.

XVIII

I move.

I start babysitting, for some money.

Children, I discover, like touch, especially when they can dictate it.

Since touch has always equaled affection in my family, it is very, very easy to love the kids.

I also discover babysitting can stop from one day to the next.

The first time it ends I cry for several days on the couch, I simply think I am sad.

The second time was longer, much worse, and I realise how much more territorial I was over kids than even a romantic partner. Even when I knew they were not mine.

I am preternaturally aware of my womb for several months.

After the third time is bad, so bad, I swear off babysitting.

XIX

I fill out another form. I tick single, and no, for sexually active.

XX

A year in my new town, I finally feel comfortable to start touching the people I have come to know.

A hug, a supporting hand.

I do not realise just how much it relaxes me until I am asked what’s made me so cheerful.

XXI

I meet my new doctor.

“I am not sexually active, no. I am on the asexual spectrum.”

She gives me a weird look at my wide, wide smile.

XXII

Two years seems to be the mark for me to be settled enough to start feeling attracted to people.

A grinning woman, oozing charisma and feminity, makes me weirdly cheerful and want to stare like a creepy stalker.

At the coffeestore, to make it more cliche.

No flush, no buzz, though. No desire to touch.

Oh, oh. Aesthetic attraction, I realise. For a real, live person.

XXIII

I meet a young woman, single.

She is going to be a foster parent.

It is a revelation. Many ways lead to Rome. I need not take the most common one.

XXIV

My anxiety hits me over the head again, out of nowhere.

My sex drive remains. I still feel the occasional attraction, mostly aesthetic or romantic, once even the flush of sexual.

I blamed all the wrong things when I was young.

I am demisexual, and it is simply my nature, not a symptom.

 

I have tried to cover all the feelings that relate to my body and are encompassed by my demisexuality.

This is not a complete account, I have chosen to include the first (or only) time I felt or acted on certain attractions.

I decided to leave out times when that attraction was not directed at a real person but a fictional character, especially since sexuality seems to function very differently in imagined and real scenarios.

What sexiness is

So after reading up on sexiness… This post and all those it links: https://luvtheheaven.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/an-exploration-of-not-wanting-to-be-sexy-and-of-never-feeling-sexy/

I realised, I’m unaccustomed to thinking of myself as sexy, and as nice as it is to be appreciated that way… it’s made me rather self-consciousness. Especially since I rarely consider anything visual sexy myself, as in causing the buzz in my mind and lower body that’s a precursor to desire or causing attraction.

So,  as celebration and affirmation, here’s a list of what I find sexy.

Minds. Interesting bubbles of humanity. I could be delighted by them and revel in them all the livelong day.

Acts-ideas-agents. The trifecta of the body’s input, the mind’s input and the heart’s input. Done right, any input that works on all three levels and is contextualised as “sexy” can get really intense. Charged.

Sensation. Touch. Just. Works.

So, considering all that, am I sexy? All of the sexiness I perceive is based in interaction, preferably the reciprocal kind. It’s rather hard for me to consider it a personal quality.

Although… If a person is the source of much of it… It does tend to get associated with him. So, perhaps, after being sexy with a person for a while they become it, by association.

I Want to Have Sex Like… Maybe (Meta Post)

cul-de-sacI’ve stumbled into a cul-de-sac with this series, which is what this post moans about. The next two posts will be a two-parter for this blog post series about the Gay Pride, because it was a rather life-changing event.

I think the joke’s on me… I started “I Want to Have Sex Like…” with the honest intention of discovering what sort of sex I’d want, if I ever came to the point where I chose to have any. Yet in my analysis of Captain America and Sherlock Holmes I find myself focusing on characters’ relationships, emotional engagement, treatment of each other, whether consent happened… Which are related to sex, but don’t exactly help me discover what I’d like between the sheets… Not to mention that what I find attractive in fantasy or reality.

Not sexual fantasy

I have found writing about this subject, ignoring what others say I should feel, very helpful. I’ve spent a lot of time going through forums and articles and videos and blog posts, and find that I’m starting to get a grip on demisexuality, at least as an identity I’m comfortable wearing. So I will continue this series.

But I’m muddying the waters if I pretend it’s all sexual fantasy.

Why’ve I called it that up until this point? Well, because I wanted to know what I have in the place in my mind where most have the thing labeled “sexual fantasy”. What you might use during masturbation. What hits you on a visceral level when consuming media. What people trying to get a date salivate over. Why selling things related to sex, or selling things by pretending they are sexy works at all. This thing I do not understand.

Besides, this exercise was not meant to flesh out what I’m supposed to think, but what I actually feel and imagine to be attractive. So. What does that mean for the future?

Attractive fantasies

We’ll continue the analysis of items of pop culture as planned. From this point forward, I’ll focus on attraction on different levels consciously. I believe this broader focus accurately reflects how I experience that which is attractive, what I would desire and what I’d want in a (sexual) relationship. Sex is just… a potential part of it, and has no priority.

driesprongDifferent levels of attraction will be distinguished. For example, what’s gorgeous is aesthetically attractive. What I want to touch is sensually attractive. A person whose mind I want to assimilate like a Borg… intellectually attractive. Romantically attractive is a bit vague to me… so I’m probably going to mix that up with calling people emotionally attractive.

A second distinction which I’ll hope to get across is between that which I might fantasise about, and that which I would wish to do… or at least try. So, the distinction between what is attractive and what is desirable. The former is a far larger category than the latter.

Images:

Fantasy flash fic #9: Rational

I have decided that I love you. After mapping out the entire shape of your being in the years that we have known each other, I love you. The greatest flaws you have made and deepest needs I cannot help with and darkest nights that I felt as much as you. I love you.

The initial flame has died, not even sexual, but this curious admiration and the pull to be near you, always, hear what you say, every word. I choose to build on that, every day. I choose to love you again, longer, more, other, every moment.

The shape of us together has become a creature almost independent of us, the intangible member of our trinity. The length of our time together and the richness of our memories and the diversity of ways in which we constructed, deconstructed, destroyed and mended what we share and who we are. I love you.

Oh, the soul of you is beautiful. Joy, discerning the shape of your mind entire. I have tasted every flavour of your spirit. To know them all and be two whole creatures independent in one unit so intimate. I love you.

The synchronicity of us has grown. What you pick up in the store is what I need a day later and a vacation I bookmark is the escape you wish for after a busy day. I love you.

It is an act I perform every day. A choice I make every day. A habit I maintain carefully. Investment and gift and necessity. I love you, because it is logical.

Fantasy flash fic #8: Pygmalion Revisited

Every night you sit down at my feet. Your hands stroke my toes, as you talk to me about your day.

I cannot stroke the curls that rest against my knees. My hands are caught by my side, where you sculpted them, roughly, compared to the time and fine tools you used for my face and torso.

Love, you call it, the tenderness you bestow upon my stone body and the words you wind around my still mind.

I woke like this, to warm words and warm hands, sinking into flesh with prayers and wishful thinking. I began to feel like this, to see. Even stone can grown soft as flesh after many such moments.

One day, I move, a toe twitching, hand finding your hair. You help me make a step, find me clothes. We celebrate with wine and little kisses.

The summer air melting like butter upon every inch of my skin intoxicates. The breeze brushing tiny hairs on my arms and face invigorates. The springy grass beneath my feet as I walk out, even the unshifting stones, inspires a dance and a clap.

But you cut me off, clasping my arm, whispering, “I dreamed of this,” kissing again, and stroking all over, and I glory in each sensation.

Until you lift my skirt and dip down between my legs. It itches. It hurts. I retrieve your hand and put it on my head, where stroking feels good. You put it between my legs again and I use force to push my body away.

I look into your eyes. This is not love, but desire.

My first word as a person is “No.”

You argue I am but a statue, an animate body.

I have no words to tell you I heard you speak before I felt your hands, I had a soul before my body unfroze. I received your every word and I wished to reciprocrate.

Except you do not listen as I have. You do not stand still while I move.

So my second word is “stop” and my third word is “I” and my fourth word is drowned out by your yelling.

You made me, you say. You loved me, you say. You wished for me to move, you say, to live. My body enchanted you.

But… I live and I feel and perhaps I could even love… but…

I swallow.

You wish for me, you conclude, to be your lover. To serve you, to feel you, to sate you.

I can’t, because though my body has been softened and ensouled, it is not like your flesh.

I can love you. I cannot desire you.

When you advance, I set the toes and heels you stroked into soft earth and feel it bounce, and again. It supports me and pulls at me and I turn on it, the breeze not just tickling me, but teaching me of leaf and flower. My mouth waters. I wish to know more.

The a world awaits and I feel its pull.

Your fingers brush my shoulders, reach to catch me and keep me still, as I have been, so I duck from beneath them and let the summer breeze carry me away, my hands free from my sides and my feet jumping, stomping, going.

Fantasy Flash Fic #7: Asexual

ASEXUAL DATING SERVICE AD

by

Demiandproud

Inspired by “Relationships: Spiritual, Physical and Romantic

1. EXT. BEACH. DAY

SURFER DUDE and CHEEKY BRUNETTE walk along the waterline hand in hand, talking unheard. They pause to point towards the horizon. CHEEKY BRUNETTE laughs at a remark of SURFER DUDE and sticks her tongue out.

EPIC VOICE (V/O)
(male)
Is your ideal date walking along the beach all day and night, talking? Not even stopping for a kiss?

2. INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

BLONDE HIPPIE GIRL spoons BIKER CHICK on a couch, both asleep.

GENTLE VOICE (V/O)
(female)
Do you wish you could just cuddle up to her all night long?

3. EXT. UNIVERSITY LIBRARY ENTRANCE. DAY.

HIPSTER STUDENT greets PREPPY STUDENT and points at the stack of books in PREPPY STUDENT’s hands. PREPPY STUDENT nods eagerly and hands over the books, bending over to shoulder a bulging backpack. HIPSTER STUDENT crams the books under one arm and takes PREPPY STUDENT’s arm with a free hand. They walk down the stairs together.

EPIC VOICE (V/O)
Do you dream of the day you can court him like a modern knight?

Fade to logo.

GENTLE VOICE (V/O)
Check out this all-new dating service, specially designed for all you folks who DON’T want your relationship to be all about sex.

EPIC VOICE (V/O)
So are you on the asexual spectrum, or do you feel you are ready to leave all that oversexed nonsense behind? Check out ACE DATES!

Website address appears beneath the logo, which flares from left to right before fading to black.

Liberties were taken with the script format.

Fantasy flash fic #6: Domestic

When I open my eyes I am on the sofa, still dressed and you in a chair, crick in your neck. I fail to rub the sleep out of my face and the pain out of my lower back while you blink and take in the ceiling.

“Omelet?” I ask.

“Tomatoes and peas, please.” Your shoulders crack and sleepy warmth pins my hip and arm to the counter.

I smile. The more veg your food is, the lighter your heart. I hip-check you out of my way and make us breakfast while you shower.

“My turn for dinner?” you ask, halfway through the omelet.

I nod. “Jenny’s coming as well.” When you grumble I shoot a pea at you nose and you flick drops of lukewarm tea at me.

When you put down your fork I snatch clothes from my room before you can hog it again to play with your hair. “Oy!” you say from yours and I laugh at you.

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