Q&A: When my husband and I are being intimate and he is inside of me, I have not been able to orgasm. Is this normal?
Just before my marriage to my husband, I let him know that I would never fake an orgasm. I also told him that I had never had an orgasm during sexual intercourse. When my husband and I are being intimate and he is inside of me, I have not been able to orgasm. I can have an orgasm if he or I touch around the top part of my vagina. Is this normal?
I was sexually assaulted when I was very young and I have always felt that maybe there was damage to my vagina and that is why I cannot orgasm during intercourse.
Also sometimes sex can be painful. Sometimes me being on top can cause me some discomfort. Some angles or positions can cause shooting pain…..My husband worries he might hurt me during sex. We have 2 or 3 positions that work for us. I feel like I might be boring for him.
After years of therapy I am comfortable with physical touch. I do feel enjoyment during sex now. I really like feeling him hard and the energy that is released just before he ejaculates.
Thank you for your vulnerable and thoughtful questions. I admire you for asking them and I know that they’ll help all the women who are wondering the same things! I will answer them one at a time and I hope it’s clear for you to understand.
First of all I am so sorry to hear that you were sexually assaulted when you were young. I can assure you, that being a survivor of sexual assault, has nothing to do with a difficulty in orgasming from penetration alone. There is nothing damaged about you and are perfectly normal. <3 In fact it is 100% normal to not orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. You described orgasming when your husband or yourself touches above your vagina. The part you are touching is called your clitoris and most women need to stimulate their clitoris to orgasm — with or without penetration. Your clitoris is your primary sex organ and the only organ in your body that’s sole purpose is for pleasure. Your vagina is not. Damage to your vagina would not affect your ability to orgasm during intercourse (think of women tearing in child birth) because most orgasms come from stimulation of our clitoris. The clitoris is an incredible organ and what you and your husband are touching is called the clitoral glans. Your clitoral glans has 8,000 nerve endings in that tiny spot alone, and that’s really just the tip of the iceberg! Your entire clitoral structure extends into your body and is full of a similar amount of erectile tissue as a penis(see drawings below). You may have noticed that when you’re really turned on, your entire vulva (your external genitals) swells. This is because, with adequate stimulation, we get erections too, just most of what is swelling is inside of us. You may have heard about something called the g-spot, that’s located inside at the top of the vagina. This spot is actually the back end of your clitoris which is why it feels pleasurable to stimulate. I can’t say it enough that you are completely normal and I’m the same as you — I need clitoral stimulation to orgasm during penetration too! (one exception is cervical stimulation, but that’s another question 🙂 )
These two drawings compare the erectile tissue of the inner clitoris to that of the penis. All the squiggly stuff in the drawings is erectile tissue. You can also see how the artist has drawn dotted lines to represent how both the vulva and penis swell and increase in size when erect. In men this happens faster but for women it takes 30 – 40 minutes of adequate stimulation (could be both physical and mental stimulation) to fully fill up with blood. We can orgasm in less time than that, but the longer we take, the better it can be because we will be more erect)
To answer your next question, there are different reasons for sex to be painful, however the way you describe the pain and the position you most often experience it in — on top which allows for deeper penetration — makes me think that his penis is hitting your cervix. This is common when we aren’t turned on enough. When a woman is fully turned on, her cervix will lift to allow more room for penetration. (see picture below) Some men can even feel the difference when their penis enters this “space” or cul de sac as it’s often referred to. When your cervix is lifted, the tip of his penis can stimulate the nerves in that area and you may find it less painful and even highly pleasurable. MANY women come to me concerned that deep penetration hurts and when we explore the issue, the answer is almost always that they haven’t had enough stimulation to be turned on. Our bodies are designed to take time and this is okay. If you and your husband take the time to build pleasure through touch that you enjoy, you may find that your body is more open to other sexual positions. I like to think that my body is deserving of the time it takes for it to fully open and invite all the pleasure in — instead of trying to convince it that it’s ready. We wouldn’t try to open the petals of a flower before it’s bloomed would we?
Finally I don’t think you’re boring at all and the fact that you wrote this letter asking me all of this — along with the years of therapy you’ve been through — speaks to how much sex, pleasure and intimacy are a priority for you. I love how you you pointed out the energy you feel being released before he ejaculates and how good he feels hard. (I hope you tell him these things!) This tells me that you’re very in tune with energy and the subtleties of pleasure — which makes you far from boring! I think that all of this makes you aware, interesting, sensual, curious, exciting and a bit mysterious. Sounds like a perfect combination to me!
I have included a video from my mentor, Betty Dodson, drawing and describing the internal clitoral structure. If you would ever like a more experiential explanation of this, I’d be happy to show you mine so you can deepen your understanding. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need clarification on any of this or if you have any more questions. I’m here.
In pleasure and love,
I have a question about orgasms. I’m 43 and haven’t had a lot of sexual experience in my life. I was married to a man for 10 years and our sex life revolved around him getting his orgasm and none for me. After we divorced I started dating a wonderful man who does care about my pleasure and is very focused on my orgasm. I orgasm with him but only when there is a vibrator on my clit or his hand rubbing it. I don’t ever orgasm just from penetration even though it feels good. He’s had much more experience than me and says that all the women he’s been with have had no problem orgasming from sex alone — sometimes within a couple of minutes of him being inside them.
This is causing problems in our sex life because I get stressed about not orgasming when he penetrates me and now sometimes I can’t even orgasm when my clit is rubbed. He feels ashamed that he can’t pleasure me properly and has wondered if something is wrong with my body physically because he’s had no problems with anyone else. I’ve been to the gynaecologist and I’m scheduled for an ultrasound to see what’s going on. Can you help me?
Thank you so much for your question. First of all and most importantly THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with you. Needing clitoral stimulation to orgasm is 100% normal and is the case for almost all women. In fact the clitoris is our primary sex organ and most orgasms we have come from direct or indirect stimulation of our clitoris. Our clitoris is much more than the external glans that you can see and rub. Clitoral erectile tissue extends deep into your vulva and surrounds your vagina which alone has very little nerve endings apart from at the entry and up at the cervix. (note drawing. The squiggly lines represent your internal clitoral structure) This means that when you enjoy vaginal penetration you are often enjoying indirect stimulation of your clitoris (the erectile tissue surrounding your vagina). I personally think it’s best when clitoral stimulation is combined with vaginal penetration and manual clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex is what brings me to orgasm. I’m just like you and we are both normal.
Even though your partner may mean well, he has been misinformed and it’s likely that many of the women he has been with in the past, faked their orgasms. We do a disservice to men and their future partners when we fake our orgasms. Most women do not orgasm from vaginal penetration alone (unless there is enough clitoral stimulation with it) and definitely not within a few minutes of being penetrated. That is a “porn model” based on what the industry thinks men want to see — that one thrust of a dick is enough for us to orgasm instantly when in fact we don’t even need a dick to orgasm!! ha!
There is no shame in the way you feel pleasure or how you orgasm just as there shouldn’t be shame in how your partner feels pleasure or orgasms. Some men feel more pleasure from their partner’s hand than from their vagina — It’s not wrong. Your partners’ judgement of your orgasm will only negatively affect the pleasure you feel and is likely the reason you’re having more difficulty orgasming now. Pleasure and orgasm require stimulation and relaxation of your autonomic nervous system — not stress about what’s wrong with us.
I hope this helps and please let me know how it goes,
Almost always the answers are within us – sometimes we just need someone to ask the right questions to bring them out.
Q: Hey Natasha, are you still doing q&a? I have a sex question and I’m all kinds of embarrassed to ask.
A: Yes totally! Ask away!
Q: Okay. So I’ve been seeing a guy for a few months. The sex has been great and at first I was cumming every single time. Lately, the past month or two, I haven’t been able to orgasm with him at all. The sex is still super hot and I really enjoy it, but what’s going on? I can make myself cum no problem, but not with him anymore.
A: Have you tried masturbating with him? Did anything happen of significance around the time you stopped cumming during sex with him?
Q: I haven’t tried masturbating with him, sometimes I touch myself when we fuck but even that doesn’t do it. When it was strictly physical/casual, I could easily orgasm every time without touching myself. I can’t think of anything of significance…although maybe it was around the time I started to develop feelings for him. And of course I haven’t expressed those feelings to him…which is probably the problem, isn’t it?
A: Yes!! That is very insightful of you! Having feelings for someone and expressing them requires vulnerability. Orgasms are vulnerable. To orgasm is to surrender and surrender can’t happen when you’re holding back.
Q: Well shit, that makes perfect sense. Having been in a relationship for so long, sex and vulnerability with someone new is so different. So I guess I’m gonna have to do something about these feelings, both relationship-wise and sexually. It could totally scare him away, but if it does then that just means that he’s not right for me right now.
A: Yes!!! look at you owning your feelings more than your need for his response to them!! Yay!! That’s liberation!
I have a problem. I think my dick is small and I’ve had sex but sometimes can’t stay hard cause I think she’s gonna be thinking how small my dick is. I’ve watched videos on pleasuring women in other ways and I think I’m good at that but still can’t get past worrying about my dick size.
Thanks so much for your brave question. It sounds like you’re experiencing body shame and that’s a really common problem for both men and women. It’s hard to be present and feel pleasure in sex when you’re worried that your dick is too small or your belly is too big etc. And you’re very right that your difficulty with staying hard is caused by those thoughts.
I think it’s really awesome that you’re proactive in learning other ways to pleasure your partners and I also think that it would be a great idea for you to stop assuming that your penis isn’t big enough. We all have preferences. Some women like really big dicks and some don’t. Some women have shorter vaginas and big dicks can really hurt. Some women are naturally more tense and hold this tension in the muscles of their pelvic floor. This can cause tension in their vagina and a smaller dick would be much more welcome than a big one.
Some men like women with longer inner labia and some don’t. Some women like long saggy balls that slap around during sex and some like tight, firm balls. Preferences are preferences. However if someone actually likes another person, I don’t think that physical preferences matter that much at all. If I’m into someone, I’m into all of them. I see them as a whole — not defined by parts. Also if a guy shares with me that he has shame about a body part, his vulnerability would just make me love that part more. I’d adore it and want to show him that over and over until he could celebrate it himself. If you have a partner that you trust, I really recommend sharing your feelings. Vulnerability is super hot.
To help you stay out of your “spectatoring” thoughts, I encourage you to try whatever mindfulness practice you have ever done to stay present. This can be something you’ve done at work or home — any time in your life. Some people focus on a sensation — maybe the feel of your dick inside her, or her hand on your skin — others focus on their breath as they inhale and exhale. Some people have a mantra playing through their head (you could say “fuck me” over and over in your head and it will keep your focus on saying that instead of thinking of your dick size). Whatever you choose to do, the point is to stay in your body and not your head. Your head is messing it all up.
I hope that you can find this acceptance for yourself. After all, acceptance and confidence in ourself is the hottest thing ever. You were born with this dick and you’ll die with this dick, so why not own it!!!
Thanks again for your message and let me know if you need more clarification or support.
I’m the mom of 3 girls ranging in age from 7 to 15. I’ve told them the basics about sex in the terms of making babies but never anything about pleasure. Do you have any advice on how to talk to my daughters about pleasure? I don’t know where to begin.
Great question! The fact that you’re asking this says a lot to me about the kind of parent you are. 🙂
Having a conversation with our daughters about pleasure can be extra difficult because we’re culturally conditioned to think of pleasure as shameful and bad — especially in reference to females. It isn’t uncommon to hear a mother joke about her son who can’t keep his hands out of his pants. However if she said the same about a daughter others may think there’s something “wrong” with her, or that somethings been done to her to make her “that way.” The fact is that masturbating for pleasure is a part of our sexual development that begins even before birth.
“We recently observed a female fetus at 32 weeks gestation touching the vulva with fingers of the right hand. The caressing movements were centred primarily on the region of the clitoris. Movements stopped after 30 to 40 seconds and started again after a few minutes. Furthermore, these slight touches were repeated and were associated with short, rapid movements of pelvis and legs……. We observed this for 20 minutes.”
— The Story of V, Catherine Blackledge
So how do you start? Start by using correct terminology when discussing their sexual anatomy and avoid “dumbing it down” with terms like “front bum” or ”pee pee.” We use these terms to lessen our own discomfort and in fact they just feed the already imposed cultural shame around our genitals. If you don’t know the correct terms then please learn them before you talk. You can explain to them about their clitoris and how it’s the only organ in our body that’s sole purpose is for pleasure. I’d tell them that masturbating is normal and natural and that basically everyone does it and that it’s a 100% safe way to have sex. (only say the safe sex part if it’s age appropriate) I’d even go so far as to say that you and your friends masturbate so they know that you’re not just speaking rhetorically. This may feel a bit awkward to say at first but I think you’ll notice from their response that they appreciate hearing it. It also helps for them to know that pleasure through masturbation is normal at different stages in life. Of course discussions about masturbation should also include discussions about appropriateness and safety and you will most likely have a different conversation with your older girls than your younger one.
With your older daughter(s) I would also tell them that the pleasure they experience through masturbation can and should also be experienced in sexual experiences with others when they are ready. This bit of information was a missing link for me as a teen because I masturbated for pleasure alone and had sex with my boyfriend without pleasure. It didn’t even occur to me that pleasure had anything to do with sex or that I could have both at the same time because no one told me that was possible. I want my daughters to know this. Sex for my own pleasure was a completely foreign concept and I see this carry through with adult women who talk about “good” sex. When questioned on what this means it is often apparent that “good” simply means not awful and has very little to do with actual pleasure.
I hope this helps as a starting point for the conversation with your daughters. I find in my Orgasm Coaching practice that the best indicator of sexual satisfaction as an adult is if the woman masturbated as a child. If you have any other questions or would like some anatomy diagrams to print out please don’t hesitate to email me again. You’re a wonderful mother to be seeking this information for your daughters!
When I masturbate I have a hard time being able to forget that it’s my own hand and not someone else’s. I can orgasm but I want it to feel like it’s someone else doing it so I can enjoy it more. Knowing it’s mine makes me feel bad. How can I make it feel like someone else?
Thank you for your question although I have to admit that I felt sad reading it. While I completely understand wanting to be touched by someone else, I’m curious about why you feel bad knowing that it’s your own? What about someone else’s touch would make you enjoy it more? Because I don’t know more about you and your feelings, I can only answer you based on assumptions and experiences I hear from other women.
Touch is a physical act but it comes from a place of intention within ourselves. I like to think of our hand as simply a vehicle carrying and delivering this intention. Through touch we can deliver powerful messages ranging from love, appreciation and acceptance – to boredom, expectation and even hate.
I’d like you to ask yourself what your intention is when you touch someone else? What do you think they’d feel from you? What changes your intention when you direct it towards yourself? Rather than trying to make your own touch feel like someone else’s I recommend changing the intention with which you touch yourself to one that is loving, present and curious. If this feels too difficult to do then pretend you’re touching someone you love and hopefully after time you will begin to feel that for yourself.
You are guaranteed only one relationship your entire life and that’s with you. It can be the greatest of all love affairs, something to count on and a safe harbour, or something to tie you over when there’s nothing better. It’s up to you to decide.
Much love to you J,
Have a question for you. Situation is new to me so I wasn’t sure who to ask.
I have been seeing this woman for a while and things are great. When we first started sleeping together she told me she squirted. I was kind of excited by this because it was new to me, now I’ve been questioning it a little because it seems too easy.
What I mean by this is that at first it was quite exciting because men often don’t get to see such physical evidence of their effort to pleasure their partner. We were getting to know each other physically and it was kind of a rush, no pun intended.
Now though, it almost feels too easy. She will squirt 7-10 times and while I hope it’s because if something I’m doing I can’t help wonder if it’s just natural for her and I’m not really doing anything. I feel like I should have to be working harder for this if that makes sense. At this point I’m using other cues to judge pleasure because the squirting happens so easily.
So here is the question, what exactly is squirting? Is it like cumming? Is it easier for a woman? Should it be this easy or am I just overthinking this whole thing and should just enjoy the experience?
Hey! I’m so glad you asked me! These are great questions and ones that I’m sure many guys have. It’s also interesting for me to answer because I rarely hear the male perspective of this scenario.
First of all squirting is ejaculation but it is not an orgasm. It can accompany an orgasm but just because a woman squirts does not necessarily mean she orgasmed. This is true for men as well in that “cumming” is not the same as orgasming. Many men ejaculate at the same time as they orgasm ,but with practice can learn to delay the ejaculation while allowing the orgasm. This means that a man can keep his erection and continue having penetrative sex.
Some women squirt very easily and love it. Some women don’t or haven’t squirted. Some women who squirt don’t experience any pleasure from it. Some have learned that guys like to see them squirt so they do it almost on cue. This doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy it but it can mean that at times it may be more of a performance or distraction from the fact that she isn’t orgasming. Squirting is a release that does not (and should not) require bearing down or pushing, but rather letting go.
For both men and women sex can become more of a performance than an actual experience when we are more worried about the other person’s feelings or perceptions than we are about our own pleasure.
I can’t tell you what this woman is experiencing but you seem to be a guy who wants to know both that his partner is experiencing pleasure, and that you are doing what you can to support her in that. These are both great things! I think what’s necessary here is a conversation between the two of you about what each of you like and what squirting is like for her. You may also feel that you’d like the opportunity to practice pleasuring her in other ways and this conversation would be a great time to express that desire. Just like a woman can get stuck in the habit of quickly having a clitoral orgasm**, she can also get in the pattern of quickly squirting. Part of practicing being a good lover is learning variety in giving and receiving pleasure.
I really encourage you to talk to her — gently and absolutely non accusatory. Having an open dialogue about sex is healthy and it means that the possibility of so much MORE is there!
I hope this helps. Please keep me posted!
** Normally I prefer to not categorize different types of orgasms because I believe that they all come from the clitoris – either directly or indirectly. Squirting happens from stimulation of the g-spot which is not a spot at all really but rather the back end of the clitoris, which can be accessed inside a woman’s vagina. For the purpose of simplifying my answer I categorized clitoral orgasm.
Recently I’ve heard some specific concerns from women, interested in doing a Bodysex workshop, that I feel need to be addressed in more detail than I provide in my list of common questions asked. I will attempt to answer them here but please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m here for you. //natashasalaash.com/bodysex-qas/
- “I’m interested in your workshop but I’m afraid of other women in the circle. I don’t trust other women.”
I remember first hearing this concern from a woman when I began leading Bodysex workshops 3 years ago. At that time it really shocked me to hear her say it as I thought the biggest concerns would be shared nudity or group masturbation! The fact that women could be afraid of the other women hadn’t even crossed my mind. Since that first time, I’ve heard this concern voiced many times and each time it makes me sad but I’m no longer surprised. We live in a culture that raises us to fear other women. From the earliest Disney movies and t.v. shows we watch, we are exposed to the idea of evil step mothers and step sisters or girl friends fighting, lying and cheating in order to get the boy to like them. We see these things happen and they become the norm that we expect from other women.
Having sat in several women’s circles now I believe that the reason our culture tries to make us mistrust women, is because they are afraid of the strength and power of women joining together. There is nothing more sacred, more healing or more powerful than a circle of women. If this is your fear I encourage you to step into it so that it can change. I cannot imagine my life without the women that I share it with.
- “I’m scared that I’ll cry like a lot. Maybe even through the whole thing.”
This is a very normal and common concern and I personally take it as a great sign that you can feel deeply. Sometimes women are so disconnected from themselves that it makes it difficult for them to access those deep emotions. Everyone is welcome in the circle as they are and whatever happens in the circle is okay and necessary. I often cry while listening to other women’s stories and feeling their pain. I cry when I share my own. I cry when I orgasm. The Bodysex circle is safe for you to be you… and no one will mind when you cry. In fact many will cry with you. While parts of the workshop can bring you to tears, I think you may be surprised at how much you will laugh. Have you ever hung around with friends buck naked, eating snacks and talking about all the things your body does that you didn’t realize everyone else’s does too? It’s fucking fun and hilarious. Just be you…… We welcome and accept you as you are.
If you have any other questions that haven’t been answered on here already please don’t hesitate to ask me. That’s what I’m here for. <3
I orgasm pretty easily by myself and when my boyfriend goes down on me. It feels good but the orgasm is just in my vagina and clit. I’ve read about full body orgasms and heard that orgasms can happen in other places in your body too and I’m curious about that. How can I have a full body orgasm?
Thanks for your great question! Many men and women have asked me the same thing and I can assure you that you’re not alone. Orgasms are the result of built up sexual energy that has accumulated in your pelvic region. The stimulation we receive or give ourselves is what causes the build up and the orgasm is simply the release of that. When you hear people mention having a full body orgasm, a “laughgasm”, “crygasm” or a “spiritual experience” when they orgasm, it just means that the built up energy has spread from their genitals into other parts of their body. This movement of energy changes the orgasm from a genital experience into a full body one.
There are several things that a person can do to encourage this energy to flow into other parts of their body, but I’m just going to focus on one of them with you. The best and most effective way to bring your orgasmic experience into the rest of your body is through your breath. Breath is the life blood of your orgasm. When we hold our breath, stagger it or don’t fully inhale and exhale, our energy can’t move freely through our body. Simply put it’s “stuck” in our genitals. When we use our breath during the build up to orgasm – and continue to breathe as it is released – the breath acts a conduit for our orgasm to move on. Just imagine a boat on land without water under it. It stays stuck. Your breath is like the water.
When I tell people this they often dismiss it because just breathing sounds too easy or not interesting enough to them. But actually staying in your breath is not that easy and takes time and practice. It can be helpful to first focus on just breathing during your actual orgasm. That alone will increase the feeling, length and pleasure of the orgasm. Once you’re able to do that, try breathing through the build up. Many of us are stuck in a teenage masturbation style that involves holding our breath and clenching our body tightly to orgasm. Both of these things inhibit the movement of the built up energy in your body so really your’e screwing yourself in more ways than one!
I hope this helps you to understand why your orgasms are mainly a genital experience. Once you learn how to carry them to other parts of your body with your breath, please let me know and I’ll help you with the next step to go even deeper.
Have fun practicing!
I’m a 21 year old guy whos had sex with a few different girls but haven’t had a relationship last longer than 6 months. The sex seemed good to me with all of them but I can’t tell if they like it and I don’t know what to do to make sure they do. Since the last girl I was with a couple months ago I have been avoiding being with anyone new because it seemed like she didn’t cum when we had sex. What can I do to be better in bed?
Thanks so much for your question. It sounds like you are experiencing something that is very common among men which I like to call “performance anxiety.” Basically anxiety about how you’re performing in bed is actually causing you to avoid having sex.
First of all I think it’s imperative for you to understand that many (if not most) women don’t orgasm from penetration alone. A woman’s primary sexual organ is her clitoris and, while it can be stimulated directly externally as well as indirectly internally, it is rare that a woman orgasms without external stimulation. This is just a fact that is unfortunately not more commonly known and accepted. So if “sex” to you means penis in vagina penetration and you don’t think she came, you’re probably correct. Because of this it is a good idea to get out of thinking that she should orgasm from penetration alone and explore other ways to help her cum.
I could give you tips on ways to touch her or go down on her and they would be helpful for sure, but as each woman is different that won’t help you as much as this piece of advice right here will. I’ve learned from working with many, many women that the most important thing you can do to be a better lover (or better at anything for that matter) is simply take your time and pay attention. Go into a sexual encounter with the mindset that you know nothing at all about pleasuring this particular person. Don’t think that something must work cause you saw it on porn, or even because the last girl “seemed” to like it. Be truly curious and watch her respond to your touch, your tongue and your exploration of her body.
It may seem like a strange analogy but think of when you greet a dog that you’ve never met before. You don’t know what the dog likes or how it likes to be petted. So you start slowly by letting the dog relax and then you try different ways of touching while paying attention to how the dog responds to your petting. Some dogs don’t like their ears touched and some do. People are the same and we all have different preferences – it’s just that men are conditioned to think that they’re supposed to be able to know everything the first time. This is bullshit! There is a chance that the woman you are with will fake and pretend that she’s enjoying something that she isn’t just to please you. This isn’t your fault or your problem and not up to you to change. Just do your best to listen and pay attention to her responses.
When we pay attention it is so easy to see the subtle movements that the other makes either to get closer or pull away from the stimulation. If you feel comfortable enough to do so you can combine this exploration of her body with questions. Touch or lick different areas and ask her which one feels better. Avoid asking what she likes as many women have too difficult of a time answering or may not know themselves. Instead ask specifically about two different kinds of licks or places to touch etc. and she will hopefully be able to say which one feels better.
A fantastic lover is simply one who doesn’t think they know everything and is willing to take the time to pay attention in order to learn.
Good luck! The fact that you’re asking means that you’re enthusiastic and that’s another quality of a great lover!
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