3 Powerful Ways to Spice Up Your Bedroom Life

One of the biggest myths about sexuality is that all-things-sexy inevitably lose luster over time. “Beauty” is lost on youth, people say, and sexiness fades—but fear not, because what really counts doesn’t! Why not embrace a future of cardigans, crossword puzzles and knitting?

Um, no thanks.

Our sexuality counts. And like other vital areas of our lives, it’s a journey worth exploring and growing our way through for as long as possible. Research shows that women tend to enjoy sex and experience stronger orgasms over time if they value sex and don’t shame themselves. Other studies show that married couples have improved sex in the golden years. So unless you’re asexual or turned on by knitting and Mr. Rogers’ threads, I suggest the following.

balls knitting

3 Powerful Ways to Spice Up Your Sex Life

Keep doing it on your to-do list. Yeah, I don’t keep do-to lists either, and haven’t called sex “doing it” since about the 10th grade, but YKWIM. Prioritize sensual connectedness with yourself and, if applicable, your partner—not out of obligation to anyone, but yourself. Simply recognize your sexuality as a valuable part of your life and well-being, one worthy of treasuring. It’s amazing what a little perception shift can do.

Consider foreplay a lifestyle. In her fabulous TED Talk, relationship therapist Esther Perel described traits of erotic couples. “They understand that foreplay is not something you do five minutes before the real thing,” she said. “Foreplay pretty much starts at the end of the previous orgasm.” I so love that. Foreplay is a state of mind, in my opinion. It’s fantasizing about a partner when he or she is away, and being sensual together whether you’re soon to make love or far from it.

Arouse your life! I’m pretty obsessed with this idea, as you may have noticed. When we cultivate passion in our lives, we make way for passion in the bedroom—or where ever you choose for sexy play. If you feel stuck sexually, ask yourself where you’re stuck elsewhere in your life. Takes steps toward positive change. Sex can cheer us up temporarily, but it won’t fix deeper (no pun intended) problems.

You really are as sexy as you feel. 

Woman self-perception

So focus on feeling sexier and more alive. Engage in work and hobbies that make your heart happy. Surround yourself with folks who make you feel more like you, not less. If you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about, make it a goal to find out. The rest will more than likely fall into place.

You guys know I love you, right? Good. Because I do.

This week on Girl Boner Radio, I’ll be interviewing Dr. Megan Fleming, a therapist and relationship expert, on ways to put the sexy back in your relationship. I can’t wait to hear her thoughts on spicing things up! Any questions you’d like answered? Post it in a comment below, or comment me privately.

A Podcast Threesome! Sort of.

Threesomes are great for colds. I woke up with a nasty one yesterday, and my two Girl Boner Radio guests warmed me right up. I can’t promise a lack of cold-brain in this episode, but I certainly forgot about the sniffles.

Award-winning adult film star Jenna Ivory joined me in-studio to discuss her spicy career, top sex tip for gals and more. Then esteemed radio/podcast host Ralph Sutton Skyped in for a fun 3-way chat on his dating life in NYC. I’m pretty sure we had about as much fun as three people can have with clothes on. You don’t want to miss the dates-gone-wrong stories!

To listen to the episode visit this link on iTunes or stream it on my NEW RADIO PAGE. You’ll notice some of my older episodes on the page as well. Much more coming soon, I promise!

Jenna Ivory_SDR show

What did you think of the show? What’s YOUR worst dating experience? What keeps you smiling through colds? I love hearing from you. ♥

The Sexy Vegetarian: 7 Bedroom Perks of a Plant-Based Diet

Ah, vegetables… They aren’t the first thing to pop to mind when we think of sex, unless we’re, well, you know. Playing with them. (Whaaat? I was talking about food fights. Obviously.)

Seriously, eating is sexy. And little is sexier diet-wise, IMO, than eating more plants and fewer animal products. A healthy, whole foods-rich, plant-based diet is one of the healthiest lifestyle shifts we can make. One of my favorite, lesser known perks? Girl Boner Gusto.

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Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply vegetarian-inclined, you’re doing more to promote sexual health and function than most folks—unless your diet consists of plant-based chips and cookies. If your diet is anything but plant-based, you may want to consider some changes.

Here are just some of the ways a plant-based diet can bring more pleasure, fun and vitality to your sex life:

1. Conscientiousness. People generally don’t shift to plant-based diets for superficial reasons. We may be drawn by animal rights, environmental reasons or because we wish to live longer and with greater health. Regardless, it’s the most thoughtful, caring dietary path. And thoughtfulness is dang sexy. We all want lovers who consider others’ needs and take care of themselves. Hopefully we also strive to be them.

2. Natural lube. I’m not talking about mashed avocados. (Wow, the visual…) I mean the lubricant your body naturally produces, given proper circulation and hydration. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also rich in valuable fluid. In fact, much of our daily water needs can, and arguably should, be met through diet. That’s tough to do if you’re eating rich amounts of animal products.

3. Better scent and flavor! Research published in Chemical Senses in 2006 showed that red meat consumption has a negative impact on perceived body oder and physical attractiveness. Non-meat-eaters, on the other hand, seem to have a more pleasant, attractive scent and flavor.

4. Reduced inflammation. While the typical Western diet, rich in meat, dairy products and processed foods, increases inflammation, a healthy plant-based diet reduces it. This is important because inflammation interferes with normal circulation. If blood doesn’t flow freely to your genitals, they can’t reach or maintain arousal.

5. Fewer menopausal symptoms. Numerous staples of a healthy vegetarian diet, such as flaxseeds and soybeans, are rich in phytoestrogens—natural substances that may help minimize vaginal dryness, hot flashes and mood swings associated with menopause. Other fruits and vegetables, such as apples, dates, cherries, garlic, plums, yams and squash contain moderate amounts of these healthy compounds.

6. Increased energy and stamina. A diet rich in whole, plant-based foods is rich in nutrients and easy on digestion. Foods such as nuts, seeds, quinoa and fiber-rich fruits and veggies promote blood sugar control, staving off those annoying crashes that can make anything but sleep unappealing.

7. Happier moods. Emotions play a huge role in sexual desire, particularly for women. A study published in the Nutrition Journal in 2012 showed that folks who avoid meat tend to feel happier and less stressed than their carnivorous counterparts. One reason, according to researchers, is the inflammatory fat type found in animal products. Plant-based diets can also boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, making way for arousal and orgasm.

Tips for reaping plant-based diet perks with success:

  • Focus on eating more plant foods, versus on avoidance or restriction of others.
  • Emphasize whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Listen to and respect your body: Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.
  • Eat mindfully—with awareness, gratitude and minimized distraction.
  • Make it FUN! One way to do so? Check out The Good Life with VeegMama on YouTube.

Stephanie Dreyer, aka VeegMama, is a fabulous chef and all-around spectacular woman who makes vegan cooking easy-peasy! I had the pleasure of appearing as a guest recently, and get this: Stephanie concocted a Girl Boner Recipe! *SWOON* To learn how to make Spicy #GirlBoner Linguini (and hear our chat about Girl Boner), check out this video:

Lastly, I have to give a shout out to a couple of writer friends—KM Huber, who recently had a poignant blog post of hers published by the Washington Post, and Jess Witkins, who shared a hilarious followup to a Twitter chat she, Jenny Hansen and I had about condom sleeping bags. Check out these fab posts:

How My Blind Beagle Taught Me Zen by KM Huber

And There’s a Side Pocket for Snacks by Jess Witkins

To hear my Girl Boner Radio chat on veganism and more with actress and activist Alexandra Paul, visit this link.

Do you eat a plant-based diet? How has your diet influenced your sex life? I love hearing your thoughts!

Asexuality and a Naked Conversation on #GirlBoner Radio

“It’s so important that there’s support for asexuals. There are people who are scared, like I was, and think they can’t be feminist and asexual, or an artist and be asexual, or that they need to perform sexually to have intimacy with another person, and that’s just not the way it is. You can be asexual, human, and do whatever you want.” — Lauren Jankowski

I’m so grateful for every chance to explore important topics with bold, insightful guests each week on Girl Boner Radio. Yesterday was a prime example.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Jankowski, a novelist and activist, on what it’s like to be asexual, related myths and what she wishes the world knew about the orientation—such as being asexual doesn’t mean you can’t have a life rich with love and creativity. If you have any doubts about that, a few minutes with Lauren would douse them.

I also shared touching highlights from a 20/20 episode about an asexual couple who met online, and one of the most offensive quips I’ve heard about asexuality, which aired on a popular news network. *quivers* (We can’t work to change misconceptions we aren’t aware of, right?)

Then the wonderful Shan Jeniah chimed in with a reading of her prizewinning Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV contribution. Her post about embracing her naked body, and how her body image has changed over the years, is unforgettable. She shared her motivation for writing the piece, what she works to instill in her kids regarding their bodies and more.

To listen to the episode, visit this link on iTunes: Asexuality and A Naked Conversation

August McLaughlin_Girl Boner Radio

To learn more about Lauren Jankowski, visit her website, follow her on Facebook & Twitter. Her debut novel Sere from the Green, the first volume in The Shape Shifter Chronicles, is available on AmazonCreateSpaceSmashwords and Square Marketplace.  To stay tuned to Shan Janiah’s happenings, subscribe to her blog.

What did you think of Lauren’s insight? Did she debunk myths you’ve believed about asexuality? Could you relate to Shan’s story? I love hearing from you! ♥

The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV: Wrap-Up + Prize Winners! #BOAW2015

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ― Audrey Hepburn, poem by Sam Levenson

Wow, what a week! You are all such rockstars. The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV reached thousands, no doubt inspiring as many. I was blown away by the uniqueness, poignancy and boldness of this year’s contributions.

I was also moved by participants’ support of one another. So before we get to the raffle prizes, I’m thrilled to announce a brand new prize category:

Fab Fester Awards!

The following participants not only contributed remarkably insightful posts, but supported other festers the most, through thoughtful comments, shares and overall interaction. They epitomize what makes the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest not only fun and inspiring, but successful in reaching so many.

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Kate, Kitt, Patricia and Karen, THANK YOU! Please accept this blog badge, to share on your sites as you wish. ♥ Thanks also to the multitalented Amber West for helping me make this superhero look beautifully human!

Highlights from Fab Festers’ posts:

“The idea, perpetuated by our society, that women should hide their sensuality, reject their sexuality, and diminish their emotions hit home far stronger that day than it ever has before. These women did none of that. They flirted, undulated, and flaunted their feminine asses off. They were bold, beautiful, and brassy. Their emotion captivated, their strength inspired, their vulnerability enthralled.” — Kate Wood

“It’s all about ownership. Of herself. Her body. Her wants and needs. Does it mean she has to be the aggressor? Only if she wants to be. But it does mean that she’s responsible to communicate. To explore her own body and discover what feels good.” Kitt Crescendo

“I worry about the world today, where the media focus is more frequently on stereotypes that deliver a skewed vision of “beauty” to fertile young minds. I want my granddaughter, and all girls, to grow up in a world that is safe. A world that gives the right messages. I want girls to grow up proud, confident, educated, and kind-hearted, with a strong social conscience.”Patricia Sands

“Perhaps beauty is the key to the door of equality that we cannot seem to unlock. Far too often beauty has been seen as a barrier rather than as an avenue to equanimity… The beauty of a woman is in her having the freedom to be who she is, free to evolve as the unique human she was born to be.”KM Huber

Raffle Prize Winners!

Huge thanks to our wonderful sponsors, and all of you who entered the raffle by supporting others, the fest and these companies! Here are the lucky winners:

1: Style by Rayne Virtual Styling Consult + a Bathing Suit From Sunsets Inc + Corpus Dei Perfume by Natalie Bolton WINNER: Michelle Williams

2: #BOAW2015 Original Artwork, created by A’driane Nieves and Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson + #YouSparkle affirmation sticky notes  (2 prizes) WINNER: Jess Witkins & Kate Wood

3: Organic Intimacy Prize Pack from Good Clean Love WINNER: Alica McKenna Johnson

4: Two 12×12 Highly-Textured Original Contemporary Arylic Paintings by artist, Stephen Vanek, donated by Jan Morrill WINNER: Brandi Dagwan

5. Rekindle Your Desire Workshop Pack from Dr. Megan Fleming WINNER: Kitt Crescendo

6: Professional Manuscript Evaluation, from Jenny Redbug WINNER: Jenny Hansen

7: Filmmaking Q&A + a Signed Women Kick Ass Postcard, from Melanie Wise, founder of the Artemis Film Festival WINNER: Susie Lindau

Mini-Features on Girl Boner Radio:

I selected Lana Fox and Shan Jeniah, for their brave and insightful Girl Boner posts. Thank you, ladies! ♥

NOTE FOR WINNERS: I’ll send the sponsor of your prize the name and email address associated with your raffle or fest entry. If you do not receive an email within the next few days, please contact me.

Lastly, I would love your feedback! If you have a minute or two, please complete this survey so that I can keep improving the fest you’ve all made so wonderful.

What was your fest experience like? Any highlights to share? I love hearing from you, and hope you’ll join us next year for the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest V! ♥

#BOAW2015 FAQ, Update and Prizes!

Hi Beauties!

I hope you’re enjoying the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV as much as I am. Once again, I’ve been blown away by writers’ insightfulness, bold sharing and uniqueness. Thank you for bringing light to real beauty, and inspiring so many—me included. The fest collectively reached well over 1,000 people on day one. BRAVA!

Since the fest is carrying on here, I thought I’d pop into my blog living room and share answers to your questions and a bit more on our fantabulous prizes!

FAQ:

Q: What if I can’t comment on a  post?

A: Two or three of the blogs either don’t allow comments, or have technical kinks to be worked out. If you’re going for maximum prize points, by commenting on all posts, simply comment on all of the posts you can! Then tweet the posts you can’t seem to comment on, including the hashtag: #BOAW2015.

To simply share your (respectful, of course!) thoughts on those posts, feel free to find that writer on Facebook, Twitter or their own website. You can also post comments on the #BOAW2015 Facebook event page.

Q: I’m running behind! Can I still enter as a blogger?

A: You sure can! Just make sure you follow the remaining guidelines detailed here. (Commenting on posts that appear after 2/23 won’t be required for full points in the prize drawing.)

Reminders:

♥ Don’t forget to enter the raffle! Doing so supports our prize sponsors and could land you a stellar prize. Enter through the fest page, or through the Giveaway tab on my Facebook author page. Bloggers and readers can enter through March 1.

♥ Support fellow festers! Participants supporting one another is one of the best parts of BOAW—and the more we do so, the more people we reach. Huge thanks to all of you who are reading and sharing others’ posts. You rock!

♥ Post your #BOAW2015 selfie! For a fun way to keep the conversations going while bringing added light to the fest and your fine work, post a selfie with the hashtag, letting us know what makes YOU feel most beautiful. Here’s mine, as an example:

#BOAW2015 selfie

Prize highlights:

#1: Rayne, of Style by RayneVirtual Personal Styling by a Hollywood Stylist + a Bathing Suit From Sunsets Inc + Corpus Dei Perfume by Natalie Bolton   Value: $395.00

#2: #BOAW2015 Original Artwork, created by A’driane Nieves and Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson + #YouSparkle affirmation sticky notes  Value: $250.00 each (2 prizes)

#3: Organic Intimacy Products from Good Clean Love: 2 oz. Restore Moisturizing Personal Lubricant, 1.5 oz. Cinnamon Vanilla Personal Lubricant, 4 oz. Indian Spice Love Oil, 2 oz. Spicy Orange Body Candy  Value: $64

#3: Highly-Textured Original Contemporary Arylic Paintings by artist, Stephen Vanek, donated by Jan Morrill

#4: Rekindle Your Desire Workshop Pack Includes a 60-minute audio track, a companion workbook, access to a live Q&A, and lifetime access to a private FB page, led by clinical psychologist Dr. Megan Fleming. Value: $79.00

#5: Professional Manuscript Evaluation, from Jenny Redbug  Value: $600 – $1500
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#6: Filmmaking Q&A + a Signed Women Kick Ass Postcard, from Melanie Wise, founder of the Artemis Film Festival! Value: $300.00

Learn more about these prizes here.

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Any additional questions? Or thoughts to share? Let me know! I always love hearing from you.

10 Ways to Look and Feel As Lovely As You Are #BOAW2015

OMG, it’s blog-fest day! Woo hoo! Can anyone else feel the sparkles in the air?

The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV is taking place at this link from 8am today through March 1. Head over there to read incredible posts from many talented writers, and for chances to win some awesome prizes!

Our grand prize sponsor, Rayne, and I created a little video gift for you all. We hope you enjoy it!

10 Ways to Look and Feel As Lovely As You Are

 

For practical, entertaining style tips delivered to your email box each week, make sure to sign up for Rayne’s mailing list. Do so this week, as part of the #BOAW2015 raffle, and you’ll also gain four chances to win a prize! We’re giving away incredible prizes this year, including a personal style consult, swimsuit and perfume from Rayne, original artwork, professional manuscript analysis, a filmmaking consult, intimacy products and more.

Which tip was your favorite? What would you add to our list? We’d love to hear from you! ♥ 

50 Shades of Controversy: My and A Sex Educator’s Take on “Shades”

Before its opening weekend, I’d planned to see Fifty Shades of Grey, namely out of duty. As a sex-positive activist and radio host, I couldn’t justify not seeing it, even though I, admittedly, haven’t read the books.

Once reviews started flooding social media, I knew I had to see it pronto. How could the same story bring fun and empowerment to some, and sheer anger and hurt to others?

I suppose I shouldn’t have been that surprised, given the fact that the way sexuality is dealt with and viewed in our culture tends to promote such dichotomy, and stir up more negativity than anyone deserves.

But it’s a movie, I figured. A fictitious story. A writer’s fantasy, played out on the screen. How bad could it be? It might be boring, I thought, or weak in plot, or offensive, based on many people’s reactions.

I was surprised when I actually—brace yourself—enjoyed it. With respect for people who’ve seen it and disagree, and compassion for anyone who’s felt hurt by the film, I found it to be entertaining and yes, in some ways, empowering. (Some of the previews before the movie, on the other hand, not so much.) While I’ll be one of the first to assert that the way women and sexuality are portrayed in the media and entertainment can and do damage how we feel about ourselves and relationships, this film didn’t raise red flags for me.

To me it seemed like an erotic thriller with strong characters, one of whom is a controlling, turmoiled stalker, both of whom, while conflicted, enjoy some BDSM. I can’t help but wonder if some of the angst over the film derives from the fact that Anastasia, the leading lady, takes pleasure in unconventional (but consensual) sex. I personally wasn’t turned on by the BDSM activity, but I found her enticement extremely hot. And beautiful.

I knew I had to explore Shades with someone who knows the world of BDSM far better than I, so I asked my favorite expert, Jean Franzblau, to join me in the studio. A celebrated sex educator, coach and activist who tours the country, Jean leads workshops geared toward cultivating sexual self-esteem.  She also wrote, produced and performs the educational one-woman show, Coming Out Kinky, about her own journey to sexual embracement.

I had no idea what Jean thought of the film before we chatted, and have heard mixed reviews from other experts. But I knew she would bring a sensible, compassionate viewpoint and offer keen, practical insight. And did she ever.

We discussed our thoughts on the movie, the surrounding controversies and some common myths about BDSM. (Who knew handcuffs aren’t common?) She also addressed the vital issue of abuse disguised as BDSM, which is an exception, but horrendous—like all abuse, when it happens, how to tell the difference and how the film might be triggering for some.

I’m so grateful for the important conversations Shades is bringing to the surface, and for the chance to have a respectful, informed one with a woman who seems to who understands all sides. I also hope the film’s success means great things for female erotic writers.

To learn more, listen to our chat on iTunes.  

Jean Franzblau Girl Boner Radio

I suspect this is to-be-continued!

I also had the pleasure of chatting with Garren James, the owner of Cowboys4Angels, the world’s large straight male escort agency, which you may recognize from the Showtime series, Gigolos. His stories about helping make women’s fantasies come into fruition amid difficulty were truly touching.

For another take on Shades, check out I Watched 50 Shades of Grey and I Liked it. Sort of. by Chloe Jeffries. I loved what she had to say about consent and who’s in control of the relationship, and found her comparison to the book intriguing.

As a side note, if you’re seeking some incredible fiction that steps outside of conventional sexual boundaries, I highly recommend Roni Loren’s books. She’s such a talent!

What did you think of our interview? Or the movie? Did you agree with Jean’s points, or mine? What’s your take on the controversies? I love hearing your respectful thoughts. ♥

Psst! The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest kicks off on Monday! If you haven’t yet signed up and would like to, visit this post.

Beauty of a Woman BlogFest IV: Tips and Reminders! #BOAW2015

Wow, the Beautiful of a Woman BlogFest IV is less than one week away! Is anyone else as stoked as I am?

As you prepare your posts, here are some tips and reminders to help ensure that you get the most out of the beauty-full, collaborative experience:

♥ Choose an interesting title that clues us in on your topic, rather than merely “Beauty of a Woman BlogFest.” Include #BOAW2015 if you wish!

♥ Remember to include the logo from your category, link your post to the fest pagehttp://www.augustmclaughlin.com/boaw15/. Invite your readers to stop by the fest to read more posts and potentially win awesome prizes! There will be a digital raffle on the fest page.

♥ Schedule your post to appear between 12am and 6am PST on February 23rd.

♥ If you signed up using a different blog identity than you’ll be using for the fest, let me know in a comment on the signup page. (And yes, you can still sign up!)

♥ If you haven’t yet joined the Facebook event page, do so now for more tips and reminders. And feel free to invite your pals!

FAQ:

Can I still sign up? Yes! Bloggers can register through 2/21. (In the past I’ve even snuck in a few last minute-ers the day of, so don’t hesitate to ask!)

Can I run a giveaway on my post? Sure!

Can I enter both categories? Absolutely! Just make sure your posts appear on different blogs/websites. The fest brings lots of exposure to participants’ sites, and we want to be fair in divvying it up. :)

Can men enter? Definitely! We welcome guys.

Prizes! We have such awesome prizes this year! Here’s a sneak peek at a few. To learn more about all of our prizes, including style consultations, swimwear, original artwork and more, visit this link.

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I can’t wait to celebrate with you all! Until then, wishing you a brilliant week. If you have any questions I haven’t addressed here, let me know in the comments or via email.

♥ August

Why Valentine’s Day Can’t Get a Self-Loving Woman Down

Is it just me, or does Valentine’s Day get as much hate as tax day and go-to-the-dentist day? While opinions vary, I’ve heard a lot more loathing lately than praise.

Here’s what I think: It’s whatever we make it, and rocks most when we embrace ourselves. ‘Cuz, think about it:

♥ If you love and respect yourself, you’re probably either single—because you want to be or refuse to settle and haven’t met the right person yet—or in a healthy, happy relationship.

♥ If you’re in a healthy, happy relationship, you and your partner probably communicate well. He or she knows how you prefer to celebrate the holiday (if at all), and vice versa. And you both respect each other’s desires. There’s no competition or standard to meet, other than one of mutual respect.

♥ If you’re a self-loving single, you won’t let the day zap your happiness. When degrading memes crop up, poking fun at being single on Heart Day, you’ll be all, “Dude! I’d so rather be on my own or with friends on V-Day than lonely in the wrong relationship.” You’ll ignore those memes and invest your time, thoughts and energy elsewhere.

It’s just a day, people! And you’re WAY too groovy to let it bring you down.

Valentine's Day quote

If you are going to let the cupid extravaganzas get you down, at least laugh at the goofiness they inspire—and perhaps yourself. For some inspiration, check out Jilly and Shawn’s latest episode of STOP IT!

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? How will you spend this one? I love hearing from you!

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