May 9 2011 9:00am

Why Do Straight Women Read Gay Male Erotica?

Long Hard Ride by Lorelei JamesFor me, given the choice between reading lesbian erotica or gay male erotica, gay male erotica wins hand down every time. Something about reading about two men falling in love (or lust) and doing the dirty deed turns me on. (It also doesn’t hurt that the covers usually depict two very nice chests. Yum).

So why the love for this genre? Is it because I am inherently attracted to men? I think that is part of it.

Lorelei James writes cowboy-themed gay male erotica—very HOT male on male action. Whew. Long Hard Ride offers a nice long cool drink of cowboy lovin’ that will seriously have you thinking about catching the next flight to Oklahoma. Even though it does have an emotional story line and a woman tossed in the mix, it works like no aphrodisiac can for me. The foreplay is also a big turn on; men touching and stroking each others' sculpted chests appeals to me because I can relate to that. (At least I could until Mr. Benson decided that since he won the girl his days of preening were over). With lesbian erotica I cannot relate to the same scene involving women.

I also enjoy men’s gay erotica because it often has a wonderful underlying theme of humor to it. Take LB Gregg, for example; in her book Dudleytown, Alex, the narrator,  shares his fantasies about his roommate. His inner monologues are sharp and witty as he laments over his sexy straight roommate and that they are stranded in a haunted town—together.

My number one reason is lack of deep, dark emotional angst. Often when erotica involves a female, there is some sort of dark issue in her past that must be resolved in order for the relationship to progress. Often, the focus shifts to the issue and we spend an awfully long time working on that, and not enough time on the relationship. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t just want meaningless sex. But I also don’t want a storyline that drags me into the abyss with the heroine.

When I asked the question “Why do straight woman love gay men?” on Twitter, these were some of the responses I received:

myhouseofbooks says, “Different POV from m/f romances.”

AilsaCF says that, “reading about 2 men 'being' together is hot. I also like the adjustment one/both go through realising they like another man.”

KellyMeding offers, “Because one hot guy is awesome, but two is even better. *grin*”

smexybooks adds, “Because it's double the hairy chest.”

katiebabs suggests, “same reason men like 2 women together?”

So now you know my reasons. And that of others. You have also probably realized I’m a tad shallow. I can live with that. So tell me...what are some of your reasons for reading gay male erotica? And which are your favorites?


Tori Benson, Smexybooks and at Twitter.

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1. DiDi
LHR was the 1st book I ever read with m/m and it was HOT. While the genre is still not my favorite, I do love a well written m/m or m/m/f. If you like LHR, book 5 in the Rough Riders Series - Rough, Raw and Ready, is even HOTTER, it is about Trevor and his wife Chassie and a surprise visit by Edgard. ALL of the books in the Rough Riders series are super hot (so far these are the only 2 with m/m as a main characters) !!!

Jayne Rylon writes some HOT m/m, I love Night is Darkest, m/m/f, book 1 of her Men in Blue series, it is an emotional read. In bk 2 you see the trio from NID and how their relationship is progressing.

I enjoyed Bareback by Chris Owen also. Alot of my bookclub friends loves a series CODA (I think) by Marie Sexton, it is m/m only. I haven't gotten around to trying it yet.
2. Shanghi
I love that gay romance doesn't have all the relationsh*t issues that M/F romance has. For me the bulk of M/F is littered with TSTL females that I just cannot connect with. *shakes head*

That being said, where "one hot man is good, two is better". *giggles*

As for authors I read, Sean Micheals books, while heavy on the sex, has an emotional devlopment of the characters that draws me in. Katrina Struass, Jet Mykles and J.L. Langly write some very excellent western yaoi in genras ranging from cowboys, to paranormal, to sci-fi regency. Chris Owns is another favorite with books about cowboys and firefighters and paramedics, oh my! She also co-writers with author Vic Winters under the pen name Drew Zachery. And she co-writes the BDSM series, Deviations, with author Jody Payne.

Another new author I'm now following is Riley Shane. Riley currently has 2 stories out through Torquere Press, "A Taste of Magic" (paranormal) and "Two Man Advantage" (contemporary) Both excellent reads, very well written. A third book "Chasing Alex" (contemporary) is due out next month and I'm eager to see how this new talent is growing!

For those who are looking for books with character & relationship development, but not all the sex, I'd recommend Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series. The lead characters in this fantasy series, Serigil & Alex, go through a lot of ups & downs that test their commitment to one another. With 5 books out and another in the works, this is a must read! :D

As for online books I can't recommend enough Matthew Haldeman-Time's "In This Land"! With weekly chapters posted and 239 chapters out, this is well worth the subscription price of $4.99 a month.

Yes I love M/M! :D
3. Ferishia
I totally agree with KellyMeding! :) I started a heavy diet of m/m erotica about 2 years ago. I have a kindle DX solely dedicated to only books from this genre (that stays at home on my night stand lol)

What draws me to m/m (or m/m/m, etc.) is that it just plain HOT! Also, I think there is still a tiny bit of 'forbidden' atmosphere around it too that contributes to the attraction. It's exciting and sexy. And there is a totally different emotional perspective. I TOTALLY love Gay-for-you stories because the emotional turbulence that the male character has to go through to realize and accept the fact that he is in lust/love with another man is fascinating to read.

If you check my GR shelves, you would see that I have a plethora of m/m erotica on it. I read it daily, alternating between whatever m/f book I happen to be reading. I think I spend more money on m/m books than I do on m/f. I'm ALWAYS looking for a good m/m book! I started out reading just mainly PNR stuff, just like I do with m/f. Then I slowly branched out to contemporary m/m. I have come to realized I have a MAJOR 'thing' for m/m erotica that feature firemen or policemen in uniform (YUMMO! lol). Which poses a slight problem, because whenever I see a fireman or a policeman in uniform, I often wonder if they are gay. I am also a big fan of cowboy m/m.

The book I have loved the most so far is Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane! I have read it once and listened to it twice on audio book. And if you thought reading m/m was hot, wait until you listen to a narrator read the naughty bits to you!

I also love anything by Mary Calmes. I would highly recommend her A Matter of Time series. If you are looking for 'just sex' and some laughs, try Stormy Glenn's Tri-Omega and Wolf series (PNR). I read lots of G.A. Hauser and J.L. Langley. Jet Mykles is another favorite author. I love the Heaven Sent series.

I have only read the 1st book in the LHR series, but I am eager to read more because of the hot m/m action.

I just finish with a read from a new-to-me author last night, Drew Zachary called On Fire. About a hot, sexy, much older fireman falling for a young 18 college student. It was totally HOT SMEXY time at EVERY other click of my kindle 'next page' button as well as funny and endearing. I'm currently reading the 2nd book now, On Fire 2, and so far it's just as hot.
Alie V
4. ophelial
I'm a straight girl and I can't read m/m or f/f books. I just can't get into them or relate really... I think I may be one of the few!
5. JacquiC
I think I read m/m romance/erotica for the same reasons others have mentioned: two men = very hot! Also, when it's done well, the male perspective is just interesting to me. I also find the quality of the writing, character development, emotional tension (not to mention the usually very hot sex scenes) to be better in some of my favourite m/m authors than in many of the m/f books I read.

My favourite authors are: Marie Sexton, Z.A. Maxfield, JL Langley, LB Gregg, Ava March, K.A. Mitchell. I also read one by Rowan Speedwell (Finding Zach) which was a very emotional, angsty story. Kind of over the top in some ways, but really well done, I thought.
6. DiDi
ephramyfan I am not really into it either, but the one I listed I have read have been really good. For some reason I can handle a m/m/f more than a strictly m/m book. But when it comes to down to it my favorite reads are m/f erotic, no menages, no m/m. But if it looks interesting I will read it. A ton of my straight female book club members prefer m/m and sometimes I think I am the odd one out who would rather read a m/f story.
Wanda Wolfe
7. wolfewr
Josh Lanyon has a series (5 books) about a bookseller named Adrien English. Fatal Shadows is the first, and is wonderful. It's followed by A Dangerous Thing; The Hell You Say; Death of a Pirate; and The Dark Tide. Adrien has a bad heart, which is often threatened by some of the things he encounters. His family and his relationships with them are often hilarious and sometimes poignant. His temp employees can have you rolling on the floor with laughter, including one woman who reminds him of Nazis. I love the series and have read it several times.

Another great book is The Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest, about an abused rock star.

Admit One by Jenna Hilary Sinclair is about a closeted high school teacher who falls in love with the father of one of his students, and I defy you to read that book without crying at least one.

Another favorite series is by Madeleine Urban, and is about 2 FBI agents. These books are action filled and often hilarious. The first is Cut & Run; then Sticks & Stones, and then Fish & Chips, in which they have to pose as criminals on a gay cruise. Urban has other terrific books as well, including Warrior's Cross and Sutcliffe Cove.

I love hearing other people's recommendations for further reading.
8. KateRothwell
If you like historical, Alex Beecroft has that great one False Colours, and Erastes has some fun ones too.

And (of course I'll mention these) there are the historicals by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. We have a new one out that's set in the US, in 1902. The others take place in England in the Regency or Victorian eras.

The first m/m I ever read was by AM Riley and it was something like an urban fantasy with a banshee. I loved it--Of the Clan O'Grady--but I'm not sure it's still around. I hope so.
Megan Frampton
9. MFrampton
I am someone who just doesn't get the appeal, either--but reading the original post, plus the comments, I feel as though I should give it a try. When I do, I promise I'll write a post on it.
10. torifl
Thank you everyone for commenting. I knew I wasn't alone in my m/m love. Also, thanks for all the wonderful recs-now my TBR is packed till 2021. LOL

Megan-Can't wait to read your thoughts.
11. HJ
I too am a straight women who loves m/m, both because it is hot but also because many of the books give me an insight into lives and issues which I would not come across in real life. I prefer well-written stories with credible characters and fortunately (as can be seen from the comments above) there are many of them! Josh Lanyon is my absolute favorite - the Adrien English books are top-notch (I love mysteries, too) but everything he writes is excellent. Just a couple of names to help you add to your TBR, both English - Harper Fox, who writes superb contemporaries, and Charlie Cochrane, who has a series about two Cambridge Fellows set in the early 1900s.
12. brooklynshoebabe
Not to be redundant, but I like m/m erotica because it two times the hot guyness. :-) I think it all started for me when I was 19 years old in 1991 and I read an "urban" novel featuring a gay male character. The sex was so hot. Then when I started watching "Queer as Folk." I was pretty much hooked.
Liz Maverick
13. Liz Maverick
I've never read anything in this genre. I'll have to borrow whatever Kate sends to Megan. I do remember a beautifully done m/m subplot in one of Gaelen Foley's historicals. It was kind of tragic though.
14. Escape by Fiction
I like m/f/m, but I think it's so much hotter when it ends up being m/m/f. Jayne Rylon and Lorelei James really do know how to do it right. My first experience with thei was Emma Holly's Fairyville - it was a great story and wicked hot! Good reading:)
15. Karen H
1. Double the hot men!
2. No annoying descriptions of female parts (if I'm interested in female parts, I'll look in the mirror).

I loved "Queer as Folk" and am madly in love with Brian Kinney to this day!

I love two (or three) men erotica and I prefer to skip the female. She usually just bores me. Also, I learn about things that men really like and my boyfriend gets the benefits!
16. JB
I second pretty much all the reasons listed above: double the hot man factor, a perspective that's still pretty new and interesting to me, the emotional aspect of realizing and giving into an attraction to another man, and the forbidden aspect of it. F/f scenes just dont interest me.
I've only been reading m/m for a few months. I decided to try it after enjoying m/m story lines in books by JR Ward and Suzanne Brockmann. So far I've really enjoyed several of Amy Lane's books and one called "Shying Away" by Kate Sherwood.
For more of the hot man factor, I recommend watching Dante's Cove, an m/m paranormal tv series.
17. Katheryne
I read m/m romance because (not only is it hot), but its easy to relate to and because reading from a male's point of view is just different and interesting.
Plus, when you read f/m books, the male main characters are kinda the same. Strong, handsome, protective, and just manly! haha
But in a m/m romance, it always gives you different views on different kinds of men. They can be more sweet and soft, hard and tough, or somewhere in the middle! But they are usually always an interesting read even if there is barely any sex scenes in the book.

My all time favorite m/m romance series is the "Cattle Valley" series by Carol Lynne.
The series starts of with the three(thats right three men!) in her "Good Time Boys" series. But then goes on to continue in her Cattle Valley series, where the three main characters move to Cattle Valley in Montana.
Cattle Valley is a small town that was made in trust by a man whoose only son (and only child) was killed because he was gay. He then made the town so that gay couples could have somewhere to go and ran away from the world that rejects or hurts them.

The town is filled with different kinds of people, with all different back grounds. There is some emotional deepness to it because most of the characters have run to cattle valley for some reason or other. But the books still stick to how thoose past problems can affect the relationship between the characters and how they move past it.

There are 23 books in the series so far, the last one just came out May 9th. But you can usually find the first ones on sale or online.

I recived the first one free during some free give-away last year and Loved it! I had to continue reading! You seriously fall in love (or hate) with all the characters and want to know what happens next!
I seriously recommand this series (and the "Good Time Boys series), to anyone who enjoys a little western touch and some m/m.
18. Sharks with Lasers
Ditto on the "two hot men is better than one" reason. The sex scenes have got all of the parts you like and none of the parts you don't. I'm going to have to disagree on the angst factor, though. Most of the M/M I read contains buttloads of relationship angst (pun totally intended).
19. JennyT
I too love reading a bit of m/m, I read it because's hot, I actually got onto m/m due to a scene in Stay the Night by Lynne Viehl and was hooked straight away. I do tend to sway more toward the m/m/f though. I love Marie Harte, ecspecially her Circe's recruits and Dawn endeavour series, also Jayne Rylon, RG Alexander, Eden Bradley,Sophie Oak , Jess Dee, Cameron Dane's Hawkins Ranch Series, Brynn Paulin....I could go on and on. I agree that Quinn and Blay should have their own book but will settle for the novella, I just hope it comes out sooner rather than later as I just can't wait.
20. WOTFan
To me, it always seems like m/m relationships are more equal. Neither side is expected to take on the more submissive role all the time like in m/f books, and it is easier for the characters to relate to one another's struggles so there is no element of gender superiority. Also, I agree that there's really something hot in the forbidden-ness :).
21. niccola1
Love to read m/m stories. Lusty and hot all the same. My question is have you ever watched men getting it on. It is a very educational thing as well as being wicked sexily hot. I strongly encourage you to do this and then read one of your m/m books and wait for the fireworks to begin.
22. Rose In RoseBear
Some of the hottest fanfiction out there is "slash" ... I was buying and reading K/S back in the Seventies (old lady here).

I think the attraction for women is the double (or more) males --- isn't that every girl's fantasy?
23. rdsangel127117
I'm straight and I still love my m/f books. Nothing turns me on more than those kind. That said, I didn't find myself interested in m/m until I read a short story by Denise Rossetti that she offered free in one of her Newsletters. I think it was called Celebration. It wasn't my first time reading about two male characters, because I've read all of J.R. Ward's BDB books. For some reason Qhuinn & Blay just doesn't interest me, but the other two characters did. I have to agree with everyone else, m/m is definitely HOT! For me I think it's that "forbidden" factor. Two guys together make me inquisitive. I find myself totally captivated. I suppose it's, because I don't know how two men will handle a romantic entanglement. I found that in m/m there is as much emotional anguish as there is in m/f. My wish list has a couple of m/m stories on it. I haven't been able to get into m/f/m, m/m/f or f/f even though I've read good reviews from some of my favorite authors that write in more than one part of the genre. I'm sorry, I just can't read any of those stories, no matter who writes them.
24. Stacy C
Gay erotica is HOT! I love reading about the sex, it's so fascinating to see how one man can sexually dominate another. It being taboo was mentioned in this discussion. I guess that's a good point as well. But it's really just the raw, urgent energy between two men. It's really interesting. Sex and a good storyline is what gets me going. Plus, a nice book cover always helps *sigh*

I just discovered Brian West.

His stories are soooo good. You can find him at amazon in the kindle store or at the website Dirtyhunk, under Gay Stories. He's only got two titles for now it seems but they're both well done. The Steamy Sales Call is my favorite because it involves a contractor as the dominant lead - yummy :-) Anyway, I highly recommend you check him out.

Richard Labonte's anthologies are good as well (broken down into themes).

Happy reading ladies!
25. dejal77
I think what I enjoy so much about m/m books is getting to the story. Less .... emotional stuff it would seem and more storyline. There are still a few that read like soft porn, but it adds to the story rather than takes away. I have had to explain this to my husband who doesn't "get it" and I am glad he doesn't. It's a nice change. The stories are good. There's a lot less bs. I like the "honesty" of the charactes. It's different. Since I used so many of your lists to search for new authors, I've decided to include my own. They are as follows:

1. Bailey Bradford - Something Shattered and others
2. Mary Calmes - Change of Heart, The Guardian, Timing, Trusted Bond
3. Cameron Dane = Grey's Awakening, Aiden and Ethan, A Fostered Love, Knowing Caleb
4. Kari Gregg - Spoils of War
5. L.B Gregg - Catch Me if You can Books 1, 2 (so funny)
6. Joey W. Hill - Rough Canvas
7. SE Jakes - Bound By Honor: Men of Honor, Book 1
8. Jez Morrow - Force of Law (one of my favorites)
9. J.L. Langley - Any of the but My Fair Captain and With Caution: With or Without, Book 2 are absolutely awesome
10. Z.A Maxfield - I love all of her books. The storyline is different. Younger guy is often the one leading. Older is more experienced but unsure. Drawn Together, St. Nacho's (all of them)
11. V.L. McElfresh - Reclaiming Love - wow
12. Jet Mykles - Heaven Sent series
13. J.C Owens - Gaven, The Bonding, The Emperor's Wolf, Taken, Wings
14. Kate Sherwood - Shying Away
15. Madeleine Urban - Warrior's Cross
16. Indigo Wren - The Trap

Most of you mentioned authors that introduced you to the m/m theme. For me that would be Emma Holly. After reading a few of hers, particulary the Demon series, I said, "Why not?" I love it. Spicy and real.
Megan Frampton
26. MFrampton
@dejal77 Thanks for the recs! And thanks for joining into the conversation.
27. Jacqui0528
After googling my question about straight women loving M/M books. I was pleasantly surprised I wasn't the only one, lol..My family and friends thinks I'm strange so I was happy to share this site with them...I have read most of the recommended author if not all, lol but I justI wanted to add one more to this post. His style is raw and explosive...His name is Ethan Stone and my fav book is In the flesh.
28. Avidya
Wow i now my friend and i weren't alone in loving this genre!!
My reason for loving the m/m novels/stories is because forbidden pleasure is the best kind of pleasure there is!!
I've read many fanfics just because it was so naughty to read about two guys who i loved on film now loved eachother!!
Bless everyone on this thread!!
29. Amanda K
I love m/m books because they are hot as heck, sometimes have better written stories than m/f books and even though they do have angst at times the angst doesn't usually take over the story to the point where you want to yell at the characters. I will say that sharing ereader accts on B&N my love of a good m/m story has occasionally made my husbands eye twitch but that's because he'd rather read m/f or f/f I think. I am suprised though that with all the authors mentioned above(and I read several of them and am now looking forwards to discovering a few more) no on mentioned Amber Kell, or Dana Marie Bell(only one m/m so far by her but others in the m/m/f range...and she's amazing). Amber Kell especially is m/m(or multiples therein) all the way in the books I've read by her with worlds that suck you right into them and supporting characters you want to find out stories of. She's on my first check list when I check for new books.
Mirtie Raczo
30. lisa63
The first book I ever read that contained m/m interaction was Fairyville by Emma Holly. I was totally shocked! You might think that I should have known from the title but I had been reading a lot of young adult books about faeries and was looking for one that featured adults. I loved it! It was the hottest thing I'd ever read so of course I had to see what else she had out there and found Strange Attractions. Loved it too!
31. damfst23
I get to as a man engage in sexual fantasies that in real life i will not do.
32. happy to read
I have never really read original fiction. Fanfiction is what I mainly read for gay porn. For one, it is hotter. Another are the emotions that go into it. Sure they are written from a female perspective most of the time and who knows how accurate it is since the thinking usually is quite complicated. Not to say all men are "simple minded creatures" (I mean no harm and it is not my intention to offend, just clarifying a stereotype which some may jump to without consideration.)

I enjoy some angst and enjoy reading about what ifs that come with fanfiction. It allows us to see an expansion on work we already enjoy but wish wed see other characters get to together.

Anyway, gay romance offers something more than m/f romance; the opportunity to emphasize on love and purity since the biological force to reproduce and add to the population is not the subconcious driving force. I believe that somewhere it was mentioned Greeks believed that gay romance was more " pure and innocent" because of that.

Plus overcoming reality life issues of being accepted unto society is more captivating than some marysue inner turmoil that seems shallow.

That's my short answer.
33. hibro
AilsaCF says that, “reading about 2 men 'being' together is hot. I also like the adjustment one/both go through realising they like another man.”
KellyMeding offers, “Because one hot guy is awesome, but two is even better. *grin*”
--- I like these two twitter responses. Made me lol because that's the same-exact response I have on my head... and always been my reason. -dances- and I like perverting smexy men.
Jasmine Ray
34. JassyBaby
I love m/m ever since my sis got me hooked years ago! But even still, most of the books I happen to read are mainly m/f. Thanks for all the recs because I needed them! ^.^
35. PDubs
I think one reason I like this genre so much is that I don't have to get hung up on whether the female heroine is annoying, too weak, etc. I admit it...As a straight woman, I am able to enjoy it when one of the male leads doesn't have a job, immediately moves in, takes care of the more dominant male. In these types of stories, if it were a woman I would be outraged and disgusted by that behavior. I wonder if male readers have similar reactions. Hmmmmm.
Angel Wolfe
36. LittleRed
Not real sure about straight chicks that read homoerotica, as I'm gay. Females in m/f books tend to shit me off. They are mostly snivling, emotional wrecks that just let the male in the story walk all over her; or she's that confused and angst ridden that she wont let him anywhere near her. Arggggghhh!!!! Seriously, just ditch the bitch and get an new one. In m/m there never seems to be any of that stuff (thank frak!). It sets my teeth on edge. Plus the story lines/plots tend to be a whole hell of a lot more interesting and... stimulating *snigger*

My fave authors are:
Jez Morrow - absolute fave! You'll find her in both Ellora's Cave and Torquere.
A R Moler
Alexi Silversmith
J M Cartwright
Missouri Dalton - her 'Night Wars' books are amazing
Drew Zachary - especialy the 'Eye Spy' books
M D Grimm
Sean Micheal
Jory Strong - writes m/m, m/m/f and m/f
L A Day - writes a lot of m/m/f
Evangeline Anderson
Katie Allen
Shayla Kersten
Sasha Devlin
Shannon West
Cynthia Sax
Just to name a few. :-)

As for lesbian erotica - just can't get into. Just as m/m is twice the hot guys, so f/f is twice the neurosis and angst. So not my thing.
37. Remusgrrrl
I like mm romance because there is more focus on the storyline and the characters than in mf romance. I find the pace and tone of the stories are more true to life than mf romance. Romances make falling in love to be this beautiful perfect meshing of two people who get swept off their feet and is so romantic and wonderful....... Gag. Real relationships are dirty, confusing and a hard blending of two different souls. It is messy but ultimately worth it and this is how mm books read. I find they show falling in love and trying to live together is hard work. And oddly, for what it is describing, I find mm sex scenes to be less squicky than mf sex scenes. Too much emphasis on the woman in mf romances. I mean , I know what it is like and do not want to have it drawn out for four chapters. Urggg. Anyway, that is why I love gay romances and stories.

My my reccomendation for a fantastic author is Zathyn Priest. Fabulous writer with amazing stories about people who are not perfect, but real like you and me.
38. Hoorah
I think it's probably because of all of the above. And sometimes, I think, it's because while it's relatable you also get an outsiders perspective, like you aren't imagining yourself in that position becaues the anatomy is wrong.
My favourite of all time books are the Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux, Warrior's Cross by Abigail Roux (just anything by her), Downtime by Tamara Allen, the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon, Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, and Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell. There are more, but at this moment I can't remember.

Oh yeah, and there is one book centred around a lesbian that I actually like, but that's probably because there isn't much erotica and it's quite well written. The Miseducation Of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth.
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