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Replacing/inserting special characters in certain words

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I've noticed that some words, when used in the context of discussing sexuality on these forums, are printed with special characters (&*$#, etc.) to replace some of the characters. I'd thought the forum replaced them automatically, but today I realized that it's not always the same character used, and sometimes words that are innocuous in other contexts have characters replaced when used to refer to such issues so I think it must be user-generated. So I'm wondering--is there a forum rule to that end? I know sometimes forums use code words for sexual acts to avoid being brought up in searches by unsavory sorts, but these replacement characters don't seem like they would serve that purpose. I'm just curious, really, and also don't want to violate a forum custom if there is one.

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