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For wireless multi-hop networks with unicast sessions, most coding opportunities involve only two or three sessions as coding across many sessions requires greater transmission power to broadcast the coded symbol to many receivers, which enhances interference. This work shows that with a new flow-based characterization of pairwise intersession network coding (coding across two unicast sessions), an optimal joint coding, scheduling, and rate-control scheme can be devised and implemented using only the binary XOR operation. The new scheduling/rate-control scheme demonstrates provably graceful throughput degradation with imperfect scheduling, which facilitates the design tradeoff between the throughput optimality and computational complexity of different scheduling schemes. Our results show that pairwise intersession network coding improves the throughput of non-coding solutions regardless of whether perfect/imperfect scheduling is used. Both the deterministic and stochastic packet arrivals and departures are considered. This work shows a striking resemblance between pairwise intersession network coding and non-coded solutions, and thus advocates extensions of non-coding wisdoms to their network coding counterpart.