Lately it seems that pretty much every fandom is being hit by the Omegaverse wave. Don’t know what that is? Well, it’s basically when the characters take on certain wolf like characteristics including biting, snarling, scenting etc, and usually includes a strict hierarchy:
Alphas – These are the head of the pack, the strongest, the ones in charge.
Betas – Account for the majority of the population. Quite often in fanfiction I’ve seen Betas having fertility issues etc which is part of what makes an Omega so valuable. Often and Alpha may have a Beta mate AND and Omega mate and this is usually considered acceptable for all involved.
Omegas – Generally I’ve seen Omegas being treated as a valuable commodity but with no real respect – Omegas are generally portrayed as being subservient, weak and useless for everything except breeding. In many fandoms and stories male Omegas are very rare and extra valuable, and often this leads to mpreg elements. It’s also common for the Omega to go into heat, at which point every passing Alpha gets a bit rabid with lust. It’s a common element of these stories to have the Omega take some form of suppressants to stave off heat, or to hide their Omega status completely.
(mpreg for those who don’t know is male pregnancy, which has led to some rather interesting biological explanations on how that happens and, more importantly, how they get the baby out. Explanations range from male omegas have a vagina as well as penis, through to the baby coming out via the rectum. hmmm.)
Basically, the more I read of stuff in Omegaverse, the more it makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I mean, I get that the nature of the whole thing is about control and leadership and possessiveness and dominance etc. But there’s something I don’t really like about seeing people treated as a commodity purely because of how they were born. It’s all a bit primitive I think. And there’s a fine line between dominance and abuse, and some of the fics I’ve read have really crossed that line. Which wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the edge of glorification to it.
I will admit though that I find all the biting to be just a little bit sexy.
The knotting, however, I could do without.
And what is knotting you ask? Well, I’m gonna tell you, and then you are going to wish you didn’t know.
But first, consider the penis.
Some canine animals have what is called a bulbus glandis at the base of their penis which is sometimes called a knot. This is basically a gland which swells up during arousal and during intercourse the females muscles clamp around it essentially locking the male and female together. This knotting usually lasts a couple of minutes, but can last for up to 30 minutes, during which time the male can ejaculate several times.
Now, humans don’t have this. Unless you are an Alpha in the Omegaverse. And 30 minutes? Ha! That’s nothing. It’s quite popular among fic writers to see our pair stuck together for hours at a time.
Which sounds sexier than it actually is.
Consider that this is most common in m/m slash and then you will see the problem – that is going to be a very uncomfortable couple of hours and no matter which way you lay or position yourself to prepare for it, someone is going to end up with a dead arm.
Often the knotting is a sort of ‘bonding’ rite that will see the pair bonded together as mates. Sometimes the same effect is achieved with a bite – often called a claiming bite – a physical sign of bonding. Either way, it seems that others are able to tell when someone has been bonded and so they know to stay away – usually something to do with the smells changing.
The majority of Omegaverse fiction I have read tends to be humans, but there are some werewolf AUs out there, but strangely they tend to be in the minority.
Either way, it’s a trend that is fast gathering pace in the fanfiction community and I’m still not sure what I think of it.
Until next time,