There are almost 150,000 stories on the AO3 tagged with Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics. I’d like to say that I have probably read between 5 and 10 percent of that. I find omegaverse incredibly entertaining. I’ve been writing my own across the years. Most recently I’ve posted my original series “alphas deserve bullying” and reposted my old DCU omegaverse series with updates.
Omegaverse is interesting to me because it’s so many things at once. It’s a trope or “alternate universe” that revolves around rigid gender roles (often a binary) and biological imperatives focused on procreation. It provides space for many people – primarily queer cis women and trans mascs – to play out fantasies of pregnancy without the real risks that entails. It layers the experience of systemic misogyny onto omega characters often assumed to be “cis” men in-universe. It reveals that many people in fandom have a pretty hardcore breeding kink. I also learned that most people don’t know how to make space for trans femmes in the omegaverse without it being way off base and offensive. Oh, and everyone smells different and tasty.
There are so many aspects to omegaverse that are worth unpacking and looking at because we all approach it differently or fans from different parts of the world might interpret it differently. Different fans have different criticisms, different needs when it comes to omegaverse.
I enjoy overthinking the things I love and I believe in taking fandom seriously. So for this mini-series, I’ll be looking at some common norms across omegaverse in fandom and published fiction (manga and webtoons as well as romance novels and erotica). I will be having fun talking about what the norms look like in omegaverse, what they can/might say about our interests and identities, and what a “non-traditional” take looks like. I’ll even be analyzing and unpacking meta and articles about omegaverse across the years and how they influence our norms in fandom for the trope! (Sometimes there’ll even be fic recs!)
If you’re unfamiliar with omegaverse and the conversations we’ve been having about the different aspects of the trope, here are some places for you to start before I get started:
- Ana Valens’ great write up on Omegaverse
- Hannah M.’s piece for Tor criticizing some aspects of omegaverse
- Ana’s commentary on Hannah’s piece and the ways that fandom fails trans femmes (the comments on The Mary Sue are an unfortunate validation of her sentiments)
- Dr. Milena Popova’s “‘Dogfuck Rapeworld’: Omegaverse fanfiction as a critical tool in analysing the impact of social power structures on intimate relationships and sexual consent”
- Their book Dubcon: Fanfiction, Power, and Sexual Consent
- J.T. Weisser’s Transmasculinities and Pregnant Monstrosity: Hannibal Omegaverse Fan-Fiction
- Fanlore’s page on the Omegaverse
- Berk’s TikToks on fandom ft tons of omegaverse content
I’m looking forward to talking with y’all about this extremely gender trope in both critical and celebratory ways. Stick around for more content ASAP!