more stuff related to stuff on @fierceawakening s blog
the thing about omegas being more feminine than women, can only get it to make sense if by feminine ppl mean submissive?
That too. It’s like this person has never met a feminine dominant in their life. I AM CONFUSED
I’m a furry bi male sub, even before discussing real-life partners, so… kinda familiar with the concept.
Maybe it’s different because I tend to see more stuff from furry- or furry-adjacent authors, and I’ll admit it’s not exactly a subgenre I go hunting for (or even common in communities I go hunting for), but this seems kinda like one of the central themes.
Omegas are submissive, but they’re not just subs, just as alphas are dominants but not just doms: there’s a lot of things that distinguish it from conventional Dom/Sub AUs. Many of these other traits weakly correlate with dom/sub, but they’re more heavily tied to reader expectations of gender presentation.
To be clear, I do want to reject strict gender essentialism in real humans. Men are taller and have higher upper body strength than women on average, but Becca Swanson is a foot taller than I am, could flip me in an arm wrestling, and then could go on to bench press like four of me. But Alphas are tall regardless of the original actor or actress’s status, and picking up an Omega is a common trope. Trans men usually find more intense libido and deeper voices after going through hormone therapy, but there’s a ton of variation in target hormone level, and cis dudes can vary even more. But Alphas go into near-uncontrollable rut and have booming powerful voices. These (mostly) border on dominance, but that’s not why authors are including them.
Similarly, there are a lot of traits for Omegas that are exaggerations of average differences. As noted before, there are a lot of social norms about male touch, while Omega cuddliness goes to levels that’d be awkward in furpiles or among new lovers, and that’s before the knotting thing. Women score higher on nuturing as a facet of Big Five Extroversion, however, many intend to be childfree or don’t like nuturing humans. DestonationToast had over one in five omegaverse fics involve mpreg alone, and while that’s dropped a little in the years since, it’s not much lower. Even beyond pregnancy itself, nesting is an exaggeration in a form that’d be comedic or even sexist in a realistic work. Some of these border on submission, but others are things that quite a large number of subs are incompatible with or squicked by the very concept.
There’s a big philosophical question about how accurate these expectations are, and whether they’re somehow encoded biologically or developed culturally. Some of this is very obviously culturally bound, but still meaningfully ‘feminine’: I’m gonna give a pretty strong Doubt to any attempts at an evopsych explanation for stuffed animals, but it’s a thing and it’s a known thing. While if and why are important questions more generally, to authors the immediate matter of beliefs and expectations drives reaction far more readily.
((possibly squicky cw: Humans don’t have a lordosis reflex, and the position is a thing for gay men or sometimes straight male with specific interests, but for historical and hormonal reasons it’s tightly bound to the concepts of femininity even for gay men and the animal version is tied to exposure to female-dominant sex hormones in certain developmental stages. I don’t want to emphasize the biological level too much, both because
it’s one of the parts that squicks most and can be really transphobic if
not handled properly, but there’s still a bit of an elephant in the
room when male omegas are more likely to become pregnant than female
alphas and betas.))
Ah, okay. I’m not a furry, unless you consider transformers fandom a weird metallic offshoot of furrydom (Which I’m actually fine with, but it does still mean there are furry related things we don’t actually know much about because we’re off in our own little corner making clanging noises.) So I know ABOUT abo, and have occasionally encountered it at random, but don’t know enough to hold Discourse opinions on it.
I will say that I was never bothered by the idea, and I think there’s a pretty clear reason why in my case. I was always toppy and dominant both, and I’m female, so I got teh very clear sense from a very young age that my sexuality was Wrong. Females have vaginas, therefore we are bottoms. Therefore this fact is so obvious about us that we do not need the word bottom! DUH!
But I always felt like this was wrong, and was always desperately trying to make this SOUND fun by trying to trick my brain into “Well it’s topping turned inside out I… guess… STOP THINKING THIS IS WEIRD YOU ARE ALL BACKWARDS UGH”
And I mean, I got crap for this. I was too open with my parents about being curious about the wrong things, and I got told straight to my face “if you initiate, and especially if you want to do WEIRD STUFF, men will think you are a slut and use you for a good time but no one will ever love you.” If I said “okay, what about women? Maybe they will like me!” that just got weirder. Because bisexuality isn’t real, and I’d indicated I might like boys, so.
I knew some people were trans and I knew they had discomfort with their bodies, so when I was a teen I started hanging around trans communities, but my issue was… they talked about wanting to be seen as boys, and I didn’t want that at all, I just wanted an intimate life where the thing I should be doing by default wasnt the thing I thought of as the interesting sometimes kink.
So when I heard about the science that abo exaggerates—the idea that particular hormones can affect behavior and desire without necessarily changing the sex of the organism—I was profoundly relieved. Not because I was sure that was me, but because it was at least something that might be me, that meant I wasn’t broken, that explained why I didn’t have the same desperate yen to socially be seen as a boy that my trans friends had.
I don’t know if that’s me. For reasons I still am not entirely sure of doctors love testing my T levels and they seem to be normal. So maybe that story doesn’t explain me.
But the idea of things like abo (or exaggerated seme uke stuff even) don’t bother me, because they say to me: “this is natural, if rare… but has nothing to do with your gender unless you want it to.”
My issue with a lot of “that’s heteronormative!” discourse is it takes away the things that made me feel less broken, in the service of a very particular image of gay… while neglecting that these days, I’m mostly gay.
I’d just like to give you a heads up that apparently ‘abo’ is a slur used in Australia for Aboriginal Australian people. So I recommend being careful to keep the slashes when talking about a/b/o.