Omegaverse is a fancy term for werewolf sex. The Omegaverse is known as A/B/O or Alpha/Beta/Omega. The Alpha, Beta, and Omega are secondary genders or dynamics applied to the characters. You can have any combination of sex, primary gender, and secondary gender in the Omegaverse.
The worldbuilding in omega verse has no one size fits, and all of the elements included are completely up to the author doing the world-building. Because of that, it’s pretty difficult to create a neat box out of what the Omegaverse is. The most basic defining characteristic is the inclusion of those secondary genders, the Alpha, Beta, and Omega.
What are Alphas, Betas, and Omegas?
The world-building will heavily influence how Alphas, Betas, and Omegas are represented worldwide.
Alphas: Some commonalities for Alphas are that they might be in elevated positions of power, whether their regular social standing or whether they’re put into leadership positions. They’re going to be the more dominant sexual partner in a relationship. Also, they have active control over their scent and can use it to influence others.
Alphas take on the role of protector for Omegas, and Alphas, regardless of biological sex, should impregnate their partners, depending on whether they can get pregnant.
Betas: Betas make up the majority of the population.
They are mostly regular people with no fancy additions, and because of this, they might be devalued in the world-building because they are not special. In the same way that Alphas and Omegas are.
Omegas: Omegas tend to be viewed as more vulnerable or submissive. They also tend to have less control over their bodies than Alphas and Betas. Moreover, they can typically get pregnant regardless of their biological sex or primary gender.
Are Alphas and Betas Hero Types?
In the Omegaverse, Alpha and Beta are biological traits rather than a hero archetype. Saying that someone is Alpha, Beta or Omega is on par with saying that someone is a man, woman, or non-binary. They’re secondary genders compared to primary genders.
Where did the Omegaverse come from?
The origin of the Omegaverse is threefold. The terms themselves come from two different studies. The first is the expression studies on Wolves by Rudolf Schenkel in 1947. Then, there was a supportive follow-up book called The Wolf Ecology and Behaviour of an Endangered Species by David Meck.
David Meck has disproven this concept, and he no longer ascribes to the Alpha, Beta, Omega concept within Wolves. But the terms themselves have wormed their way into our modern lexicon. The concept of the heat cycle or a situation where characters are completely at the mercy of their hormones is not exclusive to Omegaverse.
The most popular version of this is the Pon Farr. Similar elements have been present in tons of media and plenty of fan fiction. The specific origin of applying these animalistic traits comes from fan fiction, specifically the supernatural fan fiction in which someone wanted some dub-con incest.
While omega verse did originate as an erotic trope specific to fan fiction. It has since evolved into a subgenre in its own right that can easily fit into any genre now. It simply depends on what elements the author is choosing to focus on.
What are some common elements in the Omegaverse?
Keep in mind that none of these are required for it to be an Omegaverse story, but these are things that are very common and will show up in a lot of them. So if there’s something on this list that intrigues you or something that you want to avoid, those are things to keep in mind when you’re searching out these stories.
1. Heats cycles and Ruts
Heath cycles and Ruts are essentially a hormonal overload that encourages copulation. How it works, how strongly it affects characters, and how the world handles it generally will depend on the world-building. In some cases, the goal is for the character to get pregnant.
How the heat works are essentially the opposite of how our general reproductive cycles work in people. While humans can technically get pregnant with an extra heater cycle during the menstrual cycle, you can only get pregnant during that time. Sometimes heat or rut is simply an excuse for the characters to have sex. Heats will affect the omega partners, and ruts will affect the alpha partners.
Whether or not they coincide with one another, or if either is even present in the world, depends on the author. There are also various stages of the heat cycle that you’re likely to run into. The most common indicator of impending heat, aside from a change in scent, is nesting behavior. It is where Omegas will gather various fabrics and essentially build themselves a little fort. It’s meant to be a space of comfort that smells like people they are comfortable with. So this can be friends or family members, or their partners.
Nesting doesn’t even always happen with heat. If omega is particularly stressed, if they are children, pregnant, or have recently given birth, they’re much more likely to engage in nesting behaviors simply because it makes them feel safe.
Scenting in the Omegaverse typically involves a pheromone that influences attraction or implies ownership. A signature character scent like leather and cinnamon is not exclusive to the Omegaverse and appears in many genres, particularly romance and stories. The difference with omega verse is that you will likely encounter specific scenting practices and scent glands.
Ordinarily, there are a few locations where these scent glands might be, typically the throat, the forest, and the inner thigh. These particular scents may influence the character’s partners, such as calming them down or arousing them. Depending on the world-building, Scents can also be dangerous for Omega’s.
Once they reach adulthood, their scent will attract a mate, and in some of these stories, Alphas do not behave very well around that. Any more animalistic versions of the Omegaverse, You may have Alpha’s tracking Omegas by their scent. They may use scent masking, essentially covering an omega scent with the Alphas.
3. Bonding, Claiming, and Marking
These are essentially biological locks on a partner. Bonding is usually a consensual choice for partners to link themselves together. It can be permanent or temporary. It can affect a person’s ability to take a future partner. For example, it might cause them physical discomfort or pain to try to have sex with someone not their mate. Or it could tie their lives together so that if one character dies, their mate will also die.
Claiming is more like a one-way bond requiring the receiver’s consent.
Marking is usually some indicator that someone is taken. Most commonly, this will be through a scent or a bite. A scent-marking will blend the scent of the two partners so that anyone sensitive to that can tell that that person is paired up. A physical bite will let anyone who can see it know that that person is taken.
4. Pack Structures
Plenty of stories place Alphas at the top of the pecking order. Betas are often neutral or regular people, and Omegas are usually subordinate to betas and Alphas. If the author has chosen to incorporate this caste system into their story, there’s a possibility that it could take a dark turn.
In those stories, Omegas are often viewed as second-class citizens or even used as sex slaves for Alphas.
In many of these cases, Western society’s historical restrictions on women apply to Omegas. They are there to have babies, they are there to provide sex, and they are to rely on their partner for pretty much everything. However, the caste system is not always present, nor does it necessarily link to the park structures in this way.
5. Knotting and Breeding
Knotting and Breeding go hand in hand in the Omegaverse, more often in the Omegaverse erotica. It is a physiological occurrence in which the base of the penis swells to lock the two participants together, increasing the chances of conception. This physiology in our world tends to be found in canine species, which is why there is a heavy association with the Omegaverse and furries, bestiality, and werewolves.
Physiological animal traits are not required; most often, the traits are behavioral. So while things like cat-girls and werewolves and characters with ears and tails do show up in the omega verse, they are not a requirement by any means.
Mpreg is short for male pregnancy. Generally, Omega men can get pregnant, and Alpha women can impregnate partners depending on the world and the story. As you might imagine, this element opens up a wide variety of options for pairings to have their biological children. Even if the world-building acknowledges that Mpreg exists within the world, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be present in the story itself.
Some stories go a little darker and essentially make the Omega’s job to have children. Others will be more progressive. They’ll embrace birth control and reproductive choice.
What are some common tropes in the Omegaverse?
Heat Contracts: These occur to get around many of the dubious consent aspects that can be present. In these cases, The world-building has a whole legal and medical support system for Alphas and Omegas’ cycles.
Contracts require both parties to be clear-headed while signing it, ensuring more safety and consent in the story. To be clear, the purpose of the heating contract, usually within stories, is to agree that you’re going to be sexual partners for the duration of a threat or a heat.
The surprising heat: The Omega is unprepared for the heat. They must make a lot of panic preparations, and they may need to grab the nearest person to them to help them out.
No partner, ask crush: This is self-explanatory, but it’s a good excuse to get characters who’ve been pining after one another to hook up.
Werewolves/Shifters: These are super popular in the Omegaverse and bring more animalistic elements to the stories. If there’s a wolf on the cover, You’re probably looking at an Omegaverse shifter story.
Heat Suppressants: These medications will suppress or delay heat, but they lose effectiveness over time in most stories, eventually forcing the omega to go through the heat.
First Heats: Much like a first sexual experience, it can be popular in the romance and erotica genres. The first heat is the omega verse equivalent of that. There are many other common tropes, such as forced proximity, cohabitation, snowed-in, etc. That can be given extra spice when it’s in the Omegaverse. But they’re not specific to Omegaverse. They are applied to lots of romance stories.
What are some problematic elements within the Omegaverse?
Consent issues: Consent issues are probably the most common ones in this subgenre because the nature of ruts and heats are relatively uncontrolled biological phenomena.
It can strip away agency from the characters. There are ways to work around these issues, such as heat contracts, but not all authors prioritize that. Because of this, you’ll want to watch out for content warnings for Dubcon or Noncon with these stories. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, Dubcon is short for Dubious Consent, and Noncon is short for Non-consensual.
Dubcon is where consent is uncertain, and Noncon is where consent is definitively absent. But it’s different from rape because it applies to many things besides sex.
Ruts: Ruts can sometimes be used to excuse aggressive sexual behavior. The sex during a rut tends to be violent and expressive, making it dangerous for their partners. Some people are into rough stuff and pain kinks, but the issue here is that the ruts tend to strip away the Alphas’ control, which means they can’t guarantee their partner’s safety. It’s up to the world-building whether or not that happens, so keep that in mind.
Dark Omegaverse: Darker versions of the Omegaverse treat omega like garbage. This population is turned into baby makers and sex slaves in these versions. Usually, in these worlds, the Omegas don’t have to consent to be bonded or marked, and they’re the property of their Alpha.
In some worlds, the Omegas are very rare and become a status symbol, but overall, in the dark Omegaverse, the Omegas are not having a good time.
Fetishization: This next point is not inherently problematic because the Omegaverse is popular for queer pairings.
You will most commonly run into the fetishization of queer men and trans people. But again, that’s all going to depend on the author. Also, Omegaverse is unique in that a good portion, if not most of the characters we see on the page, are intersex.
Based on the physiology of our world, Omega men, Alpha women, and any other characters who don’t fit into those neat boxes would qualify as intersex. There’s not a problematic element to all of these characters being intersex.
So as you can see, the Omegaverse is very wide-reaching and versatile. It can essentially be anything you want it to be. It can apply to any genre, be as sweet or spicy as you desire, light and fluffy, or dark as you want. There are a few rules and almost no limits in this sub-genre. Because of that, I urge you to look into the stories you might be interested in reading. Figure out if that’s something you want to read.
Every author will have their version of the omega verse, and you must research these stories. But if you want to find something that suits what you want to read, you’ll have to sort through a lot.