I was thinking about the omega male thing in slash stories -- have you seen this? Where a male character will be written as having an estrus cycle, having a self-lubricating orifice, and being able to get pregnant? I've never seen it anywhere but Inception fandom, but for all I know, it's all over the place.
And the first time I saw it, I thought, "Hey, why not just make Arthur a woman? Or write a story about Ariadne?"
And then I thought, "There are stories about always-female Arthur, and stories about Ariadne. I don't read either of them. On the other hand, I'm not completely nuts about the omega-male thing, but I am
So there's something in particular about writing a story that is basically about the female sexual response, but writing it using the body of a male character. And I have a theory.
See, bonding with female characters is hard.
Seriously, when I watch something with a woman in it, I watch it with a bit of dread. (Even a movie, where there isn't a lot of time for dread.) I still spend the whole time with an underlying dread about what's going to be done to the woman. Not what the other characters are going to do to her -- what the creators
are going to do to her.
Maybe they'll fridge her. Or someone will rape her. Or maybe it will be less violent -- they'll give her a new boyfriend or a new baby and she'll completely lose her agency, if not her entire sense of self. Or they'll decide she needs to be absorbed in her looks to the exclusion of everything else (this is often done via a makeover scene).
If she's not a major enough character to merit this sort of reduction -- if she's mostly in the background -- then maybe all that will happen is that the show will cruelly mock her for being attractive, or for being unattractive, or for having sex, or for not having sex.
Now, I like women. And I find them sexy. And so you'd think I could overcome all this to enjoy reading stories about women having sex, right? At least if they're written in fandom, where I can trust
But you know that thing where women do worse on standardized tests when they're reminded that they're women?
To be honest, after all these years of consuming mass-produced entertainment, I feel this sense of narrative dread even when I'm reading original characters written by writers I trust. It's Pavlovian. I feel fear for her as soon as I'm reminded that she's a woman.
So if I have the vague erotic desire to read about the female sexual response, but I don't want it contaminated by that dread? Maybe it's not surprising to find myself reading about men who have sex like women.
[edited to add: maybe I ought to tell y'all what I was reading that got me thinking about this? It was this not-very-dom-subby Inception story by Recrudescence
, and it's not my kink but I enjoyed it just the same.]