Fetish hoods and masks are one of the most popular types of BDSM gear. You can see this in the fact that 48,707 Recon members have 'Hoods and Masks' as one of their interests.
As such, we wanted to delve deeper into the appeal of hoods and masks and offer some pointers for those interested in giving them a try for the first time.
Why hoods and masks?
The ability to hide yourself within a hood or a mask can be a huge turn on, allowing you to become a different person or to remove your identity altogether. Hoods and masks can be transformative, whether a Dom or a sub. For example, a sub may choose to wear a mask as it allows them to get in a more dehumanised headspace, or a Dom might wear one for the purposes of intimidation and becoming expressionless. Wearing a hood or mask can be an incredibly powerful experience, no matter which role you favour.
Hoods and masks can also be used for the purpose of creating an entirely new persona, or allowing the one inside you to be revealed. Guys into puppy play and superhero scenarios often refer to the changes in themselves that hoods and masks can bring out.
Hoods and masks can also create anonymity. When attending fetish events or parties, they can help guys get into headspaces and do things they may not be able to do if their face was uncovered. Many guys love anonymous play, and hoods and masks are perfect for facilitating this.
Like most other elements of BDSM, wearing fetish headgear can also relate to control and submission. Fetish hoods and masks can instantly and emphatically establish the balance of power between guys during play.
Doms may want their subs to wear a hood or a mask to subjugate and depersonalise them and restrict their speech and/or movement. Wearing a mask or a hood can objectify a sub during play, reducing them to whatever their Dom wants them to be.
Many fetish masks and hoods are specifically designed to limit or totally restrict certain senses, so a Dom can enjoy being in complete charge of what their sub can see, hear and anticipate. In this way, fetish headwear can be a means to sensory deprivation, an associated kink that involves a Dom impeding one or two of their sub's senses to heighten the others, all the way up to completely cutting off all of the sub's five senses. Depending on the sub, a Dom can make their sub wear a mask or hood as a punishment for rule breaking or a reward for good behaviour.
Getting started with fetish headgear
Fetish headgear comes in a huge array of styles, fabrics and functions. As you might expect, masks tend to cover less of the face and head than a full hood, but, depending on how they work, can provide just as intense an experience. Masks include gags, blindfolds and mouth restrictors, and hoods cover the entire head and face. Some hoods have holes just for the eyes and/or mouth, while others have no holes at all.
Leather, rubber, neoprene, silicone and Lycra are all popular materials for hoods and masks, and the fabric for you will just come down to personal preference. Obviously, a leather hood will fit differently to a neoprene one, so the material you go for will depend on how skin-tight you want your headgear to be, or the smell, look and sensation of your favourite fabric.
For newcomers to fetish headwear and/or BDSM play, it's a good idea to start out with a less restrictive style and work your way up. When you're starting out, it's sometimes best that you can see the guy(s) you're playing with, and be able to read each other's faces. So, unless it's really what you crave, hold off on full sensory depravation till you're ready. As with all BDSM and bondage play, decide on a 'safe word' beforehand, and stop immediately if one of you uses it.
A leather blindfold, chin gag or a leather mouth restrictor could be a good place to start, although ball gags can take a bit of getting used to and can cause jaw pain at first.
Take a look at the Recon store for our range of fetish masks and hoods in a variety of high-quality, durable materials, and don't forget that our community of fetish men is always on hand for further advice.
This is just a brief primer for hoods and masks, so if you have anything you'd like to add you can share on the @ReconNews Twitter or emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org