Marc Felion over at Chicago Now has written a short question about masking fetish which I think is simplifying the fetish, especially when it is connected to the use of hoods within BDSM. Marc refers to a post over at Everyone Forever which states the following:

“from the wearer’s point of view, the mask provides an opportunity to be completely surrounded by the powerful smells and tactile qualities of latex. They can heighten sensitivity and fear/excitement in the way leather and rubber sensory-deprivation hoods used in BDSM scenarios do. And because many of the maskers combine the mask with tight-fitting corsets and layered clothing, there can also be an element of containment or bondage.”

Marc ends his post with asking why masking involves the feminine element and what the real attraction really is.

I believe the answer is more complex than it just being a latex fetish. Let us first take a look at why sensory deprivation hoods are being used within BDSM. One part that Marc mention is correct, to heighten other senses and enhance bondage, but that is just half of it. There are some other psychological effects involved as well connected to the process of objectification that usually takes place when hoods are being used.

Hoods masks the facial expressions and emotional communication as facial expressions are connected to who we are and how we perceive ourselves and how we are being perceived by others. This allows the person wearing the hood to reinvent themselves or be reinvented by others which in return enhances the emotional immersiveness taking a place in the BDSM related activities. We want the fear or excitement to become so convincing that it becomes “for real”.

The person wearing the hood becomes a recreated personality, by everyone involved, and the purpose for that person is simplified in most cases. The person is boiled down to a puppy or a pony and the everyday personality is temporarily erased.

The mask or other objects being used also become transitory and protective markers. In other words; When I put on the mask I transcend into my other, sometimes simplified, personality and what I experience when wearing the mask is separated from my everyday personality.

If someone might think that this is weird and pathological behaviour, then you might have to reconsider your opinion because it is the same psychological elements that drives the usage of uniforms in our society. A police officer is protected in many ways by his uniform. It communicates mandate, but it also allows the person to leave some things behind when the uniform is taken off by the end of a shift.

Marc asks an interesting question: Why is the feminine element involved?

My guess is that one could talk about gender bondage in reference to that question. Imagine being trapped in an other gender than your original one. It also enhances the feeling of humiliation but also erases a primary part of your ordinary everyday personality. These are a few of the driving elements in sissification.

Masking fetishes are more complex than “just liking the feeling of wearing the mask”.


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