Hood

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Isolation hood from Top To Bottom Leathers
Latex hood from Demask
Rubber hood with blindfold and gag

Hoods play a major part in BDSM imagery and practice. They can be worn by both submissives and dominants for a number of reasons.

  • To objectify the wearer: Beacuse they obscure the face, hoods can play a major role in objctification fantasies. For a submissive, they will reduce them to the status of a sexual toy, rather than a sexual partner. For the dominant, the hood will help make them appear more distant and impersonal, projecting an image of sexual power and superiority.
  • Sensory deprivation: Heavy latex or leather hoods can be used by the dominant partner to control the sub's ability to see and hear. This will enhance the sub's feelings of helplessness and loss of control in a scene. Inbuilt gags are often used to increase still further the sense of helplessness by limiting the ability of the sub to communicate. Heavy hoods can greatly increase the efficacy of a gag, reducing the ability of the gagged person to make any sound.
  • Transformation: Animal hoods can be used as part of an animal transformation fantasy, giving the wearer the features of, say, a dog. The transformation can be more abstract; hoods used in pony play often have holes at the top of the hood to allow long hair to be pulled through or have false hair attached to the top of the hood, forming a cascade not unlike a horse's tail.
  • Visual impact: Hoods have a strong visual appeal, especially highly coloured latex designs, and are very popular as club wear.
  • Total enclosure: Many fetishists are turned on by the second skin elements of fetishism; hoods form an integral part of this.
  • As a bondage device: Hoods can encorporate attachement points for ropes and chains to secure the head as part of a bondage scene.
  • To disguise the wearer: Hoods can also serve the function of disguising identity when desired, for example at play parties.

Types of hood

Because of their popularity and the multitude of reasons for wanting to wear a hood, there is a massive range of different designs available from a wide range of suppliers. This article attempts to classify hoods into a number of basic types. However, many hoods will combine elements of more than one type in their design.

Buying a hood

A trawl through the web will quickly bring up a bewildering array of suppliers selling every type of hood imaginable with prices from £30 to £300. Generally you will get what you pay for, the more expensive hoods being better quality and more sophisticated in their design. Manufacturers will differ in how they go about constructing the hood, some concentrating on the quality of the stitching whilst others focus on the strength of construction. The most important thing though is the fit and this is best done by trying the hood on before buing it. If a hood is too tight it will quickly become uncomfortable and will end up not being used. If it is too loose much of the sensory delight in wearing a hood will be lost.

The most popualar materials for hoods are leather and latex. Leather due to its strength tends to be more popular for BDSM and Bondage use, latex due to it smoothness and range of colours is ever popular at fetish clubs.

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