Because, hey, that's what happens in films.
In reality, for most consensual kink-lovers it's simply part of their dress-up lifestyle, de rigueur clubwear and adult play. And yes, without apology, they also like the freaky dark side look of it too. But why?
Well here now to explain this, meet some more latex-liberated kinksters for whom head encasement is not just a real-life passion, but also a positive and self-affirming realm of sensual and mental freedom, as we continue to illuminate and politely request you in this blog-post to ditch the fiction and...
FLING OUT THE GIMP
"The first time I ever saw a hood was when I spotted Vanessa Upton on the cover of Skin Two Magazine. It looked very cool to me, like The Face or iD magazine cool. Time passed and I only ever saw the cool people wearing hoods. The question now days is not "Why are you wearing a hood?" But: "Why aren't wearing a hood?"
Because fundamentally it is cool, like being part of an elite type of cool.
"The notion of 'physically-challenged' Americans have never been part of the question, for me anyway. I'd always associated hood wearing with colourful bright outfits, I guess because of House of Harlot, Kim Rub etc...
"When I met the man that introduced me to hoods, it went darker and had a closer association to BDSM this led to a kind of conditioning process whereby I always had to be hooded. I now therefore associate wearing hoods with having a really good time. I still get a sexual rush when I put one on, even if the moment is not necessarily a sexual one. I'd say Pulp Fiction is one of my all time favourite movies, but I still don't think of the gimp when I'm around hood wearers. Hood-wearing helps me transform from just being everyday me, into something extraordinary. Dressing up is incomplete without one.
"Perhaps I do roll my eyes when I see badly fitting masks, because that does give us more serious fetishists a bad name. At the very least it leaves hood-wearing for me with less of an artistic aesthetic."
"At a recent family gathering my partner Rubberdude (after quite a few whiskies) decided it might be a good idea to share our rubber photo albums with my brother and sister-in-law. The intention I think was to try to persuade them to accompany us to a Torture Garden event. Their response was not one of admiration I can tell you, rather they retorted:
"We're not going out with you if you are wearing those weird black scary gimp masks!"
"Funnily enough, they seemed okay with our white doll style masks, as they identified with those as being Geisha-like. Just not anything black, as black equated 'gimp'. I sighed inwardly, weighing up whether to bother trying to explain to the uninitiated that a black latex hood isn't necessarily, in fact hardly ever is it, worn by a 'gimp'. I just hate the word gimp.
"Even if someone identifies themselves as a gimp I could never bring myself to use the word myself in anything other than a comical way. It's maybe a term more coined by the Fifty Shades brigade of people who are investigating kink but in my opinion still haven't really got a clue. Don't say 'gimp', try saying: submissive, dom/me, switch, kinkster, fetishist or hoodlover."
"The word gimp, for me, was a made-up used in one of Quentin Tarantino's films. It makes me think of all those non-glam types of hoods: The kind with zips for mouths and detachable gags and eye-masks.
"In the world of our dedicated website hood-lovers.com there are two types of shoots; ‘glam’ and ‘gimp’. We have sets of photos that I personally believe could only ever be described as glamorous. But then I would.
"There are others that would relate to the BDSM world. These hoods are sometimes inflatable, without eyes or with restricted airways in latex. Tightly laced leather ones too. These I would call the gimp style, for want of a better word. If fact, why don’t we Brits come up with our own term for this style of hood. Rename the gimp."
Kim runs a number of London fetish nights including:
Club Rub and the latex-only night Rubber Cult