You have related a very satisfying experience you have had with a hood. But you also mention all the anxieties others have about them and even dislike of them for whatever reason. In your case you and that partner were moving on parrallel paths because you both DID like the experience, but you hadn't actually articulated it and shared it in theory before practice.
You found that you were on the same page a la hoods because you two jumped into an encounter. In this account both of you knew the other was "kink friendly" because of your visit to the sex shop earlier... if I am reading your account correctly.
Not everyone HAS a partner who is kink friendly and would responds in anything like the way you did. Yes... some would.... perhaps having very deeply surpressed their interest in kink. But many people would really freak at the scene which you describe. Perhaps open minded playful people might be talked into trying it... short of discussing the scene and then playing it... and then doing a de brief at the end to learn more about each other's feelings about the scene. This may lead to more or may lead to less or no future scenes. Not everyone can be made to enjoy kink... even the ones who gives it a shot. In your case you both were pre disposed to kink... but needed the right partner, gear and circumstances for it to happen. You didn't need to discuss it at first... as he obviously was tuned into your response and willingness from the beginning.
Hoods are very much a completely alien experience for us. We may wear a hat but we rarely of ever cover our faces, obscure our identites or isolate our senses...or limit our breathing as some hoods do.
The ideal situation for these sorts of interactions is for the person to want to do and/or wear the thing which thrills you. So if YOU like a hooded partner... you really want them to LIKE to be hooded on their own. Yes... some would do this as a gesture of being a good sport as part of a mutual ... I scratch your back if you scratch mine thingy... But that is defintely a notch lower than finding the partner whose "dreams" mirror or match your own.
Rubber fetish has this intersting aspect in that wearing it is about how YOU feel in your own skin... how you make yourself look in your own eyes and so on. But it is also about how you look to your partner or others. You are transforming yourself for THEM as well. Someone who does not get it about the first part... who feels nothing from the experience of wearing rubber or being enclosed or hooded, doesnt groove on the way they look to themselves may still do it all for their partner. But the experience for both is somewhat shallower at best.
For example, someone who seeks a domina, but has a submissive type partner who will play the part of the domina may not be as fulfilling. Both know very clearly that she is acting a part even is she looks as dominant as the best of them. She may put him through his paces... but receive no pleasure as a dominant might. She may actually wish the roles were reversed I suppose. The illusion can work for many. In fact, so much of fetish IS about illusion, image and slipping into "temporary" roles and letting yourself enjoy those roles.
Hoods and masks really push us away from who we normally are. They are unambiguous statements that we want to conceal our "other self"... and for those transparent type hoods which may not hide our identity... they seem to send a message about a love of bondage and enclosure.
I have often wondered why someone as bold as LadyII has never ventured out with a transparent latex hood... or worn it around a town on one of her trips where her identity could not be associated with her "real one".
I suspect that many dress-up roles playing in public takes place far enough away from home so as not to threaten your real (other) existence. I can't see someone who lives in an apartment block decide sometimes to leave the house in rubber enclosure and on other days and business attire on others. Although there is no reason why this should not be possible... Today it would probably cause "neighbor" issues in reality and who needs that?
Masks and hoods are very threatening to others in public as nefarious motives are attributed to someone who wears a mask. Islamic dress, as LadyII has so well pointed out is one acceptable way to conceal your idenity in public. Having said that, I suspect that females in masks or hoods might more easily be accepted in public because they would be seen as less threatening than males and because it can be "disguised" as a fashion statement.. even if it looks kinky.
Another interesting aspect of wearing tight hoods and masks is that our faces are loaded with sensory neurons so much more than almost any area of our skin. We are really playing with lots of sensation when we play with hoods. This may all be vaguely known as so much of our communication is concerned with the face and its expressions... and our ability to read others. Denying them this information is a way of separating us away and into our own world where we use our facial sensations for our own selfish need.
What do you think about this?