With the Corona Virus running rampant around the world, we all are getting used to wearing some form of facial covering. Some, mostly for show, go so far as to wear gasmasks in public. But it begs the question, should you be wearing a gasmask?

It crossed my mind that once you’ve experienced walking around in public with a cloth mask covering your mouth and nose, the step toward trying a gasmask is not such a big deal anymore. The only thing a cloth mask does is protect others from the possibility that you may be infected and spread the coronavirus. But what about your health?

Apart from the Coronavirus, outdoor air pollution is a serious health risk, some 6 percent of all global deaths are attributed to it. In some countries and cities, it’s as bad as 1 in 10. Are those odds you want to take? I’m not suggesting you should wear a full gasmask outdoors, but did you know that it only gets worse when you go on vacation to some of your favorite places?

People die of air pollution, that’s an unfortunate side effect of construction standards, but mostly as a result of the type of material people use to cook at home. Below are the data for the number of deaths per 100,000 people comparing three of my favorite countries. The good news is, indoor air has gotten a lot better over time no matter where you go.

Row Labels199020002017
United Kingdom3.781.130.25
United States0.280.190.09
This is my blog – you can either believe that I pulled these numbers from reliable sources, or go away.

Unfortunately, going on vacation to the Maldives still exposes you to much greater indoor air pollution than being in the US or UK. By the way, what’s up with the UK? Well, you say, never trust statistics, they are just there to deceive people. OK, so you don’t believe me. Well, there is fortunately an easy answer. Let’s to a statistical test whether those differences could have just been an accidental result, or if the death rate from indoor air pollution is really so much higher in the Maldives.

Statisticians love p-values. Even Dr. Fauci got excited when Remdesivir improved recovery from 15 days to 11 days, with a P-value of 0.001. If he can get excited about p-values, then your favorite kinkster can as well!

The p-value for pair-wise two-tailed comparison of the means of the Maldives and the UK is 0.0000004, which means that there is virtually no chance that the difference is by accident. (I did use the full time-series, otherwise, my degrees of freedom would have taken a serious dive.) For interpretation’s sake (I know you skipped statistics in school!) a p-value of 0.05 simple means that there is only a 5% chance that the difference in means – or averages – is accidental. So, the lower the p-value, the more you know that you’ve hit the real thing. That’s why Dr. Fauci got so excited.

While that may surprise you, even the p-value for the same test between the UK and the US is 0.0000086, hardly any better. So, have a think. Dreaming of a vacation in the Maldives? Thinking of moving to the UK? Better bring your gasmask!

Seriously, think about it. Gasmasks were invented to be as comfortable as possible, allowing the wearer to breathe as normally as possible, with good visibility, while protecting against any form of biological or chemical agent. They are built for long-term wear (several hours at least) and minimal disruption from regular activities (be it in warfare, or for civilian use).

The first time I wore my cloth mask outside, it felt like a gasmask to me. Even though it’s not more than a piece of cloth covering my face (not my eyes), it creates a sense of distance. The air is different, a certain amount of rebreathing your own air takes places, the smells of nature are dampened as if your nose doesn’t quite work right.

To be honest, I had a hard time getting used to it. The first time I went out, I felt detached from my environment. Like a shield between me and the outside, the mask took away essential senses. Frankly, it felt not much different from wearing a gasmask.

So, for those of you out there who are curious about what it’s like to wear a gasmask, you’ve probably already gone about two-thirds of the way. The thing is, the last third is the best. At least if you’re curious.

You know what it’s like to breathe through a filter, to get only partially fresh air, to have at least some of your senses limited. Even speaking takes some getting used to. What’s there to add with a gasmask? The erotic side.

Think of the gasmask as serving the same purpose. Protecting you from the environment. The gasmask is your friend, not something to be afraid of. Those large round eyes are not to make you look alien, but rather to give you visibility. The rubber is there to seal itself closely against your skin, preventing contaminated air from entering through the sides.

It does take your senses away, more than a cloth mask. But it also adds to the sense of protection, or being isolated from the harsh environment. To be sheltered in your own cocoon. Even the air you breathe has to ask for permission to enter. If you have no filter attached to the gasmask, then you can breathe as easily as when you wear no mask at all.

The air comes in one way, where a filter or other devices can be attached and exists through a one-way valve. The way the filters are designed, they do absorb the finest particles and protect you from pollutants. But they do not inhibit breathing itself. At least not to any significant degree. You can go all day and be fine.

Of course, the kinky world has had a field-day with gasmasks for years. Perhaps ever since they were no longer needed for fear of chemical or biological warfare. In fact, I picked up a non-fetish, fully functional field gasmask, with a set of filters and a carrying bag for the bargain price of $39 at a fetish store in New York!

If you want to get the fetish version, then prices go up a bit, but you typically get a more attractive rubber version. And the real fun is when you begin to experiment with different attachments. Perhaps first just a long tube, then a breathing bag. There are an almost infinite variety of possibilities, including or course the mask itself.

Should you find yourself getting any sense of protection, any comfort from wearing a facial mask while the coronavirus is around, you should think about exploring a full gasmask. Go slow, don’t use any attachments. Then let your inner kink take over and see where it takes you. You may just like it.

Wicked Wednesday