Time for another playbag post. Today we are bringing out the ubiquitous wartenberg wheel! A Wartenberg wheel is device that is used in sensation play.
First, the history, of course. A Wartenberg wheel, also called a Wartenberg pinwheel or Wartenberg neurowheel, is a medical device for neurological use. It was originally designed by Robert Wartenberg to test nerve reactions (sensitivity) as it rolled systematically across the skin. You can find it in several forms – stainless steel, with multiple wheels, plastics handles, and so on. I don’t think it’s still in use in hospitals, and now is almost exclusively sold for BDSM use.
But what is the point of this little tool? See those sharp spikes? Those are the point (heh. See what I did there?) Rolling the wheel over skin can produce sharp sensations because this little sucker has some bite. The harder you press, the harder the sensation – even causing light pain. With enough pressure, it is even possible to draw blood though most people don’t press that hard. (We’ll do a post on blood play in the future, don’t worry!). Even more than the pain level is the head games you can play – ‘where is it going to go next?’, ‘will it hurt?’, and so on.
But wait there’s more! (Billy Mays would be proud). The instrument can also be dragged sideways across the skin for a more scratchy or abrasive sensation, or stored in a refrigerator for using when chilled (which combines two different sensations!). The best result happens when you concentrate over a small area of skin – maybe just the nipple or the perineum, or small areas of the genitals. Because most wartenberg wheels are metal, you can also you use them with violet wands – something else we’ll cover later (promise!). Last, using a blindfold is an awesome way to heighten sensations in this type of play. Just make sure your partner is safe while their eyes are covered.
No matter how you use, it’s a great way to get sensation, and is one of the smallest toys but it has a world of uses. When using, don’t forget safety tips:
- If you expect blood, wear gloves
- Check in with your partner regularly to see how they are feeling and if they are enjoying the play
- Some parts of the body are more sensitive than others, and this varies from person to person, it’s ok if you say “not there” and move on
- Clean your instrument (wheel) thoroughly after each use
- If for some reason your wheel has been in an hot or cold place, ask if the temperature of the metal is alright on the skin
- Don’t buy cheap plastic wheels – they can break and are hard to clean
All in all this little torture device packs a mean little punch! Give it a try!
Until next time – keep talking the taboos!