As promised here is a brief violet wands 101 article explaining how they work without going into too much technical details.
Speaking in technical terms a violet wand is a modified Telsa coil-type electrical transformer. In plain words it is an electric apparatus that uses high voltage, low current (low amperage) and high-frequency electricity to provide physical stimulation that can be applied to skin. The electricity is applied in the form of stream of static electrical sparks. It is the low current that makes violet wands a safe choice for electric play in fetish or BDSM setting.
The antique violet wands from early 20th century that are nowadays professionally rewired for fetish play are more correctly referred to as violet rays, however, majority of people still calls them violet wands. I will continue using the term violet wands throughout this post to refer to both.
The violet wand apparatus consists of:
- a control unit – a box that that has a control dial allowing to increase and decrease output and often a voltage selector allowing wand’s use in America as well as Europe.
- a wand – a handheld plastic-encased transformer that supplies the electricity
- an electrode – an attachment inserted into the wand that delivers electric spark to the skin
The control dial located on the control unit allows for adjustment of output that modulates the sensation from gentle and sensual fizzle or tingle to a painful jolt. Some violet wands allow for a greater range of sensations than others. It is this greatly varying level of sensations and intensity that makes violet wands popular as it caters for a wide variety of tastes – ranging from a very first, gentle and sensual experience to a serious and intense challenge.
Cable joins the control unit with the handheld, about a foot long plastic-encased wand that houses the modified transformer. On the other end of the wand an electrode of one’s choosing is inserted.
Electrodes come in various shapes. They are what conducts the electricity from the transformer to provide the stimulation to the skin. Each type/shape of electrode allows for different feeling and different type of sensation. Most of the electrodes are hollow glass tubes. It is the properties and shape of the glass tube that modifies and refines the sensation. Generally, the greater the contact surface of the electrode with the skin the milder the sensation.
When connected the electricity passes through gas filled electrode it makes the electrode light up and glow. Most commonly the glass electrodes use inert argon gas and light up purple/violet giving the violet wand its name. Some manufacturers, however, also use different inert gas and make electrodes that light up in different colours, for example orange. It is an aesthetic difference and does not affect the functionality.
The sensation provided by the violet wand can be further modified using different techniques: direct, indirect and reverse violet wand techniques are the three basic techniques that can be used. Direct technique involving direct application of violet wand electrode to the skin is the one used most commonly by majority of players.
Advice for beginners
Best way to start is a low setting and an electrode with a flat surface like a mushroom to distribute the sensation. If you are nervous this is the best way to reassure yourself that violet wands are not there to give you a dangerous shock but can be so mild and sensuous you can just about feel them.
The violet wand makes a loud buzzing noise when it is connected. It is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about.
Please note that at no point will I be using the violet wand for scarring, branding or with intent to cause any permanent markings. I will also not use it for anything it is not meant to be used or with random attachments you might want to bring with you.