Medical Quackery Becomes BDSM Play Favorite

Just this past Saturday, we went to a friend’s birthday party. She is a submissive, and she wanted to be restrained and have the kinds of things done to her that so many submissives enjoy. One of the devices used on her was from the good people at KinkLabs, purveyors of fine quality products for people who are into kink. This device is definitely on the kinky side. It is called a Violet Wand, but what many of those who use it for kinky play may not know is that it was originally a medical device sold by purveyors of medical quackery.

In the Center for Sexual Expression and Education collection, which is part of the Sexual Heritage Preservation Project, we have an original 1930 medical device called the Master Violet Ray. It is nearly identical to the modern Violet Wands, right down to having the same glass attachments.

Master Ray Violet Ray

Master Ray Violet Ray

The Violet Wand is based on the same basic concept as the Tesla Coil, which converts household current into high-frequency, high voltage current up to 30,000 volts. This is basically static electricity, the same principle used when we did our Sideshow act with the girl in the electric chair. We could shoot sparks off her fingers and even light a torch off her fingers. The high frequency electricity traveled across her skin but not into her body.

The Violet Wand has gas filled blown glass attachments that glow with an eerie purplish light, and sparks will jump off of it to your fingers or other body parts. They don’t hurt, but they do tingle. Okay, turn it all the way up and they can hurt a little.

The modern units manufactured we list here for the BDSM crowd do have important differences from the older antique models, cheaper units from other manufacturers, and amazingly, the models still manufactured as quack cure alls. The plug that goes into the wall has a spark gap isolator, which is an important safety feature as it isolates the wand from the line voltage. They also have ceramic cores instead of the cheaper wax core, which can melt with longer periods of use.

Huse and Sons Violet Wand

Huse and Sons Violet Wand complete kit with attachments

One of the earlier manufacturers of modern Violet Wands for the BDSM crowd is  Rupert Huse and Sons. As with the 1930’s original, their kit includes the blown glass attachments of a rake, a mushroom, and a probe. They also include a large and a small globe, which have the electricity arcing around inside of them for that great mad scientist effect that you have seen with the stand-alone balls popular around Halloween. The larger the bulb, though, the weaker the spark. There is also a wartenberg pinwheel, a finger stinger, a bead chain whip, and a body contact pad. The later works just like the electric chair bit, allowing you to shoot sparks off of your finger. These are not inexpensive toys, though.  For this unit you are looking at an investment of some $500.


Stockroom Violet Wand

Stockroom Violet Wand

A different version from another manufacturer called the Violet Wand Master Kit is available from JT’s Stockroom. It includes a  foot pedal for hands free control, a Mushroom Electrode, a Probe Electrode with Wire Coil , a Rake Electrode, an Edison Adapter, 7 different light bulbs, a set of 5 Eagle Talons, a Metal Rolling Drum, a Wartenberg Wheel, an Extendable Fork, a Hot Shot Electrode, a Ball Chain Flogger, a Nerve Brush, a Body Contact, a 6″ Lightning Rod, and a  9″ Lightning Rod. Pretty much everything you might want in a portable case, but at a premium price of $775.00.


Kink Lab Violet Wand

Kink Lab Violet Wand


If your budget is a little more lean, there are entry level models, and you can purchase extra attachments later. KinkLab is one of our go to sources for low cost but high quality BDSM paraphernalia. They make the KinkLab Neon Wand Electrosex Kit, which emits either red or purple light depending upon which version you buy.

It comes with just with 4 different glass attachments (Electrode Comb, Mushroom Tube, 90° Probe, Tongue Tube), but they are the basic ones you would want. It may not max out at extremely intense that some of the more expensive models can when turned all the way up, but that is actually too much for most.  It is a good but still not cheap buy at $150.00.

There is a $45.00 ElectroErotic® Power Tripper™ attachment that touches your bare skin and lets you send out sparks from your fingers, just like our Girl in the Electric Chair presentation of many years ago. That was to impress a crowd of rubes in the carnival- this is to impress your submissive. That is a very different thing.


As with anything dealing with electricity, there are important safety precautions to keep in mind. The wand is one of the safest forms of electrical play as the current penetrates very shallowly into the skin. Even so, experts I consulted recommend no longer than 15 minutes of electrical play at a session.

You should be wary of piercings, especially fairly new ones, that could conduct electricity into the body. Taking off any metal jewelry is also a good idea. One expert also suggests removing any rubberwear, and you certainly should not wear anything with metallic threads in it. Watch out for zippers and other metal attachments in clothing. They will conduct electricity, and also heat up. Keep it at least a foot away from hip and knee replacements.

Obviously, the blown glass tubes should not be inserted into bodily orifices, nor should any of the attachments. The idea is that the electricity flows across the skin, not inside of you.

It is a really bad choice for bathtub play or around water, unless you have a necrophilia fetish and a desire to wind up in prison. Do not put the tubes in the dishwasher as they will be destroyed. You might be beginning to notice a water=bad theme going on here.

You don’t want to hold it in any one place for very long as it could burn, not just from the heat, but because it also puts out ultraviolet light, the same stuff that gives you sunburns. This is also why you should keep it away from the eyes.

Keep it away from potentially flammable clothing or alcohol. Lighter fluid soaked cloth on our torches was easily ignited by the spark from the girl’s fingerer in our electric chair presentation. Flammable hair spray is also a bad idea. Used in conjunction with a piece of metal, some people have used it for branding play.

One bit of obvious advice but something some might forget is to plug the device in when it is turned off and at the lowest setting. This should just be habit to avoid accidentally using it on someone right off the bat when it is turned all the way up.

You should avoid using it on someone with a heart condition, epilepsy (the flickering can trigger a seizure), or any other serious medical condition.

We can’t tell you that playing with the violet wand is 100% safe, but it is the safest form of electricity play. With common sense and a little caution, it offers a unique form of stimulation that has become very popular with the BDSM crowd.




Photo Credits: image of violet wand in use courtesy of Torm at cs.wikipedia. Product shots from respective manufacturers.