This is a post about a favourite BDSM activity of the Bad Kitty, aimed at introducing Violet Wands to the newcomer and the curious. Like many things BDSM related, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. So please be warned: this post discusses electroplay using Violet Wands. If this isn’t your bag then please don’t click the read more link. If you’re curious about them then please feel free to read on.
Violet wands are mostly used primarily for sensation play on the surface of the skin. They are originally a product of medical quackery, where the idea of using electricity as a cure-all became trendy in the 1920s and 30s. If you had a problem with your eyes, there’s a violet wand attachment you can put on your eyes, although I’m sure you’ll agree looking at it that it can be used on the balls as well
Production of violet wands has continued through to this day. The majority of wands available for sale date from the 1920s to 1950s, although Bad Kitty has seen some gorgeous wands dating from the 1960s and 1970s.
A violet wand usually consists of a handset, a control box and a number of attachments. Cases, number of attachments and appearances can vary. The more attachments there are in a set the more expensive the set will be. Sometimes the control box can be removed from the case, sometimes the handset will have the controls in it as well as or instead of the box.
This is the Bad Kitty’s violet wand set.
The attachments are like lightbulbs – thin glass with a noble gas inside. With that in mind, Bad Kitty would never shove a violet wand attachment up an orifice. Plug the attachment into the handset, turn it on and when it makes contact with the skin the recipient gets a sensation on the skin. What kind of sensation depends on the attachment used. The attachment will also light up. Usually they will be violet but that depends on the colour of the gas inside the attachment. Bad Kitty has seen attachments that glow violet, orange, red, blue and white. Some attachments have pieces of metal inside them.
The popular attachments include the mushroom (below), a comb, a brush and what Bad Kitty calls the “interrogation attachment”.
The smaller the attachment surface to come near to or in contact with the skin, the more intense the sensation will be. A mushroom attachment will be gentle, the comb attachment will be a little stronger (Bad Kitty loves being combed), a pointed attachment will be stronger still and an attachment with a piece of wire coming out of it is the most intense of the lot. It is this “interrogation attachment” that my Foxette used on my back.
It is assumed that when starting to use the wand, you turn it to the most gentle setting. Bad Kitty has seen a few people with wands asking “Want to try electroplay?” and then zapping people who say yes with a very turned up wand. This puts people off electroplay and is not very nice. If you meet Bad Kitty with a wand you can be sure that your introduction will be much more gentle.
It was at an electroplay demo at the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar that Kitty first encountered a violet wand. Kitty had heard of Violet Wands but never seen one in the flesh. Kitty fell in love as soon as he saw and heard one. Anyone who loves the Universal Frankenstein films and Flash Gordon serials will know how lovely the electricals look. Ken Strickfaden’s work has influenced myriad movie versions of the Frankenstein story that followed. Demo bunny needed? Up went Kitty’s paw and Demo Kitty went up to be zapped. As a tactile experience it was wonderful. And looked gorgeous too! Kitty wanted to learn how they worked and spent a long time after the demo talking with people about them. It was then that Kitty decided to save up for one. Expensive but worth it. They are antiques, after all.
Bad Kitty has been been zapped at demos, private events, public events, friends’ houses and Kitty’s box and absolutely loves giving and receiving. Sometimes Kitty just wants the gentle sensation of being zapped by the mushroom or the relaxing feeling brought on my the use of the comb. Kitty purrs a lot when the comb is used on him.
Sometimes Kitty wants something a bit more intense but still relaxing enough to take him into subspace. Then there are times when Kitty wants to feel an intense zap which makes him squirm and squeal, a zap which leaves marks and is pleasantly painful. Violet wands can go from “Oooh! That’s nice and gentle, I like that!” all the way up to screams of safewords. They can be used to bring on a state of purring relaxation all the way through to a state of post quasi-torture shaking. It all depends on how the wand is used.
Resistance to electricity differs from person to person. What will make one person jump back and say “ouch!” may well have no effect on someone else. Bad Kitty knows someone whose response to being zapped on a high setting is usually a giggle and “doesn’t it go any higher?”
If you get a violet wand out at events you will probably draw a crowd of onlookers who will coo and ahh and maybe even ask if they could be zapped.
Let’s Get Zapping!
Check the health checklist below before you start zapping so you’re aware of places you can and can’t zap. Always start off gently. If you zap Kitty with a turned up wand first up then you’ll likely get a claw-filled swipe across the face and zapped equally powerfully somewhere painful. Pale skin usually marks easier than darker tones of skin.
If you do want to leave marks, you need to be aware that marking in this way is a kind of branding. What you leave on your subbie one night may look nice at that moment but be aware that although it might look to have healed completely a few months later, suntanning may reveal that word or symbol to an unintended audience. Be careful what you zap and where you zap it.
As with all kinky activities, safety should be taken seriously, even more so when electricity is involved. If you have any kind of heart issue, do not undertake any electroplay. High blood pressure should be well under management before undertaking electroplay. If you have any medical history which might cause issues or discomfort, be sure to discuss it with your play partners and advise them which areas to keep away from. Any metal implants, meshes, pins, plates, fillings and piercings will conduct electricity. As will steel boned corsets.
Buying A Wand
Bad Kitty recommends buying a wand – especially your first wand – from a known vendor, someone you can contact if there are any future problems with the wand or there’s something you just aren’t sure of.
The majority of violet wands out there are antiques, so you need to be sure about the wand you’re buying.
If you’re buying it at an event then you will be able to try it out and ask questions. Known vendors like Nick And Morphia (from whom Bad Kitty has bought two wands) will have checked the internals and replaced or reconditioned failing parts so that they will be safe to use.
If you do buy a wand from eBay or someone who isn’t known to your local kink community then get it checked over by someone who knows about violet wand maintenance. When you’re going to use electricity on someone you need to be as sure as you can that the wand is safe to use.
Always use an RCD circuit breaker device when using a violet wand on someone. If you’re using an extension reel then make sure that is also protected by an RCD. Better safe than sorry should be your motto. If you’re using a wand at an event it’s a good idea to check with the venue beforehand that their electrics are up to handling a wand. They should be, but Kitty has heard tales of events where someone has plugged in a wand and tripped the mains for the building. Be aware that at some venues finding a mains socket can be problematic, even if the venue has been hosting kinky events regularly.
The majority of violet wands out there are antiques. They should be treated with care and not overused. Once the handset starts to get warm, turn it off and let it cool down. If the handset starts to get warmer over shorter periods of time, check with the vendor to see if the wand needs servicing. Remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question where electricity is concerned.
Attachments eventually their glow and zap and need replacing. Vendors sometimes sell separate attachments. One thing to be aware of is the difference between American and European attachments. Generally the American attachments are a little bit larger than European ones so will not fit the European wands.
That’s about it for a general introduction. Do look at the links and info below too.
Have A Look At These
Antique Violet Wand Demonstration – This is a wand turned up quite a bit so you can see the sparks
Violet Wand Demonstration – How the mushroom attachment looks
This post is not intended as a complete primer, nor is it intended as a full checklist of things to do and not to do. These are Bad Kitty’s opinions based upon his experiences. As with many things in the kink scene there are a lot of contradictory opinions out there. The Bad Kitty cannot be held responsible for anything adverse that happens if you undertake any BDSM activities. The reader is advised to perform their own research before undertaking any purchases or electroplay. An excellent primer for complete beginners is Master Cosmic’s Electroplay Primer on Informed Consent.