Creating Pleasurable Sensations using a Wartenberg Pinwheel
Before I knew how to use a Wartenberg pinwheel, I thought they looked terrifying, maybe some sort of surgical instrument or medical device from old times. Ok, I still do think they look kind of scary in a Hellraiser sort of way, but once you get over their prickly appearance, the feeling of a Wartenberg wheel running over your skin is actually pretty tame. Ticklish, even!
What is a Wartenberg Pinwheel?
Named after its inventor, clinical neurologist and professor Dr Robert Wartenberg, Wartenberg wheels historically have been used to help test neurological reactions during medical examinations. When the rotating Wartenberg neuro wheel is rolled over the skin, one or more rows of small stainless-steel pins stimulate the nerve endings. Medical practitioners used them as a diagnostic tool to register any areas of the body suffering a loss of sensation, and nerve reactions much like a reflex hammer, but rolled over the skin instead. Commonly, the chrome-plated devices are known as Wartenberg Pinwheel 1,3,5,7 based on the sizes of the wheel overall.
Wartenberg pinwheels come in different shapes and sizes — from single to multiple pinwheels, side-by-side wheels, or two-pronged wheels. Due to hygiene concerns around the transmission of skin infections, Wartenberg pinwheels are rarely used in neurological testing and overall healthcare or medical practice today. If using a Wartenberg pinwheel with multiple partners, be sure to clean it thoroughly with an antibacterial toy cleaner, or sterilise the device using boiling water.
Why are Wartenberg Pinwheels used in BDSM?
As we know, BDSM play is largely about creating levels of stimulation and there are various tools that can help achieve that in different ways. Wartenberg pinwheels are just another tool to add to your bondage, BDSM and sex toy kit (or wishlist if this is something new to you!). Its whole purpose is to stimulate the nerves and heighten the skin’s sensitivity, so lends itself perfectly to the kink scene. The connection to medical equipment also makes them a popular fetish item.
How to use a Wartenberg Pinwheel
Using a Wartenberg pinwheel is pretty straightforward, but there are a couple of safety points to bear in mind. For example, if you’ve never used one before, stick to areas of the body where the skin is tougher: shoulders, the back, arms, bottom, thighs and legs are good places to begin. If you’re into tickling, you might want to try the bottom of the feet, but go steady. This can be a super-sensitive tickle or no-go zone for some people and could result in someone getting a heel to the face. Also, avoid pressing so hard that you pierce or bruise the skin.
Before using the pinwheel, warm your lover’s skin up with your fingertips and gentle nail strokes.
When you’re ready to introduce the Wartenberg pinwheel apply light pressure, running the wheel over the body quickly. The sensation should feel sort of ticklish.
If your partner so wishes, you can increase the pressure slightly and roll the wheel more slowly. The sensation might feel a little more painful, but depending on your threshold it should be a pleasurable pain.
Using a Wartenberg pinwheel in conjunction with other BDSM tools can feel really good. For example, as the skin becomes more sensitive to touch with the pinwheel, you might then bestow the gentlest of touches using a feather tickler.
Ready for pinpoint pleasure with a Wartenberg Pinwheel
If Wartenberg pinwheels intrigue you, you can find a selection of different designs and sizes in our Medical Fetish section.
Alternatively, discover what other BDSM tools are available and how to use them by visiting the bondage section to view our new products. Here you’ll find links to more guides on how to use everything from spanking paddles to feather ticklers with devastating effects.