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If you’re looking for a new sensory device to spice up your BDSM play sessions, the Wartenberg Pinwheel makes an excellent choice! 

The Wartenberg wheel features a row of spikes that are designed to glide over the skin. It was originally invented as a neurological device for testing nerve reactions and quickly found its way into the world of BDSM and sensory play.

In this Wartenberg pinwheel BDSM guide, I’ll go over what this sex wheel is, what it’s made from, and explain how to use it during playtime for a pleasurable experience. 

Then, I’ll go over a couple of precautions you should take to help keep you and your submissives safe while you’re using the Wartenberg wheel as a sensation sex toy.

What Is the Wartenberg Wheel?

The Wartenberg Wheel is a spiked handheld device that was originally used as a medical device to test nerve reactions. The wheel has several evenly spaced pins that you run against the body, producing various sensations depending on how much pressure you apply. 

Some Wartenberg Pinwheels only have one wheel, whereas others have a row of wheels. The more wheels there are, the more intense the sensation is since the wheels cover a wider surface area, stimulating multiple regions at once. 

While this barbed contraption looks like something designed by a sadomasochist, it was actually invented by Dr. Robert Wartenberg to test nerve reactivity in his patients. However, this innocent medical device was quickly repurposed by the BDSM community for kinkier activities! 

Does Using a Wartenberg Pinwheel Hurt?

While Wartenberg wheels look scary, they don’t hurt as much as their intimidating appearance will have you believe! In fact, many sex pinwheels are great for experimenting with gentle sensory play for vanilla users as well as kinky BDSM. 

By prickling over the skin, the wheel heightens sensitivity by drawing blood to the surface. Most Wartenberg wheels don’t actually cut or cause bleeding, they simply glide over the skin. The sensations they cause are not painful, but can be described as a gentle prickle!

Different BDSM pinwheel devices feature spikes with varying levels of sharpness, as well as different levels of spacing around the wheel, and number of rows of spikes, which all contribute to the level of intensity felt. 

What Is It Made From?

Wartenberg Wheel BDSM

BDSM wheels are generally made from three different types of materials. We’ll discuss these in detail below: 

  • Stainless steel – is the most common material. It’s also one of the best since it’s temperature-responsive and easy to clean. Plus, it doesn’t rust! Some stainless steel wheels contain nickel, so make sure to read the product description carefully if you or your subs have a nickel allergy! 
  • Plastic – is a decent BDSM wheel material. Plastic pinwheels tend to be cheaper than stainless steel ones and come in a wide variety of colors, so you can select whichever shade is best for your mood and BDSM scene. However, plastic wheels aren’t as durable as metal varieties. Additionally, they’re more difficult to sterilize. So, they may not be the best choice in the long run. 
  • Chrome-plated iron – wheels are durable and tend to be slightly cheaper than stainless steel. However, they rust over time, which can be dangerous. So, I recommend avoiding this material if possible. 

How To Play With the Wartenberg Wheel

There are several ways you can use a Wartenberg wheel to create various pleasurable sensations during playtime. Try out the five techniques listed below to make your pinwheel BDSM sessions even more thrilling: 

Play Around With Pressure

Start by lightly running the BDSM pinwheel across your partner’s skin. You should begin in thicker, less sensitive areas, like the back or shoulders. That’ll give them a taste of the sensation to get them excited for more. 

As your session progresses, press the Wartenberg wheel firmly into your subs’ less responsive regions to increase the intensity. The sensation should go from a light tickle to a painful prick as each barb runs across their skin.

Then, reduce the pressure again and apply the wheel to their sensitive areas, like the feet, breasts, and wrists. Save the genitals for last, for an explosive finale! 

Applying too much pressure to their delicate areas can be very painful. So, only use tiny bits of pressure and ensure the pain is tolerable, not excruciating.

Experiment With Temperature

If you have a metal sex pinwheel, try heating it in warm water or putting it in the freezer to experiment with temperature play. 

Make sure to test the wheel on your own body before applying it to your subs to make sure you won’t burn them! 

When you’re ready, apply the hot or cold metal pinwheel firmly against your submissives’ skin. The combined sensation of the spikes and the intense temperature will drive them absolutely wild.

Try It With Electrostimulation

Some BDSM pinwheels are designed to be used during electrostimulation sessions. They have sockets in their handles that you can hook up with an electro power box to produce sharp shocks wherever you place them on the body. 

Typically, you can adjust the intensity and pattern of the shocks the pinwheel provides to switch up the sensations during playtime. So, try experimenting with different settings on each part of your sub’s body! 

Use It After Impact Play

Wartenberg Pinwheel BDSM Sex Toy Guide

After playing with a whip or paddle, the skin becomes red and sensitive. This is the perfect time to use a Wartenberg wheel since the sharp pins will feel even more intense. 

If you don’t have a flogger on hand, try pinching, slapping, or gently biting your partner’s body to increase their sensitivity. 

Play All by Yourself

Many BDSM toys are challenging to play with by yourself. However, that isn’t the case with the Wartenberg wheel! You can easily run this sensory toy over your legs, stomach, and genitals to excite yourself during solo sessions. 

Try blindfolding yourself to enhance your sensory experience. Not being able to see will force you to focus on the prickles you feel against your skin, thereby heightening the sensations!

Safety Tips While Using the Wartenberg Wheel

As with any BDSM sex toy, there are certain precautions you should take before and after you use your Wartenberg wheel to help ensure you and your subs remain healthy and safe. These include: 

Check for Rust

If you get a pinwheel made from chrome-plated iron, you’ll have to carefully check it before each use to ensure it’s safe. If you notice any rust on the spikes, immediately throw away the toy. If you use a rusty toy, your playmates may get tetanus, which can have some severe (or even fatal) consequences! 

Clean Thoroughly After Every Use

If you have a metal or stainless steel wheel, you have several cleaning options. For a thorough clean, put it in boiling water for five minutes or so. You can also put your toy in a bleach and water solution for around 10 minutes or put it in the dishwasher. 

However, if your BDSM pinwheel is made of plastic, you should clean it with antibacterial soap and water. Don’t boil it, as this will misshape the plastic. 

If your subs bleed onto your wheel during playtime, you need to perform an especially thorough clean. If you don’t, there’s the possibility that blood-borne illnesses can be transferred to the following user! 

Take Care of Sensitive Skin and Wounds

Depending on the type of Wartenberg wheel you choose to roll across your subs’ bodies, they may be a little red and sensitive. So, you may need to perform some aftercare on them to help them heal and prevent infections. 

You must ensure you clean out any wounds. Then apply antibacterial cream and a bandage to the injury to help it heal. 

Once you’ve tended to any cuts, you should try to soothe their sensitive skin. I recommend using non-scented lotion or aloe. If your sub’s skin feels itchy, try applying an anti-itch cream like Cortizone to help with their discomfort. 

Final Thoughts 

During playtime, press the wheel into your sub’s skin with varying amounts of pressure to alter the sensation. Try incorporating temperature play, electrostimulation, or impact play into your session to make things more intense.  

To help keep your subs safe, make sure you check the wheel for rust and clean it thoroughly after each use. Additionally, remember the BDSM rules of Safe Sane Consensual when engaging in any new BDSM practice!

Hold up!

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