Violet wand

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An old-style violet wand showing a handpiece with the gas-filled glass bulb which carries the electrical current. Note the adjustment dial for varying the current

A violet wand being applied to a woman's nipple. The violet colour in the tube is the gas glowing as the electrical current flows through it

A violet wand consists of electrically-insulated hand-pieces connected to a generator or transformer. Glass bulbs, similar to light bulbs, are plugged in to the hand-pieces. The bulbs are filled with a gas through which the electrical current from the transformer or generator can flow. As it does so, the gas lights up. Depending on the gas this glow may be green or violet (hence the name of the device) or red/orange.

In BDSM, violet wands are used in electro play.

In use, the person being "treated" with the violet wand is connected to the generator/transformer with one wire to their body while the glass bulb is moved over other parts of their body (or inserted into their body) so that electric current flows through the bulb into the person. This causes small sparks between the bulb and the skin giving sensations ranging from a slight tingling, to pin pricks, to electric shock. The intensity can be controlled on the generator/transformer.

Violet wands usually come with a range of differently-shaped bulbs to allow the sparks to be localised to a single "stream" or spread out over a larger area. As noted above, some bulbs are more rod-like and can be inserted into bodily orifices, such as the vagina or anus. Insertion carries a risk if the rod should break in situ for any reason (convulsions, orgasms, twisting, etc.)

Other uses of a violet wand are to replace the bulbs with a length of chain and drape it over the person's body, or to replace the bulb with another person who then runs their fingers over the person with the sparks in this case jumping from fingers to skin.

Metal nipple- or other body-piercings are frequent objects of attention in violet wand sessions. Some people claim that the piercings increase the sensation. Some practitioners may also combine electro play and piercing.

Prolonged use of a violet wand on one particular part of the body has been reported to lead to minor burning akin to sun-burn.