A commonly seen tool in the BDSM world is the Wartenberg sprocket, or: the pinwheel. This rotating wheel object with sharp points can be used in almost any BDSM scene. Read everything you need to know about pinwheels in this article.

The origin of the pinwheel

The pinwheel is named after the neurologist Robert Wartenberg, who designed the wheel to test his patients’ nerve responses. Simply by rolling the rotating wheel over the skin. The sharp points stimulate the skin.

Normally the Wartenberg wheel is made of stainless steel, although plastic variants are now also available.

The pinwheel as a tool in the BDSM world

The pinwheel is an excellent toy to use in any BDSM game. The sharp pins on the wheel can cause a pain stimulus on the skin of a – in most cases – submissive partner. It is not without reason that the pinwheel is also called the Wheel of Pain .

Using the Wheel of Pain

To use the pinwheel in a BDSM game, not much has to be done. The pins can be rolled over the skin of the sub. The more pressure a Dom puts on the skin, the more painful the sensation will be. The sharp pins will also leave a trace on the skin, which sometimes remain in the skin for a longer time.

The wheel can be used on any part of the body. Common parts include the arms, buttocks and thighs, but also the nipples, penis and scrotum can be pained with pinwheels. For example, it is a handy tool for, among other things, genitorture. The use of a pinwheel is also very suitable for people who call themselves a sensualist: people who do BDSM, without actual pain playing an important role, but who do value play that focuses on sensory sensations (such as feeling).

Medical play

The Wartenberg wheel is very suitable for use during Medical Play. A role play takes place between the Dom and his or her sub, in which the doctor-patient role distribution is simulated. Various ‘medical’ operations can then be performed with a pinwheel.

Safe and responsible use of the Wartenberg wheel

Agree with your partner in advance what the wishes and limits are. A hard boundary can be indicated with a stop word or sign. A sub can indicate by means of the word or sign that the limit has been reached, which the Dom must respect in any case.

After using the pinwheel, it is possible that there are body fluids, such as blood on the pins. It is very important to clean the pinwheel well after use. Rinse it under the tap and then dry it well. Then apply toy cleaner or a disinfectant, which you then wipe well. This way you prevent the sub from being at risk of possible infections when reused.

Types of pinwheels

The most common type is the pinwheel with one rotating wheel with pins. In addition, pinwheels are available with multiple wheels next to each other. In general, a single pinwheel can cause more pressure and pain than a multiple pinwheel, because the pressure is better distributed over the skin with multiple wheels.