Kink Dictionary


Wartenberg Wheel

What is a Wartenberg Wheel?

A Wartenberg wheel is a device used in the medical field to test nerve ending reactions. It is a small wheel on a handle, with small, sharp spikes that can be rolled over the skin. The wheel was named after Robert Wartenberg, a German neurologist who first used it in the 20th century to test for nerve damage.

How is it used in kink?

While the Wartenberg wheel was originally designed for medical use, it has since found a place in the world of kink as a tool for sensory play. The sharp spikes on the wheel can create a range of sensations on the skin, from mild tickling to intense pricking or even pain, depending on the pressure and speed of the rolling. Some people enjoy using the Wartenberg wheel as part of their BDSM play, either as a standalone activity or in combination with other forms of sensation play.

How to use a Wartenberg wheel safely

As with any form of kink play, safety is key when using a Wartenberg wheel. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the wheel is clean and sanitized before and after use.
  • Start with light pressure and slow rolling, gradually increasing intensity if desired.
  • Avoid using the wheel on sensitive areas like the face, neck, or genitals.
  • Communicate with your partner throughout the experience to ensure they are comfortable and enjoying themselves.
  • Have a safe word in place in case either partner needs to stop the activity.

Other sensory play activities

If you enjoy using a Wartenberg wheel for sensory play, there are plenty of other activities you may also enjoy. Here are just a few:

  • Using a feather tickler to lightly brush the skin
  • Playing with temperature, such as using ice or hot wax
  • Experimenting with different textures, such as silk or leather
  • Using a blindfold to heighten other senses


A Wartenberg wheel may have originated as a medical device, but it has since found a place in the world of kink as a tool for sensory play. With proper communication and safety precautions, it can be a fun and exciting addition to your BDSM play. Just remember to start slowly and work your way up to more intense sensations, and always prioritize the comfort and well-being of your partner.

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