Reprinted: Conversation on Violet ray Yahoo group, circa 2004

 

> Violet Wand or Violet Ray?

>

> The last post suggested that a Violet Wand is a one piece set and a Violet

> Ray is a two piece set, which I don’t think is accurate. To me they are all

> Violet Rays which is the correct historical term.

>

> They are also all Violet Wands and I use the term interchangeably.

>

> Violet Wand is always used in bdsm circles, but does anyone have any idea

> why and when this alternative term came into use? Does it refer to the whole

> thing, the handset or the glass electrodes?

>

> Alastair

>

 

Response from Violetwanda:

I’ve got some neat information on that, but I’ll get to it in a minute.  Some other things are a bit further off.

 

“According to some individuals, the high frequency of the violet wand produces a magnetic field that polarizes the electrons within the electric discharge.  Since the electrons are similarly charged they will naturally repulse each other and hence dissipate across the surface of the skin and not penetrate the skin. However, this theory does have some flaws to it, in reality the electric discharge actually penetrates the skin approximately .075 centimeters.”

This ‘theory’ (see below also) has more than some flaws, and we’ve got too many electrically inclined people in this group.   But the number .075 as a current depth penetration was a number bandied about around 10 years ago when the skin effect myth was still pervasive.  Uncle Abdul (the man who ‘wrote the book’ about electrical play) was the first to lay the ‘skin effect myth’ to rest as it pertains to violet wands.  If an electrical kink user hasn’t read his stuff, either his book or website, they are missing too much information, but its been understood for a while now that in reality, vw current penetrates far deeper than that.

Three years ago we (Violetwanda and Eclectic Electric) funded a research grant at a local university that put the vw skin effect myth under a controlled study with dead pigs and ballistic gel (which behaves in many ways like human flesh). (and also which we are working on a deal to buy the publication rights from the physics grad. who did the research for us, and for Uncle Abdul to publish those results).  The work found the current from a violet wand penetrates far deeper than not only this outdated figure quoted (a figure sometimes still bandied about from website to website as ‘the truth’) and many others suggest.  Most of the techies on this list have sufficient knowledge that they could work the skin effect formula with human variables and could find that out for themselves if they wished. (The skin effect formula determines at what depth a current will drop to a fraction of its original current in a solid conductor of known magnetic resonance, electrical resistance and diameter.)  Using the magnetic resonance of a human and the electrical resistance of human skin and then human flesh, if you worked these variables on the skin depth formula using a diameter of a human part the size of a thumb, for example, it gives you a ‘skin depth penetration’ result of well over 30 centimeters.  (Don’t quote that yet, because that is not the actual figure…sorry to be obtuse, but its precisely because we have not yet completed the deal for the right to publish the results.)

The grant research was twofold;  firstly, it determined the depth of current by working the skin depth formula using human variables, and secondly, it correlated those results by physically testing vw current depth on a dead pig.  The findings from both the formulaic and practical research showed that while human skin is resistant, flesh doesn’t act like solid conductors such as metal, but rather like a thin resistant outer shell full of conductive goop.  Thus the actual tests found vw current traveling fairly freely in the body with any differing measurements largely dependent upon diameters of areas tested, thickness of skin (though the pigskin was thinned in ‘zap’ areas to correlate with like thicknesses of human skin) and the presence of any resistant interior areas such as large concentrations of bone (pelvic region, for example).

Wands are one of the least understood BDSM toys, and the info that usually gets passed from ‘expert’ to ‘expert’ is just repetition, one reason this myth (or the myth that they produce enough UV to cause burns such as M. Norische also mentions) still rears its head.  This is one reason we’ve begun certifying our Violet Wand Demonstrators and Master Instructors (both paid courses) to put our name behind accurate and -up to date- information.

Outdated or misinformation is also tied into how the term ‘violet wand’ started.  Back in the 80s, a Multi-level marketing scheme out west was touting violet ray type tesla coils as an alternative medical device.  They weren’t making quite the same outrageous claims that had been hailed 60 years before, but they still made medical claims.  Wanting to put their devices forth as ‘new and improved’, they called them violet wands rather than violet rays.  They were single piece units, and it referred to the device which you inserted electrodes in it to produce the healing/stimulating electrical current.  The FDA again soon stepped in to force the MLM to quite making medical claims, and the MLM quit selling them.  The term ‘Violet Wand’ was merely a creative marketing ploy.

Somewhere between that failed MLM venture and Donnie Rice of Erotec (who is now deceased) they started being marketed as a sex toy.  (I mean, what do you do with a bunch of violet ray kits that you can no longer sell as alternative medical devices?)  Now, I had seen my first violet ray in Germany back in 1979 when my (then) husband and I were having fun in the red light districts and I saw one used in a nice little doctor/patient scenario, so it looks like someone may have made an intuitive leap to market them the same way in the US.

Donnie Rice was probably not the first entrepreneur to market them to the kinky folk but he was the first well-known venture to do so.  Surely, inventive kinky people had probably enjoyed v-ray secondary uses all along, but they had not previously been a market.  Now they were suddenly and possibly lucrative market, and a number of the ‘theories’ of how violet wands worked were invented simply in an effort to convince the growing kink market of their safety, and that their sellers knew what they were talking about.  The MLM’s marketing term of ‘Violet Wand’ carried into the BDSM market.

Violet Wands, violet rays, high frequency; the technology is basically the same but with some differences. The largest difference is that the markets and uses are different.  Just like Televisions and Computer Monitors are different, but the same, that’s the closest correlation.  I’d say all violet wands are violet ray devices, but not all violet ray devices are violet wands, only because you can’t use them the same way.  The parent technology (after the tesla coil granddaddy) is the alternative medical (violet ray) device. By the time we reach into today though, that parent has spawned beauty ‘high frequency’ devices that in no way could be used by the kink set… there’s NO level of output to speak of, and the glass electrodes will break if you sneeze at them.  Those are violet ray devices too, but they’d be useless to the kinky set.  Conversely a beauty aesthetician couldn’t use a ‘violet wand’ or her customers would walk out for discomfort or even sue for burns.  Thus the real difference in calling a device either a ‘violet ray’, a ‘high frequency’ or a ‘violet wand’ is due to its end consumer, and defines differences not in the general technology, but in minor technological differences pertinent to what the end consumer expects from behavior of the device.  Ongoing changes in engineering are the newest change.  Violet rays have that 10-minute capacitor that isn’t much good for kinky purposes.  New violet wands are being engineered with capacitors for indefinite use.  The coil construction is the same, but now you have a big difference in what you’re doing with it, again, television versus computer monitor. I think you can expect differences to continue to grow in future as both consumer needs change and technology strives to keep up. 

 

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