It is hard not to love the Neon Wand, both as an object and as a sex toy. It is beautiful, fun, and versatile. I liked it the first time I used it, but I didn’t buy one immediately because I wasn’t sure I would actually work it into my sex life if I owned one. At the time I may have been right about that, but the problem was not with the toy but with my sex life.
Luckily, my sex life (and my creativity around sex!) improved since I first used the the Neon Wand, which is now one of my overall favorite toys — for partner sex (second only to my big silicon cock and strap-on harness!). Unlike my big silicone cock and strap-on harness, however, the Neon Wand is a very particular sex toy that is uniquely designed for partner sex. Although I do play with it alone to get ideas about how I might like to use the wand on others later, I don’t usually get off doing that. Using the Neon Wand alone is like trying to tickle myself: I want it to be fun, but I can’t experience it the same way I do with another person. For me, it is a toy to be shared.
In order to explain why the Neon Wand is cool, I need to explain how it is different from other electrostim toys. Most normal electrostim sex toys work by passing current between two electrodes, using your body to complete a circuit. The voltage in these systems sometimes oscillates, but it does so at a low enough frequency that the oscillation does not affect the function of the toy. You can think of it as a simple circuit, just like lighting up a light bulb, applying a voltage and inducing a current. You always need at least two electrodes, and you always pass current from one to the other. The Neon Wand works differently. An inert gas (such as Argon or Neon) is trapped inside a glass shell. An oscillating voltage at a high frequency (much higher than the oscillations I mentioned before) is then applied to the gas. The glass part of the toy (which touches your skin) does not conduct electricity, so no electrons pass directly into or out of your body. However, the rapidly changing voltage is very near your body, separated only by the thin glass insulating layer. The oscillating voltage pulls and pushes the electrons that are already in your skin back and forth. With a large enough oscillating voltage, the wiggling electrons on your skin’s surface create a current that is strong enough to feel — and it feels great!
This mechanism has a few interesting effects. First, when current moves in your skin, current also moves in the trapped gas, causing the toy to glow from the inside like a neon lamp in the places it is touching your body. If you turn off the lights when you’re playing with this one you get an extra cool light show. I love to play this up for effect; it is a lot easier to turn someone on when what you are doing to them is appealing to their visual as well as their tactile senses. Plus you get to feel like a mad scientist.
Second, the sensations produced by the wand are more consistent than normal electrostim. Electrical contact with the skin depends heavily on moisture, hair, and skin thickness, which will all affect how intense the sensation of a normal electrostim toy will feel. Because the Neon Wand doesn’t rely on direct electrical contact with your skin, it creates a much more consistent sensation. I can test out a given setting or attachment on myself, and be confident that the other person will feel something similar to what I feel. This makes me much more confident using it on others, and more comfortable asking someone inexperienced to use it on me.
Third, unlike normal electrostim, the current produced by the Neon Wand is always on the surface the skin. It has no way to penetrate through the dermis. Normal electrostim can pass current deeper, potentially affecting muscles and other tissue. Some find this to be pleasant or even therapeutic, but it can potentially be dangerous if used at reckless voltage levels near the heart or brain. It is therefore a bad idea to use traditional electrostim devices on the chest, back, or head, which is kind of a drag. A Neon Wand is safe to play with anywhere on the body. Nipple play is in!
Together, the visual appeal, consistency of sensation, and versatility contribute to making the neon wand a pleasure to use. With a single electrode that gives a consistent sensation with few safety concerns, I feel like I can pull this toy out in the heat of the moment and dive in without derailing the mood.
Through swapping between the electrodes, the wand can also be a highly versatile toy. You can use the tip of a pointed electrode to produce sharp pinching sensations, which appeal to people who like small nips or mild pain. Using a flatter or more distributed electrode feels gentler, and can be extremely relaxing and pleasurable on sensitive bits of skin like the scalp or scrotum. The wand comes with four different attachments, and between them it is usually possible to get a wide range of sensations. I like to start gentle, and work in more intense sensations little by little as my partner gets more excited. I slowly increase the voltage and make more use of the sharp tips of the electrodes to produce more intense sensations as we get going.
If this isn’t enough to keep you busy (or even if it is), you can buy accessories. The first accessory you will want to buy is an attachment that clips to the arm of the person administering the shocks, making very good electrical contact with their skin. This person’s body becomes one giant electrode with a rapidly oscillating voltage. The toy itself can be set aside; it is only a power source now. The electrified person feels nothing until they touch someone else; then both people feel current wherever they come into contact. Everything you like to do with your fingers, tongue, or any other part of your body can become tantalizing electrical torture. You can really get creative with this one. Oral sex can be especially delightful (just make sure to check in a lot about how it feels, as always). In this mode, remember that the more surface area comes into contact with the other person, the less intense the sensation. A single narrow point of contact will be most intense, and when you press a large area of skin against someone you won’t feel much of anything.
To add even more fun sensations, you can use this attachment to electrify yourself and then hold any metal object to turn it into a new electrode of your own. Small metal chains or wartenberg pinwheels are popular for this purpose, but you can get creative with anything conductive in your kitchen. There is no end to the fun.
Together, all of this possibility makes the Neon Wand by far my favorite electrostim toy for partnered sex. The convenience, safety, consistency and versatility make me want to use the toy often, both as foreplay and as the focus of a scene.
This article is an excerpt from the book, ‘Better Than the Hand: How Masturbation is the Key to Better Sex & Healthier Living.’
MISSING PRODUCT ID
Ned Would is a bay area queer geek with a background in experimental Physics and a very dirty mind. He has been involved with the porn industry since 2010 as a performer and adult industry web developer, providing software support for independent performers and small studios (including, for a while, his own DIY porn site). In 2011 Ned created a biometric buttplug capable of wirelessly streaming live data about muscle contractions, heartrate, and other physiological signals of arousal and orgasm to a nearby computer in real time. Ned's work in the adult industry focuses on fighting stigma, created a safer work environment, and increasing performers' agency over their role in the adult industry. He is currently working on a suite of privacy and security tools designed for adult industry performers and studios.8 Articles