My first brush with electro play was a seemingly harmless video of a guy using a shock collar on himself every time he cussed in an effort to stop his use of bad language. Within the first two minutes of the video, I could tell that there was something erotic about this, for me.
I don’t know what it was - the image of someone attractive wearing a shock collar, the pain being inflicted or simply just imagining myself having the power to press the button whenever I wanted to make this attractive guy squirm - but I was intrigued.
Turns out, I’m not alone in my fascination with this fetish - and while the appeal for me lies in very basic electro-play that has more to do with the act of control than inflicting pain, electrostimulation is an extreme fetish that many people take to all new heights.
Erotic electrostimulation (referred to as “e-stim” or electric play) most often refers to the use of electricity to arouse and provide sexual gratification - this can be accomplished by shock machines and toys that are designed specifically for erotic use.
Electrophilia is the term coined for this fetish, and many people believe that this specific sexual fantasy is more prevalent in women than in men.
Electrophiles can completely vary in what they desire - just like any other kink or fetish, there are going to be varying levels of what people enjoy. Some people want nothing more than a little tingling sensation, while others are looking for a painful, shocking jolt of electricity.
E-stim typically falls under the “CBT” (cock and ball torture) fetish category because the most common form of this play is when a dom would shock their submissive’s genitals by attaching electrical contraptions to them. This can be done using either a wand or an electrostimulation system that stimulates the nerve endings.
Although this fetish is catagorized under CBT, it’s not just for men - women can enjoy erotic electro play as well by attaching the electrical current to their nipples or vagina, as well as using wands or placing the electrodes to the skin.
While not all electric play is quite as extreme, like the use of a shock collar compared to the use of an electric-shock machine - even the more tame versions of this fetish can have risks involved. Because of this, most electro play is considered to be a form of edgeplay.
This kind of play is fairly common among the BDSM community and can be used in a variety of different situations. Most e-stim toys have varying settings from gentle tingling sensations all the way up to heavy, painful shocks.
Why is any form of edgeplay appealing? The pain, the mystery, the anticipation, the control - these are all reasons why being shocked (or shocking someone else) during an e-stim session can be arousing and satisfying.
As someone who is interested in electro play but hasn’t dabbled too far into the mix, here are some reasons why electrostimulation seems alluring and fun.
Touch is one of our most delicate senses.
Have you ever gotten goosebumps from your lover gently running their fingers along your body? Enjoyed those light, soft kisses that make the hairs on your body stand on end?
Electro play is like that but to the next level.
While I’m not particularly into tortureplay, for those people who are - this can be something else to add to your sexual arsenal.
Think less sensual, more “I’m going to tie you up and shock you until you give me what I want”. Of course, caution needs to be practiced even more when you’re dealing with torture play, but there is something that is next level about adding a bit of electricity to your pain play.
As with any kind of edgeplay, the appeal lies in the primality of it. Human beings are erotic and curious by nature, so experimenting with things like electrostimulation or breath play can feel empowering and adventurous.
For me, the allure lies in being able to express the dominant in me, because she doesn’t get out nearly as often as she should.
If you are a submissive who wants to be dominated in a new kind of way, or a dominant who wants to explore new ways of controlling your sub - electro play can make that power feel even more real.
Electricity is interesting and the way the BDSM community has adapted things like electricity to suit our erotic fantasies is fascinating.
When we think of being “zapped” or “electrocuted”, there is usually thought of pain and fear. But really, not many of us know what it’s actually like. When you’re using an e-stim toy, it’s like you’re a bit pleasantly surprised that it’s not as bad as you always thought it would be.
Even if you’re not super interested in electro play, many people try it simply for the experience of having electricity course through their bodies at a relatively safe level.
While many e-stim toys have been specifically designed for erotic play, there are still very real dangers involved with playing with any kind of electricity. Caution should always be practiced when participating in any form of edgeplay because mistakes here could be fatal.
In fact, in 2008, a man was accused of involuntary manslaughter after an e-stim session with his wife went wrong and he electrocuted her. The county coroner on the case explained that “even if it’s something you’ve done before, you have to know that you could kill someone.''
At the beginning of every electro-play session, agree on a safe word with your partner, ensure you understand how the machine you’re using works and be prepared to act quickly if something goes wrong.
Make sure the equipment you’re using is working properly. Check cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or damaged. If you’re using an extension cord, consider using a heavy-duty outdoor extension cord because they are more durable than the indoor ones.
Check to ensure there is no corrosion of batteries you may be using in your device as this can make it malfunction. To avoid corrosion of batteries, don’t store your toys with batteries in them - take them out after you’re done using them because it may be weeks or months until you use that toy again. Corrosion is more likely if the batteries have been sitting in the device without being used for some time.
Buy your toys from a proper sex toy retailer...not some sketchy third-party dealer, as these can be very hard-to-catch knockoffs that are not nearly as safe as the originals. Companies like Violet Wand have even put out warnings against knock-offs like the VioletWanda. This video also takes a close look at different knockoff violet wand - you can tell just how poorly made it is and the dangers that can cause.
Understand the type of electricity you’re using. For example, the Violet Wand will produce a different kind of electricity than a TENS machine. Without getting too technical, you can learn about how different voltages, currents, and circuits work. If you want a very brief summary of how electricity interacts in our bodies, check out this video by Morgan Thorne on Youtube.
Avoid electro play if you have a pacemaker, a heart condition, a seizure disorder or if you are pregnant as this can bring health risks that are just not worth it!
Be aware of electric fields. Violet Wands, for example, can destroy electronic devices because of their electric field - so keep other electronics away while you play.
You should never place electrodes anywhere above your waist, with most people preferring to have them placed on their genitals or the inside of their thighs.
Skin surface injuries (like a cut or abrasion) resist current much less than healthy tissue does, and because of this, electro play should never be performed on a wound like this.
Use a water-based lube while practicing electro play. Silicone or oil-based lubricants can act as insulators, which is not at all what you want.
I want to be zapped, but where? When playing with electrical toys, it’s helpful to know which areas on the body are more sensitive.
Thick and dry skin (for example, your calf) is going to be sensitive, but not too sensitive.
Thin and dry skin (for example, your inner thigh) is where things are kicked up a notch - this will feel great. Wet or sweaty skin is quite a bit more sensitive than any dry skin will be. Internal spots like inside the vagina are going to be extremely sensitive.
One of the key factors in determining where you will be zapped (or do the zapping) is taking into account the area of flesh involved. The larger the area, the more dispersion of the current, the less you will feel it.
The second key factor in determining where to apply the electricity has to do with spasms/contractions that can be caused by the current. There are three different types of contractions you should be aware of: major muscle contractions, genital contractions, and cardiorespiratory system contractions.
Major Muscle Contractions - these would be the arm and leg muscles, mostly. They can involuntarily spasm or contract, turning the pulse into anything from a twitch to an actual kick or punch. Binding your limbs is even worse, as the contraction happens anyways and if you’re bound, there is more of a chance of a sprain or pulled muscle.
Genital Contractions - you’re thinking, this is what I came for, right? Well, you’re right. The spasm of your genitals, while they are contracting to the current of the device or machine, can indeed feel explosively pleasurable.
Cardiorespiratory System Contractions - this is as dangerous as it sounds. If your diaphragm contracts at the wrong time, a respiratory crisis can happen. This is the main cause of medical emergencies when it comes to electrostimulation, and although this can happen to anyone, it’s even more common in people who have experienced heart problems before. This is why it’s highly recommended not to use any form of electricity above the waist.
If you’re interested in practicing erotic electrostimulation like a pro, this article from Kinkly has a ton of helpful information!
Electro play just simply isn’t possible without the use of some toys, because you know - you need electricity. There are three most common electrical toys that are used in e-stim play: neon wands, violet wands and TENS units.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation units (TENS units) are medical units that were originally designed for nerve stimulation to provide pain relief in the 1970s...but since then, many TENS units have been redesigned and marketed specifically for erotic e-stim play.
The idea behind the TENS unit was that the electrodes could be placed around an area you’re feeling pain and the pulses would sort of “trick” the nerves into not sending pain signals to the brain. Instead, the sen3sation given is a good one, which often send pleasure signals instead of pain signals...which is obviously how the idea of turning it into a sex toy came about.
HOW IT WORKS: A TENS unit is a device that delivers electric currents through (2 or more) stick-on electrode pads attached to your skin, that stimulates nerve endings. The unit can be set at a low setting to produce tingling sensations or it can be set at a higher intensity to cause pain and even muscular contractions.
The use of a TENS unit is generally considered safe if you steer clear of the more dangerous parts of the body - it’s considered that you should avoid placing the electrodes anywhere on your upper torso, definitely avoiding putting them close to your heart.
Oh, also - you may want to consider shaving.
The electrodes stick directly (and firmly) to your skin and don’t move until you peel them off. As well as avoiding a very painful and ineffective self-waxing session while removing the electrodes after you play, you will also have better luck if you have more skin area free of hair to transmit the electricity better.
According to Violet over at LoveMetro, if you put one electrode pad on yourself and have the other on your partner, simply touching each other’s skin completes the circuit, causing you to have a literal electric touch.
The sensual thing about this is that the more contact you have, the less powerful the electric pulse will be because the surface connection area is larger. If you want to really drive your partner wild, lightly trail the very tips of your fingers across their body - this will concentrate the connection to only the tip of your fingers, making the zap feel stronger.
Talk about the magic touch.
Violet wands use an electro-magnetic coil transformer (similar to the Tesla coil) that is designed to provide low-current, high-voltage, high-frequency electricity to your body.
While this sounds dangerous, the violet wands you buy in sex shops have been specifically designed and engineered to be safe sex toys.
While they are typically used in couples play, with the help of an attachment, you can use electric wands in solo play, too. Violet Wands are made by several different manufacturers, compared to the neon wand (which we’ll talk about below) that is specifically sold by KinkLab.
How does it work?
Basically, you have the wand, and then you have different electrodes that can be attached to the wand’s tip.
Each electrode can have a different sensation and different currents, depending on what you want. Most electrodes are made of glass that lights up when electricity passes through them. Some other electrodes will be glass ball-shapes (like plasma balls) that allow the sparks inside the glass tubing to follow your touch.
Violet wands have a wide range of sensations that can be controlled with the adjustment knob. You can go from a tiny sensual tingling all the way up to significantly painful jolts or shocks. This high level of adjustment is what makes them such a popular toy - you can be sensual or you can be intense...your choice.
On the lowest setting, the sensation is light and tingly. When the wand is set to mid-range, the feeling has been described as holding a fireworks sparkler close to you and letting the sparks hit your skin...tiny little zaps that are almost painful but not quite. On the highest setting, the feeling has been described as a burning or cutting sensation.
If you want to see a Violet Wand being used on two ordinary people who host a talk show...well, you’re in luck! Watching these two discover the Violet Wand and varying levels of electricity is a great way to see what this toy has to offer (not to mention how priceless it is waiting for the guy to use his safeword!)
If you’re interested in different techniques on using the violet wand as well as more safety information, read through this insightful article.
The Neon Wand (which is considered a bit less powerful than the violet wand) is an e-stim toy that is exclusively by Kinklab.
Most neon wands come with a few different attachments, the most popular being a comb, a mushroom, a 90° probe, and a tongue. Each of these attachments offers a different sensation, so things will never get boring.
KinkLab has even gone a step further and recently come out with some all-new attachments like the heart-shaped electrode (which I’m really excited about), to give you all those sensual, romantic feels. Then there is the electro-whip attachment for those who are interested in a bit more of the lustful leather vibes.
How does it work?
Well, each attachment works a bit differently.
The Comb is a great beginner attachment, because the power is less concentrated, being spread over all the prongs of the comb. Many people say this attachment doesn’t give very much stimulation on lower settings and it’s commonly used more for foreplay than anything else.
The Mushroom was made for the clitoris. I mean, you can use it on other places of the body as well, but the way it’s designed allows it to not only hit your clit in juuuust the right spot, but it also gets the entire clitoral hood, too.
The Tongue is a more concentrated, intense zap because all the power is concentrated to the tip of the attachment, which is small in surface area. This is a great attachment if you want to trace your lover’s body or give them short, quick zaps of something that’s more painful than just a tickle.
The Probe offers the most painful sensations of all the attachments, though many people say it’s still quite mild compared to a TENS unit or Violet Wand.
For a super detailed review of the Neon Wand (and all its attachments), check out this Youtube video.
If you enjoy being spanked and want to add a bit of shazam to that paddle play, consider an electroshock paddle...I know I am.
What is a shock paddle? Well, think about one of those electric bug zappers that look like tennis rackets...but sexier.
Zeus is the more well-known, best-reviewed seller of electro paddles, with the Fetish Fantasy Shock Paddle coming in at a second best. Adding a paddle that electrifies your spanking foreplay can give you a little taste of electro play without you having to commit to buying a more expensive wand or TENS unit.
When it comes to e-stim vibrators, based on the reviews, it seems that MyStim has things figured out with their E-Stim Vibrator selection. With buttons to control both the vibration and the electricity, you can use your vibrator on “normal” settings or switch on the top set of buttons to experience more intense, electrifying orgasms.
If you’re a sucker for booty-play and want to try something new and exciting, anal electro-stimulation might just be right up your alley. This silicone electro plug by Mister B has two conductive surfaces that run along either side, so you can connect it easily to your electro box or TENS unit.
Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more intense, it seems MyStim has also had their hands in this particular mix...and I’m very quickly learning anything they do in the e-stim area is met with raving reviews. This time they are at it again with their 100% medical-grade aluminum E-Stim Butt Plug that comes in four different sizes.
The world’s fascination with electricity dates back centuries...it was only a matter of time before we found a way to electrify our orgasms. The world of erotic electrostimulation can seem a bit confusing and scary at first, but there are so many ways you can explore the world of electro play.
If erotic electrostimulation sounds interesting to you but you’re a bit nervous to take the first step - start small (with something like an electro spank paddle) to give yourself a little taste.
As always - play safe, friends.