Shockingly Sensual: An Intro to Electrosex

by Kristin T.

June 2, 2022


If you and your partner are looking to take your bedroom playfulness up a few levels, or if you’re looking to explore the darker side of your kinky desires in a “shocking” new way, look no further than Electrosex! It is essentially what it sounds like…using electricity and electric pulses to generate pleasure and sensual stimulation in a sexual context.

More sensual than actually shocking, devices created for electric stimulation during foreplay, sex, and masturbation are here to stay, and for good reason. The pulses and currents generated by these mild flows of electricity can have amazing effects on the body, from enhancing blood flow, to causing muscle contraction, to generating stronger (or squirting) orgasms, to just plain feeling amazing!

Electrosex is often considered to be in the realm of “edge play” – that is, kinky or BDSM activities that are more on the risky, dangerous, or just downright taboo side (knives, fire, breath play, confinement, “watersports”, etc.). While this fact may frighten some folks away from trying it, especially if they’ve never really experimented with any other types of kinky play, it is definitely one of the safest and most accessible forms of edgeplay. There is even evidence that edge play can help spice up a monotonous sex life, so if that’s something you want to do, it may be a good next adventure!

What Does it Feel Like?:

This is the first question most people ask when considering e-stimulation for the purposes of sexual pleasure. Anyone who has ever experienced a true electrical shock accident knows that can REALLY hurt…so it may be scary to consider applying that sensation to your body on purpose, for pleasure. The good news is, no devices meant for safe sexual use will feel like that…ever.

While the descriptions of the sensations electrosex creates are subjective & sometimes widely varied based on the person you’re talking to (and their pain tolerance), electric stimulation should only hurt if you really, really want it to. Most devices only generate levels tolerable for most people, and that feel more like a static electricity tingle than a shock. The main point of e-stim and why it is enjoyed by so many is the “tingle” that it creates; think about those sensations that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, and now think about how strong and pleasurable that may feel when created on your most sensitive erogenous zones. Not bad, right?

To Tingle on the Outside:

E-stimulation (or E-stim) devices are nothing new; they’ve actually been around for a long time, especially in clinical or physical therapy settings. If you’ve ever used a TENS device or something similar, which affixes electrode pads to your skin and conducts electrical pulses through them which stimulate your muscles, you’re already familiar with what this feels like. Several companies had the great idea to take this technology from the therapy room to the bedroom, and created e-stim devices for sex.

Sets like the Electrastim Flick Stimulator set (pictured below) come with the basic electrodes you can stick to your skin (the inner thighs near the groin is a popular place to try these, plus a plug, adjustable cock rings, and other fun devices that hook up to the main unit to deliver electric stimulation to where you want it most. Once you have the Electrastim base unit, there are also other peripherals you can hook up to it to play in new ways, like kegel balls (nothing like a little pleasurable zap to motivate you to do your kegel exercises, amirite?), pinwheels, clamps, and tingly finger sleeves for exciting bodily exploration.

E-stim devices like the Electrastim can be used for solo play, too; since the electrodes are applied directly to your skin and do not require someone else to apply or control them, they will create the same sensation no matter what. If you really want to be able to feel the erotic sensations, conductive gel is a must! If you’ve tried some electrosex play and haven’t had great results, this may be the missing piece of the puzzle.

One of the coolest ways to experience an electrical tingle on the outside of your body is with a Neon Wand or Violet Wand kit. These devices generate electric current by exciting the electrons in gas inside a sealed glass tube, just like a neon sign or fluorescent lightbulb does. When you touch the tube to your skin, that electrical current passes to you, creating a usually pleasant, static-like tingle or “buzz” sensation wherever you place it. These wands usually have adjustable intensity levels, so you can start slow and work your way up to a more powerful sensation when you’re ready. Play in the dark so you can see the awesome glow!

These wand kits usually come with several different types of glass tube attachments, for everything from pinpointed pleasure to a comb-shaped device for hair play or just stimulating several little spots at once! You may have even seen these devices used to bougie salons or spas, as the comb attachments can supposedly help stimulate hair growth. I won’t make that claim, but they are at least pleasurable! Once you’ve experimented on innocuous body parts like arms or legs, the different wand ends can be applied to the nipples, clitoris, scrotum…wherever your heart desires, and it will create amazingly pleasurable sensations. Electric wands are usually more fun when playing with a partner who applies the wand to your skin, for the same reasons as why you can’t tickle yourself. For an even more exciting and intense experience with external e-stim, close your eyes or wear a blindfold so you don’t know where you’ll experience the tingle next!

To Tingle on the Inside:

If you’ve experimented with electrical stimulation for sexual pleasure and you’re definitely into it, it may be time to explore what those sensations can do inside your body instead of just outside. There are sex toys starting to appear on the market made to create that static tingle wherever you stick it…including in your vagina or anus.

The VOLT line from CalExotics is a great place for beginners to start with internal electrosex exploration. The Volt Electro-Beads vibrator can be used vaginally or anally. The Electro-Spark Vibrator (pictured below) is a flexible e-stim toy good for wherever you insert it, but it can hit the perfect angle for g-spot stimulation, and it’s great when a partner is guiding it for you. Finally, the Vole Electro-Fury Probe is a butt plug that can deliver the same intense e-stim levels for backdoor play. All of these toys also offer solo vibration, so you can experience that first before ramping up to the e-stim sensations. Once you get used to it, we’re confident you’ll be thrilled to try them both together!

Safety First:

While most devices made specifically for electrosex and e-stimulation are relatively low-voltage and perfectly safe when used correctly, it’s never a bad idea to practice general electricity safety habits when using them.

Think about the common things that don’t mix with electricity. Don’t play with any electric toys or devices in or around water. Water-based lube is safe for internal e-stim toys, though, and they can also be cleaned in water when turned off. Don’t wear a lot of metal (hopefully you’re not wearing much of anything!) or sit on metal surfaces during electric play. And while it may sound fun, do not engage in electrosex or any kind of potentially risky play while intoxicated.

For toys that plug directly into the wall during use, it’s a good idea to invest in a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter extension cord to plug into the wall outlet, then plug your device into that. This will automatically (quickly!) shut off the power flow if anything happens that would cause a ground out or short that could shock someone. If you’re playing anywhere that you can’t plug directly into a GFCI outlet, such as those found in kitchens and bathrooms, or if you’re ever using your device anywhere you’re not sure about the condition of the building’s wiring, one of these cords is a great investment in safety.

Always follow the safety instructions provided with your sex toy or device, and Google it or call the company if you have any confusion or doubt about anything. Many e-stim devices should not be used by individuals with pacemakers or other electronic implants or devices, so check with your doctor if you are unsure if they could potentially be dangerous for you.

If any device ever starts to develop frayed wires or cords, has broken parts, or creates an odor during use, stop using it immediately and get rid of it!

Finally, just like with any type of kinky play, make sure to have an agreed-upon safe word and rules (complete and immediate stoppage of the scene) when it is used.

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