Since the birth of electricity, people have sought different ways to utilize power for both practical and entertainment purposes.

As early as the 1800s, electrical belts were advertised as cures for impotence: tools the American Medical Association would later investigate and find to be “more or less mechanical masturbation.”

Electrostimulation has long been associated with BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Domination/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) practices, as it provides potentially painful sensations, but “electrosex” can range in intensity from a tingle to shockingly intense.

Although electrosex originally found its place in the BDSM community by enhancing medical and pain play, the practice appears to be rapidly moving into the mainstream, electrifying couples who consider themselves “vanilla.” Mystim, an online provider of high-quality e-stim devices and toys, even posted a cute animated video explaining and destigmatizing erotic electrostimulation.

Power up for pleasure

Before the growth in popularity of erotic electrostimulation, individuals or couples interested in something shocking simply used medical TENS devices (originally used to treat muscle pain) or electrified muscle toners popularized in the 1970s. Given human beings’ propensity to investigate their genitals using whatever tools they can, it might not shock the reader to know that people experimented by sticking electrodes on their genitals.

The sensation accompanying electrostimulation is distinct from vibrators and other sex toys — electrotoys produce a shivering tickle as currents pass through the human nervous system. Electrosex sparks tiny electrical signals in the nervous system network, prompting powerful sensations.

In fact, these electrical signals are constantly in use — and a necessity for feeling hugs, handshakes, kisses or sex. Skin conducts electricity, so when partners connect via wires, they experience a cool pulsing sensation unlike what vibrators and spankings provide.

TENS units send gentle electrical impulses to the spinal cord, ensuring there is no room left for pain input. This means positive sexual arousal processes more quickly and intensely in the body.

The beauty of electricity is its spectrum of intensity. Electrosex might sound extremely kinky, while the result can feel indescribably gentle.

But folks interested in rougher electrosex play might enjoy devices focused on BDSM, such as electrified cock-and-ball torture toys.

Hump day: Finals? Take a chill pill with sensual massage‘Tis the season for due dates, papers, finals — and rising stress levels. Worry does a number on sex. Stress not Read…

Shocking safely

For many people, electricity and genitals sound like punishment rather than pleasure. But electrosex uses a safe amount of electricity harmless to humans when used correctly.

Those interested in electrosex should only play with toys and devices designed for use during sexual activity. Homemade electrostimulation devices can deliver an excessive shock, resulting in burns, damaged nerves or even death.

Load up on surge protectors to prevent injury and stay below the waist — currents passing through the heart area can lead to ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest and other heart complications. Folks with pacemakers or heart conditions should avoid electrosex altogether, the sensation is rather delightful, but not worth a heart attack.

Toys intended for use above the waist — such as nipple clamps — require additional protective measures, such as fully isolated outputs. Without fully isolated outputs, current dangerously flows between outputs. Use of this sort of device on the nipples would create current flowing past the heart, even with special bipolar clips.

Electrified nipple clamps are safe to use if they have fully isolated outputs, one only stimulates a single nipple at a time or one uses two separate devices —one for each nipple.

Choose your charge

Particularly given the recent increase in electrotoy sales, a wide range of electrostimulation toys are available. Gadgets include electrified butt plugs, cock rings, masturbatory sleeves, urethral sounds, vibes, nipple clamps and more.

E-stim kits transform partners into a circuit, with shivering electricity passing between bodies. Some people enjoy hands-free orgasms using electrosex toys, primarily repackaged TENS and EMS units marketed for erotic use.

Electrodes placed in the spinal cord can induce pleasurable sensations leading to orgasm in order to treat “orgasmic dysfunction.

Exploration can truly recharge a sex life, but interested parties should research electrosex as much as possible before playing.

Electrosex is also difficult to experiment with on a budget — many toys cost hundreds of dollars, and especially high-quality items can put a college student out. But educating oneself never hurts, just in case that lottery ticket comes in handy.