I often get asked by curious people how they can get into electroplay. There is such a wide variety of available kit that it is quite daunting for the beginner to decide what is best. You may get a different answer from other people, but I will give my opinion from my own personal journey into e-stim and what I learned from it.
What is E-Stim?
Electroplay covers a wide range of sensations that come about from direct stimulation of the nerve ends. It is much like a vibrator but since it operates directly on the nervous system it give a deeper, more intense feeling. Stimulating the nerves makes the muscles they are connected to contract, even ones that you wouldn’t normally be aware of being able to. You can decide for yourself whether the sensations are pleasant tingling or more intense contraction depending on what you want to get out of it.
Does it hurt?
E-stim is not “getting an electric shock”. You can have quite intense sensations on higher power settings, but it is rarely painful in the negative sense. People often worry about it being like a electric fence shock, or the deliberately stinging electric toys, but the way in which the electricity is used makes a huge difference to the sensations experienced. It’s also nothing like the popular Violet Wands.
Isn’t it the same thing as TENS?
Sort of yes and no. TENS stimulates nerve endings and muscle contraction in a very similar way, but you have to remember that TENS units are designed, usually, for pain control or the toning of muscles. Often people will start by getting a TENS, but I personally say to avoid them and go for one of the power units designed for pleasure play and from a reputable manufacturer. You may find that you don’t get the sensations that you were hoping for with a TENS unit and therefore give up before you’ve really got an idea of what e-stim can be. You can also waste money on buying multiple cheap units on the road to getting a dedicated power box, which I can confirm from personal experience. Those TENS units went in the bin a long time ago.
What starter kit do you recommend?
I will preface this with an acknowledgement that I participate in some affiliate programs, but I have only signed up for the companies whose products I use personally as a way of funding the running of the site and my other content.
The Helix and Pebble
Both the ElectroHelix and ElectroPebble are good starting points for E-stim play. The main difference between the two is that the Helix has one channel and the Pebble has two. What are channels for? You connect your electrodes to a dedicated channel and so the more you have the more locations you can set up your electrodes. The second big difference is the number of modes offered with the Pebble having more. Both units are completely adjustable in terms of power and feel so that you can fine-tune your stim experience and get a really good idea of what works for you before moving on to the more advanced power units (trust me, you’ll keep buying more once you start!) You can also quite clearly see what pattern setting you are on and swapping between them is far less fiddly than some other power units
Drawbacks? If you are just getting into e-stim it will seem like the price tag is quite high, especially if you’ve been looking at some of the TENS units and cheap boxes on sex toy stores. Trust me when I say it’s better to buy well once than multiple times at lower quality. You don’t get the remote controlling ability that comes with the 2B™ Power Box plus a lot more settings.
The Dungeon Labs “Coyote” is a relative newcomer to the E-stim game. It is a reasonable choice for a first box, though with some drawbacks I’ll come on to. It’s a dual channel box and has a high level of customisation given that it is app based through connection to a phone or tablet to do all the “thinking”. This also allows the Coyote to be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world or just across the room depending on your needs. It’s pretty good power-wise and can last several hours on one charge.
The “feature” of being app controlled is also a drawback. Lost bluetooth connections can be a problem, some phones just won’t connect at all and a personal irritation is that you cannot set up a program and just let it run; if your screen times out the box stops working. It also needs to constantly receive bluetooth input, so it can drain your phone battery significantly too. It is not a great box for solo play unless you can continually manipulate your phone.
It is however a box for the geeks as they have made the code openly available and the estim connectivity I talk about with the Airotic bubble bottles is interacting with this box in particular.
There are a few safety items to bear in mind.
- Don’t pass a current across the chest. If you want to stimulate the nipple area you need bipolar electrodes made for the job. Don’t use the skin pads from one side to the other.
- If you feel stinging, stop and check your electrodes. Nobody likes irritated skin or mucosa.
- Only use power boxes that have been safety tested
When starting out you don’t want to go all in on the expensive electrodes until you have an idea of what works for you. For penis play a great starter is Cock Straps and Loops and for skin surfaces some electro pads. Insertable electrodes work great for both vaginal and anal play, with a good starter being the Flange™. With electroplay, bigger is not always better. You’ll actually get more intense sensations from a smaller electrode surface with the larger electrodes really offering satisfaction for those who like a fuller feeling.
You can also make your own electrodes with imaginative use of conductive rubber tubing and a bit of 3D printing, but that’s probably not strictly for the beginners.
There are a lot of other things about e-stim and power boxes that I could say, but I wanted to make this a relatively short primer for those who haven’t tried it yet. Electroplay can be a fun experimentation either on your own or with a partner to find which sensations you like the best and can even lead to completely hands-free orgasms for every body.
Are you thinking about trying e-stim? Are there things that you would share with a beginner from your own experience? Comment below!