Electrostimulation has come a long way in the BDSM world, yet it’s still often considered a taboo kink that only sadists and masochists can enjoy. That’s because most shoppers — and likely retail staff, too — are simply unfamiliar with its pleasure powers.
Today’s adult market boasts an impressive array of accessible, easy-to-use electrostimulation products that feel more like high-end sex toys than scary shock devices — though if scary shock devices are your thing, we’ve got those, too! Today we’re going to look at electrostimulation: what it is, how it feels, how to do it safely, how many options are available and how you can help customers find the e-stim styles that work for them.
Today’s adult market boasts an impressive array of accessible, easy-to-use electrostimulation products that feel more like high-end sex toys than scary shock devices.
What is electrostimulation?
Electrostimulation, aka “e-stim,” is the application of electrical stimuli to the body. It can be done using different power sources, including TENS units and violet wands, but there is also a range of sex toys that are equipped with e-stim capabilities with no wires or attachments required.
What does electrostimulation feel like?
When you hear “electrostimulation,” it’s common to associate the word with something unpleasant, like electrocution or even electroshock therapy, but the sensation of electrostimulation as a pleasure tool is far more subtle and nuanced. People describe it in many different ways: throbbing, prickling, buzzing, rhythmic suckling, the list goes on. Some have even described the feeling as reminiscent of a vibrator. Just like with other bodily sensations, the way e-stim feels is subjective and inevitably different for everyone.
One of the cool elements of electrostimulation technology is that it allows users to access deep tissue and nerve clusters that regular vibrators can’t reach. Additionally, most e-stim toys can be set to a slower pulsing beat or a constant buzz, which can’t be replicated using a vibrating or rumbling motor.
When it comes to intensity, that is up to the user. Keeping an electrostimulation toy on a lower setting can provide an experience that is both painless and deeply erotic. On the other hand, cranking the power up can deliver stimulation that is significantly more intense, possibly painful, and may feature sensations ranging from a biting pinch to a sharp tingle to intense muscle spasms.
E-stim safety tips
Because we’re literally playing with electric pulses, there are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for keeping e-stim play safe:
- Remove all jewelry before electrostimulation play.
- Make sure the power is off before applying an e-stim TENS pad to the body.
- Use a water-based lube with internal toys or electroconductive gel with external toys to protect skin and increase sensitivity.
Don’t use an e-stim device:
- If you have a pacemaker or a history of cardiac issues.
- During pregnancy.
- Above the waist.
- On broken or irritated skin.
What kinds of e-stim toys are available?
The exciting news is that these days, no matter what type of toy or stimulation your shoppers prefer, there’s probably an electrostimulation option you can recommend.
Lots of folks love big, powerful wand massagers or remote-controlled panty vibes; these perennially popular devices are also available with e-stim options, enabling couples to add a little zapping sensation to their play. Likewise, thanks to items like e-stim plugs, prostate play enthusiasts can easily enjoy the benefits of adding electricity to their exploration.
Electrostimulation toys can make the anus or vagina involuntarily contract and release as they do during orgasm, which many users find quite enjoyable. With the wide range of e-stim products available, it’s easy to experiment with those sensations, alone or with a partner. Those looking to explore penis stimulation can try out an e-stim cock ring, or get a bit fancy with more elaborate setups that allow for simultaneous penis and prostate stimulation.
The more you know
The popularity of modern sex toys means that a lot of your shoppers will likely come into your store knowing a thing or two about vibrators or lube. But when it comes to electrostimulation, you and your staff will need to be their guides. This is why it is imperative that store employees are familiar with and comfortable discussing e-stim products. If they need some training or support, they can always watch education and demo videos, take advantage of trainings offered by traveling sales reps, and/or seek specialized instruction from sexuality and BDSM educators who visit your location to teach classes.
While electrosex may be misunderstood and seen as a daunting endeavor, the wide array of fully packaged and merchandised e-stim products provides the opportunity to show shoppers and staff members that modern electrostimulation can be accessible even to the newest of players.
The more comfortable you and your staff are with e-stim technology, the better equipped you will be to dispel false assumptions about electric play and increase sales in this growing category. Demonstrating that electrosex can be for everyone and anyone who is interested translates to more erotic pleasure for consumers, and higher profits for you.
Rebecca Weinberg is an award-winning industry leader with more than 20 years of experience in the adult industry. She is the president of multi-award-winning pleasure product manufacturer XR Brands.