Electro-sex, erotic electrostimulation or e-stim, electro-play and electric sex play are some terms for “a sexual practice primarily used in BDSM [bondage, discipline (or domination), sadism, and masochism1] that involves applying mild electrical currents to various areas of the body for the purpose of sexual stimulation.”2

Some of the terms and devices used are also used for medical applications like physical therapy and arthritis relief.

Electro-sex is becoming popular among some in mainstream society who are not into BDSM.3 There are some precautions with erotic electrical stimulation, like not applying an electrical shock while pregnant or above the waist to avoid a possible heart episode, and all players should be aware of the rules and dangers before engaging in electro-play.

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on electro-sex, or getting shocked for pleasure.

Footnotes: 1. oxforddictionaries.com, accessed 11/18/2018; 2. dominantdesires.com, accessed 11/14/2018; 3. “‘Electrosex’ Is Our Freaky Future,” thedailybeast.com, 6/25/2016 

  1. What Is Vaginal Electrical Stimulation (VES) And What Is It Used For?

    “Vaginal electrical stimulation (VES) is a technique sometimes used in women’s pelvic floor physical therapy. The pelvic floor muscles work together to keep the urinary and bowel systems working smoothly. They are also important for a woman’s sexual health, as they are involved in arousal, lubrication, and orgasm. Sometimes, the pelvic floor muscles need strengthening and toning. There are a number of different techniques that can be used, including VES.”

    International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM), issm.info, accessed on 10/19/2018

  2. Sexual Function: Electrode Stimulation Helps Women Orgasm

    “The volunteers all received 12 transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy sessions, which lasted for half an hour each. During the sessions, the researchers placed electrodes either around the women’s genital areas or on their ankles. After these sessions, 8 out of the 9 participants reported more intense arousal, better vaginal lubrication, or being able to achieve orgasm again.”

    Maria Cohu, medicalnewstoday.com, 9/7/2018

  3. 11 Things To Know About Erotic Electrostimulation

    “Erotic electrostimulation refers to using specially designed machines to apply electrical stimulation to the genitals for sexual pleasure. Often referred to as ‘e-stim’ by those who partake in it, it can be a very dangerous and even lethal practice if not done correctly. Dr. Sherry A. Ross, OBGYN, and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period., explains that any electric power source that can generate heat can cause burns, heart arrhythmias, and even death. She suggests that for those interested in e-stim, you educate yourself on the risks, and never practice e-stim while pregnant.”

    Carina Hsieh, cosmopolitan.com, 3/19/2018

  4. The Violet Wand

    “In a previous article we examined electrical play using the TENS unit. In this week’s installment, we will spotlight another electrical toy that is my personal favorite – the Violet Wand. Just like the Tens Unit, which was originally made for the world of physical therapy, the Violet Wand was originally designed for medical purposes. And like the Tens Unit, it has been adapted for BDSM play. The Violet Wand is basically a modified Tesla coil. (Named for its inventor, Nikolo Tesla, not the car!) A Tesla coil is a device that uses resonance to boost an electrical signal to many times its original amplitude. This results is a high voltage spark but one with very low amperage. Thus the actual risk of any electrical damage is minimal. The Violet Wand uses these electrical sparks to create an incredible array of sensations. When held near someone’s body, it sends out a continuous stream of tiny lightning bolts, giving off a distinct purple light. The intensity is adjustable.”

    BaadMaster, kinkweekly.com, 11/6/2017

  5. 10 Things To Know About TENS Units

    “TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Through the use of positive and negative electrode pads attached to the skin, electrical current is passed back and forth through muscle to bring both pain relief and sexual stimulation. Completely safe and very versatile, TENS units can provide a wide range of sexytime fun, from low-rumble vibration to intense pain. Interested in learning more about using a TENS unit? Here are ten things to consider as you explore electrosex. …
    [1.] Electricity: Sexy and Beneficial …
    [2.] You Must Play Safe …
    [3.] You Might Consider Shaving …
    [4.] You Can Use TENS Units on Vulvas …
    [5.] You Can Use TENS Units on Penises …
    [6.] You Can Use TENS Units on Lots of Other Places Too …
    [7.] You Can Attach Them to Other Sex Toys …
    [8.] TENS Units Can Help You Take BDSM Play to the Next Level …
    [9.] TENS Units Can Help You and Your Partner Connect …
    [10.] You Can Use TENS Units to Enjoy Hands-Free Orgasms …”

    Jon Pressick, kinkly.com, 8/31/2017

  6. I Tried A Sex Toy That Promises Electric Shock Orgasms—And It’s Not For The Faint Of Heart

    “But for the sake of vaginas everywhere, I embraced my role as guinea pig and gave it a spin. I tested it on my hand, which it turns out was a safety hazard. Suddenly I was brought back to my elementary school science classroom, where we’d waste time playing with a shock machine. Except this time, instead of a big metal ball, the shocks were coming from a phallic object. And it hurt! My answer to that initial question was a quick and decisive ‘hell no.’ But then I remembered I was beholden to vaginas everywhere and all that, so I contacted product support for some info on safety precautions. Turns out, you should not use e-stim products above the waist (my bad!) or turn them on before you insert them (my double-bad). Instead, you’re supposed to first put the dildo in, then turn on the e-stim mode.”

    Suzannah Weiss, glamour.com, 2/28/2017

  7. How To Practice Electrosex Like A Pro

    “The risks listed above are the reason for a frequently quoted rule in BDSM: ‘Never use electricity above the belt.’ This is good advice, but also a very inaccurate simplification. On one hand, in fact, it doesn’t take into account that cardiac episodes can also be caused by other games, such as, for example, a prolonged series of small spasms in the legs that ‘squeeze’ the blood vessels interfering with normal circulation; on the other hand, it excludes a whole set of activities that don’t involve the current passing through the heart or diaphragm, which we will see in a few pages.”

    Kinkly Staff, kinkly.com, 2/16/2017

  8. ‘Electrosex’ Is Our Freaky Future

    “But now the world of electroplay is rapidly moving from the world of kink and bondage into the mainstream, helping ‘vanilla’ couples to keep their sex life electric. ‘We have seen e-stim sales rocket in the past year,’ says [Jess] Wilde [copywriter and bondage expert for online sex shop Lovehoney.com]. Their sales increased by 70 percent in 2015 over 2014, and in the last two months surged upwards again by 75 percent.”

    Zoe Cormier, thedailybeast.com, 6/25/2016

  9. Electro Stimulation Guide For Beginners!

    “Some people like to be slapped, some like clamps on their most sensitive areas but something that has become electrifyingly more popular and that actually might come as a shock to you is Electro-Stimulation play. The art of zapping oneself or others with a current of electricity for pleasure or various other positive reasons has been around since way back in the 18th century and in the 19th century there were probes made to pass electricity through it but unfortunately it was extremely dangerous. I can only imagine how many failed experiments and casualties must have occurred to bring us proper safe Electro-Stimulation play. Electro-Stimulation current-ly classified as BDSM but with popular products like ‘MyStim’ and ‘ElectraStim and attachments’, we are slowly getting to the point where that Electro-Stimulation play is just as normal as vibrating toys with some people liking it and some not.”

    Andrew Pullen, adultsmart.com.au, 1/8/2015

  10. Effect Of Vaginal Electrical Stimulation On Female Sexual Functions: A Randomized Study.

    “INTRODUCTION: Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a common problem that may be encountered in the interruption of normal sexual functioning in the sexual response cycle. Women with a pelvic floor disorder who scored low on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) showed an improvement in their sexual life following treatment by vaginal electrical stimulation (VES). … CONCLUSIONS: The lack of significant differences between the placebo and VES groups, except the satisfaction domain, puts into question the effectiveness of electrical stimulation as a monotherapy in treating primary FSD without pelvic floor disorder.”

    Aydın, Arıoğlu Aydın, Batmaz, and Dansuk, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, 2/12/2015

  11. BDSM 101—Electrosex Part 1

    “So, as mentioned, electrosex uses electrical current for erotic stimulation. The electrical impulses stimulate the nerves, which then cause a sensation. Electrosex fits both into the BDSM category and outside of it. Within the BDSM category it is typically associated with more intense stimulation that can end up being painful and more sadistic. On the other hand, others use it for massage, relaxation, and erotic stimulation, only using it up to an intensity of being erotic and orgasmic. Just to be aware that electrosex fits into BDSM, but is not exclusively BDSM related.”

    Zandrock, edited by Smichelle, edenfantasys.com, 3/30/2013