Kink and BDSM have never been more mainstream, and practices like impact play, bondage, and discipline and submission are becoming a regular part of people’s sex lives and often appearing in popular TV shows and film as common plot points. Though these activities have likely been around as long as humans, kink and BDSM tools haven’t gotten the kind of high-tech treatment typically seen in other pleasure product categories — until now!
Electrostimulation (also known as e-stim) is often associated with powerboxes, wires and complicated-looking parts that, to a less familiar eye, can look daunting for a casual explorer. Even for pro-level e-stim players, the powerbox setup can have limitations. Fortunately, of the technological updates we’ve seen in this realm, e-stim enhancements have made this electrifying play more accessible than ever.
Modern e-stim devices are more accessible, usable, portable and welcoming than ever.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the latest advancements in e-stim products, what they do, why they make electrosex more welcoming than ever — and how you can help your customers find the elecrostimulation products that work for them.
But first, an e-stim primer:
Simply put, electrostimulation typically uses electrodes and a power source to send buzzing, prickling, throbbing, suckling and even stinging sensations through the skin. It’s somewhat reminiscent of a vibrator’s buzz but has the ability to access deep tissue and nerve clusters that a regular vibrator could never reach. Most e-stim toys can be set to a pulsing beat or a constant buzz.
On lower settings, e-stim can feel intensely erotic and painless. On higher settings, the e-stim experience can be more intense and even a bit painful, producing sensations that can range from a biting pinch to a sharp tingle to, in some cases, debilitating muscle spasms. While those extra-intense feels may be ideal for BDSM practitioners, when using e-stim for orgasmic, sensual purposes, it can be preferable to stick to lower settings.
What happens to the body?
Electrostimulation toys can make the anus or vagina involuntarily contract and release like they do during orgasm, which many folks find quite enjoyable. Similarly, items like remote-control prostate massagers allow users to direct powerful advanced-level zaps directly to their P-spot.
Beyond the box
Modern e-stim devices are more accessible, usable, portable and welcoming than ever. Some brands have found ways to introduce e-stim devices into fully packaged and merchandised product lines that are easy for stores to display and introduce to new users.
In place of cumbersome wires and powerboxes with elaborate connection-point setups, shoppers can find internal and external vibrators that have e-stim capabilities built in. Avoiding the need for an external power source allows people of all experience levels, including folks who might not consider themselves to be kinky, to give the tingly sensation a try.
These packaged devices have been fantastic for retailers looking to expand their offerings and help shoppers explore new sensations, but a downside is that the intensity often can’t be amplified high enough to appeal to seasoned fans of electrostimulation. Depending on the device, it’s not always easy to access the controls to adjust the settings while it’s being used — especially when solo. One of the most common requests we get at XR Brands is for us to find a way to offer the convenience of a powerbox-free device but with the pleasantly painful capabilities that a wired unit can offer. This is where we see the greatest opportunity for innovation in the kink category and it’s important for retailers to keep up with recent updates.
Rebecca Weinberg, president of XR Brands.