When I mention that I test men’s sex toys, people are intrigued and think how exciting that might be. But no. Women’s sex toys are exciting. There are so many anatomical areas that can be brought into play, and the level of creativity of the designers is intense. Not so with men’s sex toys. Men’s toys tend to be variations on the theme of masturbation sleeves “cock-rings” or artificial vulva. Some real creativity goes into these, but the field is limiting.
Over a year ago I became aware of erotic electro-stimulation. I investigated the field, settled on two manufacturers and did an in depth review of their basic introductory kits. The Electra-stim EM60 Flick is made by an English company, ElectraStim. The other was Erostek 232, sold here in the US. Each had a basic kit with a control box, a probe and penis bands as well as sticky electrodes (Like the ones you may know from an EKG or other medical test.)
I created a cadre of testers, three men and three women; gave them instructions and had them try out the two kits. The result was striking. Every person found themselves enjoying the sensations, but individual differences came out. The probes were used by the women as vaginal inserts and as anal inserts. The men used the penis bands and sticky electrodes but also the probes as anal inserts.
Everyone experimented with options. For the women, turning the vaginal probe so that it was perpendicular to the g-spot vs. having it parallel made an enormous difference. But the greatest variations were with placing the sticky electrodes. The men used the anal probe in conjunction with an electrode on the penis. Even with just the few pieces, there were great variations. Each person used the electro-stimulation after some initial period of foreplay-masturbation and fantasy. This led to full-on orgasm for some of the women.
The results have led me to understand that some e-stim products like the Electrastim stimulator power box are designed for those of us who enjoy an exciting but more conventional sex life. They are weak or strong, but the pulse patterns are more pleasant. Others like the Erostek seem more appropriate to the BDSM contingent. The Erostek patterns and pulses seem to have a bigger “bite” and could get painful even at fairly low levels. In contrast the Electrastim seemed more appropriate for the rest of us. Very pleasurable, but gently sweeping up in intensity, it was like the difference between a kiss, a lick and a bite.
Here’s where the excitement comes though. With e-stim, men’s toys are not so limited. Electrodes offer a wide range of locations and can be used together with anal probes, penis bands, other electrodes and prostate stimulators.
I won’t recap the whole of my earlier report. It is a guest column on Joan Price’s blog, Naked At Our Age but I thought that this is new territory for many people and some review might be good.
The phrase “electro-stimulation” brings fearful things to mind for many. That is completely understandable. Who wants to plug their genitals into an electric outlet? Yet we don’t think of the batteries in our flash lights with fear even though they are the source of electricity. The batteries in the control boxes are similar to those in the flashlight and not at all like the electric sockets in your home.
The stimulator control boxes are simply a redesign of the standard TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) units that have been used for years by physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors to help reduce pain. The e-stim box sends out a pulse of low voltage in a pattern that stimulates the nerves and muscles causing small contractions, very much like the sensation from physical stimulation. The box is controlled by the user who can adjust intensity and the pulse patterns to provide the most pleasurable sensation.
(While safe for most people, these units, like the TENS, are not recommended for people with pacemaker, defibrillator or other heart implants because those also operate on the same principle.)
Since my earlier report, I have examined several other brands of e-stim devices, but have not found any that offered more “bang for the buck” as either the Electra-Stim or the Erostek. Zeus makes units that are significantly cheaper, but their performance is far below as well. PES is another good brand.
These toys are not cheap, but neither are others sex toys. A good women’s vibrator will cost $80 to $200 and a Tenga FlipHole for men lists at $99. By those standards, the ElectraStim products are not out of line.
Recently, my English friends at ElectraStim in the person of Hella Walkington, (How English does that sound.) contacted me about doing an independent review of some of their new Silicon Noir probes and their new Sensavox stimulator/power box.
I soon received the SensaVox and two of the probes. Quickly assembling my loyal cadre of testers, we went into action. Each man was to try the box with the penis rings, anal probe and electrodes. Each woman used both probes and sticky electrodes.
The results were very impressive. First, the Sensavox was a great upgrade from the EM60 (No slouch itself). The new box has a greater variety of pulse patterns and intensities. It has several new features like the Boost button which lets one give an extra burst of energy. It has two channels so you can have one set of electrodes stimulating one location and a second, independent set stimulating another. For example, an anal probe can be plugged into one channel while two electrodes can be attached to send pulses through the penis and perineum. (A tip of the hat to the inventiveness of my team.)
The previous EM60 seemed more suited to the new user of e-stim as the stimulation ran from zero up to moderate at the top. It never got to the “zap” stage. That made it ideal as a starter unit, but limited. The Sensavox has a much greater range. It begins with very gentle stimulation but goes up from there slowly until it enters the stratosphere. Even at its highest intense settings, it was still a pleasurable kind of pulse form and pattern.
The probes are aesthetically pleasing, Matte black with unobtrusive holes for the small pin plugs, they are gentle and soft to the touch, perfect for the sensitive skin of the vulva. The Aura Multi-Probe felt comfortable entering. It took a higher level of stimulation for the tester to experience pleasure. Reinserting with the leads perpendicular to the g-spot location afforded more sensation for every woman.
The other probe was the Silicone Noir Lula Electro Kegel Balls. This was the peak of pleasure reported with these or other probes. This probe consists of two small balls, one of which is tightly captured in an upper sphere of black silicon. There is a short neck and at the other end is another sphere with another ball. The second ball is loose inside and it reacts to the pulses and patterns from the stimulator. With the balls moving up down and providing vibrations, each of the women reported the absolute pleasure of this probe. I have rarely found so much agreement on any subject.
Let me add that this Lula is being used as a Kegel exerciser by many women. With the proper depth of insertion and combination of e-stim, they have found the Lula to be a aid in developing their pelvic floor muscles. That may not have been the original intention, but various blogs have mentioned it.
These are just two of the five Silicone Noir probes available. In retrospect I wish I had requested the Silicone Noir Sirius Prostate Massager, or the Silicone Noir Ovid G-Spot Dildo, or both. They both look like they are designed with pleasure in mind.
There is much to like in the Electrastim line of products. They are user friendly in small ways. First they use the standard connector for cables to plug into the Stimulator/Power box. This connector has advantages over the less expensive but often used 3.5mm plug. Second they use pin plugs at the electrode ends of the cable. This is just less “messy” and, in the midst of passion, simpler than banana plugs or snap connectors. Sticky electrodes are less expensive if they come with pin plug connectors. Finally, I have found ElectraStim’s customer service to be very responsive when I had a question.
If you haven’t yet decided to try e-stim, you may be missing a very pleasurable option in your sex life. E-stim should be as ubiquitous as the vibrator. It provides a level of sexual stimulation that is hard to match in a simpler sex toy. While the cost of entry can be a little daunting, Electrastim and others provide an entry level power unit for a reasonable price. The probes, penis bands and sticky electrodes are actually comparable to other dildo prices. If you have a little income to spare, you probably can’t do better than the Sensavox. But, if you need to watch the finances more closely, the EM-80 dual-channel or the EM-60 are a good options.
I’m a big fan of buying local. Unfortunately my favorite local stores don’t seem to carry e-stim products of any brand. It appears that Electrastim is available from their own website, http://www.electrastim.com/, or online stores like http://www.lovehoney.com and http://www.pinkcherry.com.
Do yourself a favor and try this out.
(While ElectraStim supplied the product, no other form of compensation was offered, requested or provided.)