The Product: Mystim Tension Lover E-Stim Unit
The Verdict: (out of five)
The Verdict: (out of five)
Electrostimulation is an intriguing circle of excitement and fear. I’ve long heard so many amazing things about how good it feels. But at the same time, I’ve had a few decidedly unsexy run-ins with electricity throughout my life and I was not eager to repeat those sensations. Ultimately, the circle turned again and my curiosity was just too strong to be ignored - and I am quite happy I listened when offered a the chance to review the Mystim Pure Vibes Nervstimulator, a basic e-stim machine that offers everything you need to get started with electrosex play.
The last time I was affected by electricity, my young daughter grabbed an electric fence at a horse farm. Fortunately, I was holding her so she didn’t feel a thing. I, however, was the ground and I briefly thought my friend beside me had punched me extremely hard in the arm. Luckily, I figured out what happened before I decked him. With this in mind, I gave the instructions for this machine a very thorough read before proceeding. Usually, I’m much more eager, but you really do need to take care with a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit. There are explicit rules, such as not using the electrodes on both nipples at once. This can affect your heart. After reading the guide a couple of times, my partner and I were ready to give it a try.
The Mystim unit comes with two outlets for two electrodes each. We tried the recommended beginner hot spots (one nipple + inner thigh) and then began to experiment more. The electrodes are square patches with adhesive on them that attach to the wires connected to the the TENS unit. They are really sticky at first, but become quite comfortable to remove and move around after a few uses. If they lose their stickiness, clean them with soapy water and they will adhere again. Just be sure to let them dry fully before using.
The Mystim unit is compact, light, easy to use and powered by a single nine-volt battery. There are three basic controls for each person: strength, pulse control and impulse frequency control. The pulse control determines how wide you want the feeling from the electrode. The impulse frequency control allows you to speed up or slow down the sensation. There are also three built-in presets: burst, normal and modulated. The burst mode is like a strong pulse; it provides the most intense sensation. Normal mode is most akin to a vibrator, while modulated mixes things up, with both direct and pulsing sensations. When you determine which of these you enjoy best, you can use the strength, pulse and impulse frequency controls to get your setting just right. (Note that this toy is also designed to be hooked up to a number of interesting accessories, such as dildos, prostate stimulators and anal plugs.)
After trying a number of electrode positions, including her nipples, inner thigh, vulva and clitoris, my partner decided e-stim was not for her. On the other hand, I was just getting started - and I can’t get enough of the feeling. The Tension Lover provides such a unique type of pleasure. Plus, now that I’m using it on my own, I have four electrodes to play with!
By a wide margin, the most amazing feeling is on my perineum and anus. When I hooked it up down there and turned it on I had a distinct "WOW" moment of sexual bliss. The sensation is very close to using a vibrator ... but different. There’s a slight prickly feeling that is quite delightful when you find the perfect setting. Because there is some strength to the unit, I could feel the sensation through to my prostate. It wasn’t as powerful as a direct prostate massage, but it did feel quite good. And for a bum-fun-lovin’ person like myself, this was a brand new feeling. The first orgasm I had with the electrodes positioned this way was phenomenal.
But the orgasm wasn’t the truly defining feeling. In one research session, I used the Mystim Tension Lover on the happy anus/perineum combo for a long time during other types of foreplay. However, when we wanted to progress to something else, I took it off. I’ll be damned if my lower fun bits didn’t hum on their own for a good 20 minutes afterward, slowly diminishing in intensity! Let me tell you, this is something I plan to do with frequency.
I enjoyed the Mystim Pure Vibes Nervstimulator applied to other areas too, but not as much. It provides a nice sensation on the shaft of my penis, but is a little too much on the head. I read that some folks might be able to orgasm with just electrostimulation to the penis, and I gave it a try. It didn’t work for me, but I bet it will for others. Hell, it is just kind of exciting to watch your penis twitch with pleasure from the bolts going into it.
The main feature I find difficult about the Mystim Tension Lover E-Stim Unit is the consistency of the power it provides. After spending some time with all four electrodes attached to me, I noticed that the power level of one side would lessen when the other side was turned up. We realized afterward that my partner was definitely on the too strong side a few times while I was cranking the knob to get more sensation for myself. This really turned her off from wanting to try more - and I grew to understand why when I was trying to regulate the sensations between my perineum/anus and my penis. Perhaps it takes some truly skillful fingers to get this right. If you try this, note that between two people, the intensity can vary noticeably.
The Mystim Tension Lover is an excellent beginner tool for exploring the sensations of electrostimulation and it has piqued my curiosity to explore more. This unit provides a wide array of stimulation and the opportunity to tap multiple pleasure centers at once. And it is safe. Really.
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Jon Pressick is a sex-related media gadabout. For more than 20 years, Jon has been putting sex into our daily conversations at his long-running site SexInWords—as a writer, editor, publisher, sex toy reviewer, radio host, workshop facilitator, event producer and more. These days, he focuses on writing for Kinkly, GetMeGiddy, The Buzz and PinkPlayMags and editing Jason Armstrong's series of Solosexual books. You can find him on Twitter at @Sexinwords.