Electro Sex 101: Everything You Need to Know About Electro Sex

Published: SEPTEMBER 11, 2020 | Updated: FEBRUARY 10, 2022
Add a little zing to your sex life with electro sex. Dial up the pleasure with e-stim toys and a little creativity.

I know you might have just stumbled onto the idea of electro sex, but what if I told you that electro sex stimulation has been around for hundreds of years? While the devices of today are much more reliable (and much prettier!) than the devices of yesteryear, electricity has been partnered with sex (and medical treatment) for much, much longer. In fact, reading about the history of the Neon Wand is some fascinating reading!


Luckily for all of us, with the proliferation of electric devices in our everyday life, electro sex toys have become affordable enough and safe enough to become bedroom toys. In fact, the TENS Unit (which is the basis of power boxes) has been used sexually since the 1950s.

While the devices have become more beginner-friendly and nice to look at, the tech (and the bedroom applications) have been around for a while.

So when the idea of electro sex stimulation piques your interest, don't worry: you're not alone in your interest. (In fact, toys for electro sex for couples is one of our most-asked questions.)


What Is Electric Sex?

As the most basic description, electro sex is the inclusion of electricity—specifically electric impulses—during sexual activity. Obviously, that isn't the sexiest of descriptions, but at its base, that's exactly what electro sex is. You're using electricity, through safe devices, to elicit sexual arousal and sexual enjoyment.

So, what exactly does electro sex feel like? Does electro sex hurt? The answer is no—and yes. Electro sex toys especially designed for sexual purposes are intentionally dialed down in their intensity to ensure a safe, sexual, and fun experience—even for people who are brand new to e-stimulation and have no idea what they're doing.

To this end, electro sex toys are designed to provide a range of sensations—from the softest tickle all the way up to a current that will make you jump. The intensity level you choose to play with is entirely up to you. You can use the softest levels of electro sex toys for a gentle experience, or, as you get experienced, you can add more power for sensations that can border on painful.


Do electric sex toys get people off? The answer is, most definitely "yes"! When playing with an electro sex toy like a TENS Unit, you can physically force your body into orgasm through the electric spasms. Even if you don't turn it up to that intensity, the muscle contractions near the genital area can be downright arousing!

Some electro sex toys, like the Neon Wand from Kinklab, can be a way to explore new foreplay sensations leading up to the big event. (In fact, this Vice writer had a downright amazing time! Hint: We sell those toys at the Kinkly Shop! )

Neon Wand package and toy


Are Electric Sex Toys Safe?

Especially designed for household use even for newbies to electro stimulation, electro sex toys are designed to be as safe as possible. That being said, safety is always in the hands of the beholder. Regardless of how safe the toy itself is, if you misuse it, it can become dangerous—especially when electricity is involved.

The first rule of electro sex safety is to keep your playtime below-the-belt and far away from the face or heart. The heart and many facial areas are easiest to damage with electricity while the thighs and genitals are hardier (and probably where you're looking for that pleasure anyway!)

You can be a little freer with a Neon Wand (and get the arms involved), but a TENS Unit device should never be used above the beltline. A TENS Unit's electricity will always travel the shortest distance between the two (or more) contact points that you've placed on your partner, so always keep that in mind while using it.


Electro sex is safe for many couples, but there are some cases where you'll want to approach with caution—or choose not to approach at all. You should avoid electro sex play if you're pregnant or have any heart arrhythmias or abnormalities. You should also stay away from electro sex stimulation if you have a pacemaker, insulin pump, or any other medical implant within your body that uses electricity.

In addition, you'll need to consider what's physically on your person before you begin your electro sex play session. Piercings can be wonderful conductors of electricity—which can lead to very intense, unintended pain if you aren't careful. Remove your watches, cell phones, and any other electrical device from your body before playing as well.

Birth control implants in the upper arm should also be avoided with the Neon Wand in addition to avoiding any broken skin or rashes. For insertable toys, you may also want to be careful about interactions with an IUD if you have one.


More safety information is always better than less safety information. After this article, read 9 Things to Check Before Playing with Electro Sex.

More technical details about how to practice electro sex like a pro are also out there, just know there are a lot more electro sex options out there since that story was originally published.

Types of Electro Sex Toys

Electro sex toys are divided into two very specific categories. How you choose to play will depend on your preferences, health concerns, and what sensations you're looking to elicit. You can play with surface electro sex toys or under-the-skin electro sex toys.

Surface electro sex toys include violet wands, and its cousin, the Neon Wand. We highly recommend these types of toys for beginners to electro sex—mostly because they're much more approachable in both design and cost.

Surface electro sex toys only apply electricity where the toy is touched and only for the duration of being touched to the skin. With no excess cords to worry about and a "plug-and-play" design, Neon Wands are a fantastic way to get into electro sex stimulation. (There are other beginner-friendly electro sex toys out there too )

Under-the-skin electro sex toys include all of the e-stim insertables and TENS Units. Essentially, these toys operate by connecting two (or more) points of electricity. When using a TENS Unit, you'll see little squares called "electrode pads". Since electricity flows between the pads, it's even more important to ensure that your TENS Unit play stays below the waist and in the genital area. You do not want any of these currents to find their way to the chest. (We always recommend learning more about the basics of TENS Units.)

Specific “electro sex toys” is where a lot of beginners get lost. Most electro sex brands have their own line of toys that are designed to work with the electricity levels and design of their own TENS Unit.

When using a TENS Unit to power these electro sex toys, we call that TENS Unit a "powerbox"—because it's a box-shaped object that powers the rest of the toys. Using the TENS Unit to power those electro sex toys allows manufacturers to keep prices low on the toys.

After all, each toy doesn't need to have its own electricity-producing capabilities; it just needs to be able to handle the powerbox-provided electricity. (And that's just the basics of TENS Units for sex. This Bold Pleasures article has even more helpful information about the basics. )

Do Electric Sex Toys Get People Off?

Surface electro sex toys, like the Neon Wand, produce a very different type of sensation from an under-the-skin electro sex toy like a TENS Units. Neon Wands provide a surface sensation that, on lighter settings, feels like the sensual feel of a lover's fingernails dragging along your skin. A Mystim Tension Lover E-Stim Unit (which is a TENS Unit), however, will produce electric currents that stimulate muscles. If you stop and think about it, most people can isolate (and clench) any muscle by focusing on it.

Mystim Tension Lover E-Stim Unit

A TENS Unit does that automatically. Since arousal, sexual pleasure, and orgasm is facilitated by the clenching and relaxing of your pelvic floor and associated muscles, you can see how this could quickly translate into an orgasmic experience.

So, to sum things up, properly-placed TENS Unit electro pads (and electro sex toys) can cause an orgasm in some people while Neon Wand sensations are usually used as an erotic form of foreplay—but are not usually orgasmic in their own right.

How Are Electro Sex Toys Used?

Let's start with the Neon Wand. Here's how to use the Neon Wand:

  • Remove the Neon Wand from the box. While unplugged and turned off, slide the glass electrode into the top of the wand.
  • Plug the wand into an electrical outlet. Ensure the Neon Wand is off while you do this.
  • Once you have the wand plugged in, you can gently twist the dial at the base to turn on the Neon Wand.
  • With the Wand on, you may hear a gentle electricity buzzing sound. We recommend pressing the wand to your own bare skin (forearm or thigh) to get a good initial test of the power level you have it on.
  • From there, you can gently hover the glass electrode over your partner's skin where you'd like the sensation to happen. The electricity will "jump" the gap between the glass electrode and your partner's skin for a little bit of visible electricity (along with the sensation)
  • Ask your partner how that was. If they respond positively, you can continue. If they respond negatively, you may want to turn down the wand or cease the activity.

You also may want to change your electrode (the glass tip) while playing with the Neon Wand. Here's how to change the glass electrode on a Neon Wand:

  • Turn off the Neon Wand entirely.
  • For safety, unplug the Neon Wand from the wall outlet.
  • Tap the glass electrode to ensure it isn't hot. If it isn't, gently tug it out of the top of the Neon Wand.
  • Slide the new glass electrode in.
  • Ensuring the Neon Wand is off, plug the Neon Wand back in.
  • Gently turn the dial to turn on the Neon Wand again.
  • Enjoy!

Like we've mentioned before, using a Neon Wand is designed to be easier than using a TENS Unit for electro sex stimulation. However, you can use a TENS Unit too. Here's how to use a TENS Unit (aka the electro sex powerbox itself):

  • Ensure that your TENS Unit has electricity and is charged (or has battery juice). Make sure all control functions are off.
  • For best results, use rubbing alcohol to clean the skin where electrodes will be placed. Let the skin dry.
  • Use a thin layer of electrode gel on the bottom of each electrode pad. (More information about the benefits of electrode gel and electrode pads. )
  • Place the electrode onto the desired spot on the skin. You may need to use a temporary tape adhesive to get it to stay if gravity is working against you.
  • With the electrodes in place, connect the electrode pads to the TENS Unit powerbox itself with whatever method the TENS Unit offers. (In many newer electro sex powerboxes, like the Mystim Tension Lover, it's as simple as just plugging in a couple cords!)
  • Turn on the powerbox and slowly increase intensity. You should be able to feel the sensations.
  • If using this on your partner, check in to see if the intensity level is pleasurable. If not, decrease the intensity, or consider ceasing use of the TENS Unit that day.

For your first use of your new TENS Unit powerbox, we highly recommend trying the electrodes on yourself first. This will give you a good idea of how strong the sensations are—and the thigh is luckily in a great spot for self-use. Place one electrode on top of your thigh muscle and a second electrode further down the thigh muscle. The thigh muscle is a large muscle and reacts really well to the electrical currents. It can be a good test to learn what stimulation levels are associated with what level of sensation.

And here's how to use a TENS Unit with sex toys (aka the electro sex powerbox with electro sex toys):

  • Ensure the electro sex powerbox is turned off, but it's charged with enough juice to get you through your session.
  • Plugin your electro sex toy to the powerbox.
  • Always try out the toy first before using it on a partner. Enclose the toy within a palm (or both hands to make sure that both electric-enabled portions are enclosed!) Turn on the electro sex powerbox, and feel how the electricity moves throughout the toy. Use this knowledge to better position the e-stim sex toy during play.
  • Turn off the powerbox.
  • Using conductive lube (or water-based lube) to insert the toy while it's connected to the powerbox. The powerbox should not be on. (You may insert the toy disconnected from the powerbox for added safety, but it can be difficult to connect the cords when the toy is inserted)
  • Once the toy is where you'd like it to be, you can turn on the electro sex powerbox. Almost all sex-specific e-stim powerboxes will automatically start on the lowest setting for a gradual build-up.
  • Enjoy your sexual experience. You can leave the electro sex toy pulsing during your other sexual activities, or you can choose to turn off the powerbox and remove the toy to move onto other activities. Electro sex can be a perfect way to add additional stimulation, hands-free, play playing with other parts of the body!

What Else Can I Do with the Neon Wand?

Let's assume that you've learned the basics, the safety, and you've successfully played with your Neon Wand a few times. You might be looking to explore new types of sensations with your Neon Wand—and that's definitely encouraged! After all, most of us like finding new (and hot!) ways to use our sex toys after we've gotten comfortable with them.

One of the easiest ways to expand your Neon Wand play is through accessories. While the Neon Wand, at its core, is extremely easy to “plug and play”, there are also a handful of optional accessories that can change up your entire experience. The Neon Wand “Power Tripper” electrifies your entire body and turns YOU into the Neon Wand through conductivity through the body. Every touch that you give your partner will literally have sparks flying! The Power Tripper in itself, which is a low-cost add-on, can add hundreds of new play options to your Neon Wand experience.

Are you looking for other ways to explore the Neon Wand? You need to try these unique Violet Wand sensations.

What Can I Do with an Electro Sex Power Box?

Since the intention behind an electro sex powerbox is its functionality and compatibility with other electro sex toys, an electro sex powerbox is extremely versatile! Once you've gotten used to using the electrode pads of the e-stim powerbox, you'll probably be looking for new ways to explore the electro sex sensations it provides. Luckily for you, that's exactly what the powerboxes were designed for!

Hook up your powerbox to any of the available estim sex toys to enjoy internal (and external) estimulation pleasure. Enjoy an electro sex dildo, an electro sex butt plug, an electro sex chastity cage, electro sex anal beads, electro sex kegel balls, electro sex penis masturbation sleeve, and electro sex penis and testicle loops.

Just plug these optional accessories into your powerbox, and you'll have brand new sensations—and brand new electrified toys—to play with!

Of course, electro sex toys aren't the only way to play with your new powerbox. Don't forget to try out its potential for BDSM play, hands-free orgasms, and other fun electro sex ideas.

Can Electro Sex Gel Be Used Internally?

Electrode gel, otherwise known as electro sex gel, was designed especially for applying electrodes to the body—externally. It helps the electrode pad better adhere to the skin to provide a better sensation. Electrode gel isn't designed to be lube, so it shouldn't be used internally.

That being said, with all of the insertable electro sex toys out there, companies have begun to make their own body-safe, conductive lubricants. The Goldfather Lube by Mystim is a water-based lube that includes small pieces of gold (how fancy!) to make this lube extremely conductive—and entirely safe for use internally. Use it with the Mystim toys to increase the sensation with your internal e-stim sex toys.

Can You Travel with Electric Sex Toy?

Generally, yes. This may vary on your own country's laws, but there isn't anything that necessarily prevents your electro sex toys from traveling with you. Some things to consider:

  • Electro sex toys can be somewhat fragile. They can withstand a lot, but they may not withstand being roughly shoved around with no protection. Make sure you keep your electro sex toys in their original, padded packaging, and if possible, add shock-absorbing layers around the packaging as well.
  • Depending on your e-stim sex toy, it may be made with Lithium-ion batteries. If so, follow protocols for flying safely with them.
  • Your electro sex compatible lube may not be flight-safe. Make sure to have airplane-approved containers. You can find water-based lubricant in airport-friendly containers, but you may not find conductive lubricant in that same size. You might need to temporarily switch to a non-conductive water-based lubricant until you're back home.

Electro Sex Toys for Beginners

Now that you know the basics, as a beginner, you might be wondering where to start. We've provided some great information, but what do you actually purchase?

As mentioned before, for absolute beginners to electro sex, we highly recommend the Neon Wand. There are no extra wires to mess with, and it's literally as easy as "plug and play". Since there are no under-the-skin currents to be worried about, it's generally safer in the hands of a beginner than TENS Units.

As if that weren't enough reasons, the Neon Wand is also one of the most affordable ways to get into electro sex stimulation at nearly half the cost of picking up a TENS Unit and a toy. If you fall in love with the Neon Wand, there are other Neon Wand accessories you can put with it, but they aren't required for first uses of your Neon Wand.

Are you interested in those under-the-skin electro sex currents we talked about? Generally, that would require purchase of a powerbox and then the subsequent toy like we've talked about throughout this article. However, Mystim, the electro sex toy manufacturer, recognizes that some people aren't interested in delving fully into the world of electro sex—whether because of the cost or just the complexity.

For that reason, Mystim makes a line of stand-alone electro sex toys. Each one of these insertable toys offers all of the fun of insertable electro sex pleasure in a design and control structure you're likely familiar with from your adventures with vibrators.

If the full world of under-the-skin electro sex current is calling to you, your adventure will be a bit more complicated. First, you need a powerbox. This powerbox will function as the power-supplier for all of your subsequent electro sex toys, so we recommend selecting a powerbox that you think you'll enjoy and understand.

Once you have your powerbox, you can easily select one of the MyStim e-stim toys that appeal to you. Whether that's an electro sex prostate massager, electro sex butt plug, electro sex dildo, electro sex kegel balls, or any of the other options, you just need to select your dream toy to get started!

Ready to play? We're here for you! At Kinkly Shop, to make your shopping as easy as possible, we've ensured that all of our e-stim toys will either work with the Neon Wand or one of the MyStim powerboxes. As long as you select a toy that's within the same brand, they'll play together happily. (Still have questions? You can always Contact Us!)

Mistress Kay

Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.

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