Current Events: A shocking Good Time in the Bedroom (a piece about electrosex)

“I got chills they’re multiplying
And I’m losing control
‘Cause the power you’re supplying
It’s electrifying (it’s electrifying).”

-John Travolta as Danny Zuko, Grease

I love gadgets, and I love pens, so when I got the box in advance from the folks at Kink Crate and saw this electric pen, I was stoked. Electricity play (aka: electrosex) is something that lots of folks are curious about, but don’t often have the chance to try out. Gadgetry can be pricey, hard to access, or intimidating to use. This pen removes all those obstacles, putting low-stakes, high-impact electricity gear right into your hot little hand. (If you didn’t get the crate, do a quick internet search for “TENS unit pen” to get the idea and some shopping inspiration).

This pen is an electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit. TENS units are machines that are designed to administer a low voltage electric pulse designed to stimulate nerves in ways that relax, soothe, or excite, depending on the anticipated outcome. Many of us are familiar with using TENS units for physical therapy, muscle relaxation, and even beauty procedures. Unlike some of the bulkier pieces you might be familiar with at your chiropractor’s office, this is a TENS unit with no wires or sticky pads. It’s a conveniently portable device powered by a AA battery and your imagination.

Slow down, Percy Jackson. Electricity can be a fun, exciting, and powerful way to – pardon the pun – put a spark in your play time. Before you get going, we always want to start with a few safety tips. The items on this list are all from “9 Things to Check Before Playing with Electrosex” by Mistress Kay[1]. I’ve added my own notes to each one. To see the original, check out the full article at

Does your partner have health concerns?

If your partner has any neurological, respiratory, or other health conditions that could be triggered, aggravated, or exacerbated by electricity, please check with a health care provider before proceeding.

Tamara Gore

Is your partner wearing jewelry, or do they have electronic devices on their person?

Both of you should remove all metal jewelry and put your phones away. Hell, it’s play time, set your Spotify to a sexy mix and then put a few feet between you and that little distraction box.

Does your partner have piercings?

Sometimes, when we are taking off our jewelry, we completely forget about our nose ring (or whatever). Seriously, double check and remove all the metal.

Do you have a safeword?

This is the word you’ve agreed upon to slow down and/or stop your play time. Sometimes, in BDSM, “no” really means “more, more, more” (you kinky devils). Safe play means establishing an agreed upon word that will communicate when you a) need a break and b) need to stop altogether. I like using a “red/yellow/green” system. It’s easy to remember and understand.

?? Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

Are your first aid supplies ready and waiting?

BDSM play that involves sensation, impact, and pain play can – even when we are very very careful – sometimes go differently than we plan it to.

Take an inventory of the tools you’ll be using, consider the ways things could go wrong, and make sure you’re ready to respond should an accident occur. Some (but not all) things you might include: burn cream, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen (not aspirin) for *after*, bandaids/ace wrap. Also, read up on treating burns – ya know, just in case.

Is your equipment properly set up?

Do this together, before one of you us bound and blindfolded (you kinky devils). Check to make sure everything is clean, properly assembled, and in good working condition. Read/review the handbook and/or instruction manual that comes with your gear.

Are you familiar with your equipment?

Again, do this together before one of you is all tied up (rawr). Try it out, see how it feels. Make sure you know how to use it and what to expect. Discuss how it feels and what is and is NOT on the menu during play time.

Are you starting with a gentler electrode?

Like anything, electrosex can include any number of exciting gadgets. When you’re just starting out, start with something gentle (like this electric pen) and then, when you’re more knowledgeable and experienced, it will be safer to bring more intense gadgetry into the mix.

Roman Khripkov

Is that spot on the body a safe spot?

Don’t just cuff your partner to the headboard and then “surprise” them with shocks to their balls. That’s a scene from a very scary movie unless you have CONSENT. Consent includes negotiating how intense you like to be “shocked” and where you would and would NOT like to experience the electrical sensations. Negotiate this before, during, and after each experience. As you learn, you’ll be better able to articulate specific boundaries and make requests for specific sensations.

Start slow and work your way up. If you’re not sure how to use your new electric toy for sexy times, do some research and see what the experts are saying. and are both great places to start looking if you want practical “how-to” tips on kink and BDSM activities like this. They’ll also pass you along to experts and resources specific to the play you’re trying to learn about. Also, read the manual that comes with the pen – see how it was designed to be used and then come up with creative ways to take that to the next level with your partner(s).

Once you’ve taken the time to have your safety bases covered and negotiated your play time (yay consent) enjoy your new toy!

Derek Thomson

[1] I encourage you to read the entire article and the awesome resources it cites. 

*Originally written for the Kink Crate handbook! Check out Kink Crate here. 

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