Many of our readers have asked about the safety of our power units. I posed this question to our electrical engineer — here’s what he had to say:
ErosTek products have been designed to be within approved levels of electro-stimulation.
Many medical devices have a maximum output exceeding ErosTek power units. The energy in the waveform is a function of the current delivered into the body over a period of time. ErosTek products employ very low duty-cycle waveforms with very little “ON” time. Consequently, the total energy delivered to the body is kept below levels of medical devices designed for safe use on the human body.
At the intensity levels typically used, the current, voltage, and total energy are very similar to a TENS unit. TENS units are often used for extended periods of time without medical supervision to reduce back pain and other chronic forms of pain.
The maximum average output, per channel, of ErosTek devices is well under 1 Watt.
The same amount of power sourced from a continuous-wave AC source equates to about 5 mA of current — 0.005 Amp — at 120 Volts AC. This amount of energy is too small to cause burns when used with commercial erotic electro-stimulation electrodes and very unlikely to cause any sort of lasting harm.
ErosTek power units also, unlike most competing erotic power units, use a fully bipolar symmetrical waveform similar to high-end medical devices. This more costly design significantly reduces the risk of potentially harmful electromigration.
In summary, ErosTek power units are similar to many medical devices in terms of output power and stimulation waveforms. They also have one of the longest track records for safety of any erotic electro-stimulation devices on the market.
Introducing a new + improved version of our popular TriPhase Adapter.
Simply plug the unmarked wire from each lead wire into one of the TriPhase jacks to get 3 wires instead of the usual 4. The common wire works best when connected to a large surface area electrode, like an E-Cup, mono-polar butt plug (FlexProbe) or one surface of a bipolar plug (MJ or Moaner, for example).
We now have two options for deliveries headed to Canada: US Postal Service (USPS) and United Parcel Service (UPS):
- UPS tends to cost more and will collect a brokerage fee during customs clearance, but delivers packages quickly and reliably without delay.
- US Postal Service costs a less to ship but takes a bit longer to get there.
You can select either shipping option during checkout and see real-time quotes for your shipping address from the ErosTek Online Shop. Enjoy!
With so many electro buttplugs on the market these days, which ones are worth the price? After months of personal testing, I’ve found two outstanding plugs worthy of your attention.
Introducing the MJ BiPolar and Moaner BiPolar buttplugs. Hand-crafted in the UK from solid aluminum, these smooth satin-finished wonders are easy to insert and work like a charm. The look and feel is refined. Masterfully designed. These are two of the most comfortable plugs I’ve ever used and after many months of hands-free orgasmic (HFO) bliss, both look and work perfectly.
Super easy to maintain.
Satin-finished for excellent lube adhesion.
Made to last a lifetime. Available now on the ErosTek Shop.
Hi this is Eric Forbes at ErosTek and today:
I want to talk about what e-stim feels like.
A lot of people have been calling us on the phone, sending us emails asking “What does this feel like?” so I’d like to spend a few minutes to try and explain it. I’ve been doing it [e-stim] for so long, it’s like it’s own range of feelings.
Does it feel like a hand job?
Sorta. Let’s start with what it would feel like on the cock and balls since that’s the most popular configuration to start off with. Most guys don’t use an anal plug to start off with, they usually do something with their cock and balls. So, let’s talk about that.
One of my favorite configurations is to use the CockCap on the top of my cock and to put the ECup over my balls with the Neoprene Jock. What that does is create a circuit that goes between the ball-sac and goes up the shaft through the cock, stimulates all the nerve endings in the cock and stimulates the very tip using the CockCap. You don’t feel anything on the balls really because the ECup is so large compared to the CockCap.
There’s a surface area effect going on here.
When you look at the two electrodes and compare them, the surface of one — say the ECup — is so much larger than the CockCap. You’re going to feel the sensation near the one with the smaller surface area because it’s more concentrated. You can think of it like the sharpened tip of a pencil. If you were to touch yourself with the sharp tip you’d feel it more strongly than if you touched the same place with the soft rubber eraser on the other side. The difference there isn’t just because of the different materials, but due to the difference in the surface areas. One has a much larger surface area than the other so you can feel the difference with that analogy.
The same thing happens with electricity.
The same current is flowing through the ECup and the CockCap. It’s in the same circuit so it is in fact the same current but you’re going to feel a different sensation in each end (electrode). So in the case of stimulating the cock, you’re going to feel so many different sensations depending on what power unit you’re using and what mode you’re in, if your power unit has multiple modes or routines.
The mode you’re using will have a big influence on what it feels like.
Some of those modes are very basic, like on the ET312B for instance, there’s a mode called “Intense” which is kind of a bad name because it’s actually one of the cooler routines — it’s very basic in that on one channel — Channel A — the output is continuous, it’s not interrupted. You can adjust the sensation, the way it feels, by changing the MultiAdjust (MA) control. When you turn the MultiAdjust down, to the minimum setting, the feeling is very throbbing and coarse like bah-bah-bah-bah-bah-bom and this goes on continuously.
You can speed that up with the MultiAdjust control until it becomes a very smooth, higher frequency output. Again it’s continuous, it’s just ON the whole time. And you can vary the intensity using the the output level — in this case for Channel A — you would turn the “A” knob up or down to adjust the intensity while the “MultiAdjust” knob controls the quality, the frequency, the pitch, the smoothness or roughness of the stimulation if you want to say it that way. As you turn it down, it’s going to feel rougher and as you turn it up, it’s going to feel much smoother and tighter. It’s going to feel like it’s compressing.
So you have a wide range just in that one mode.
I like to use “Intense” as an introduction because it’s a very predictable mode. It doesn’t move around a lot, unless you’re cranking on the MultiAdjust knob and turning it up and down! You can pretty much vary it however you like, but if you just leave it there and slowly adjust the output [level], you’ll get a pretty good idea of what it feels like at a particular MultiAdjust setting.
It’s a little hard to explain.
I’m trying my best to explain it but, the fact is, you’ve got two things you can adjust once you get wired up. You can decide what mode you’re going to go into and where you’re going to set the MultiAdjust knob and that’s basically setting the speed of the routine — how fast it plays — and also the frequency which determines how smooth it feels. Higher frequencies tend to feel smoother and lower frequencies feel rougher and more pulsing and throbbing.
Just imagine a rainbow of colors…
You can basically select any color that you want by adjusting the MultiAdjust knob and you can adjust how bright it is by the output levels, A or B.
It’s completely up to you.
You can start off with just the mildest tingle and stay there for awhile and just… For me personally, I like to go pretty high during a session and then I like to bring it back [down] to where I can barely feel it. I find that my nerve endings get a break and they start to become more sensitive when I turn the power level down. I give myself just like 5 minutes. For me, it’s very arousing to turn the levels down and take a little break without turning it off.
Then I’m ready to go at a higher level again, not necessarily as high as I was before but I can find this happy-medium where I can stay there for an hour and watch videos or look at pictures that I think — well, look at pictures of hot guys basically — or whatever I’m doing. Then e-stim becomes this other layer to my play time.
So what does e-stim feel like?
It’s a factor of the power unit, so which power unit are you using? If you’re starting off with something inexpensive, like a TENS unit, that’s not going to feel very erotic. It’s going to give you a tingle, for sure, but realize that TENS units were made for numbing the nerve endings. They were designed to block chronic pain by making the same pulse train over and over again. It’s like playing the same note on the piano over and over and over again. Ding-ding-ding-ding! Over and over again. The same thing. After awhile, the brain stops paying attention to that area. Which is good if you’re in pain.
But let’s face it…
If you’re trying to get off, you probably don’t want your cock to be numb.
The good thing about ErosTek Power Units is that the waveforms are balanced positive and negative. That means that over time there is no build up of current [or charge] in one direction vs. the other. It’s balanced. It’s going to equal zero over time. There are just as many pulses going in the positive direction as there are in the negative. So if you add that all up, you get zero. It’s neutral.
Some units push the pulses in a positive direction only.
You wind up having this numbing sensation occur much faster. The only remedy is to take the wires off [disconnect them] and flip them around so that you can disconnect the leads going to the CockCap and ECup — turn the levels down first — then flip the wires so that each goes to the other electrode. One goes into the other (and vice versa) and then you can turn the levels back up and stim in the opposite direction for awhile.
ErosTek Power Units do that automatically, with every pulse. There’s a positive-going and a negative-going, alternating current, going back and forth. Like a true alternating current waveform it’s positive, crosses zero, goes negative, crosses through zero and goes positive again. So… that’s a technical thing, I didn’t need to get into that 🙂
The idea is, if you’re using an inexpensive power unit like a TENS unit, it’s a great, I say it’s a good introduction because it’s inexpensive and lots of people got their start with erotic e-stim using a TENS unit. I don’t know the numbers but I would say people were prescribed a TENS unit [for back pain, for instance] and then put the gel pads on their cock and balls and thought:
“Whoa, this feels pretty cool!”
Sometimes that’s all they need is just gel pads on the cock and balls with to a TENS unit. But if they start searching on the web or talking to their friends, someone is bound to talk about there being other companies out there making stuff that’s for sex, that’s erotic not numbing.
Our units are designed to be used for play.
They’re not meant for medical purposes. In that respect they are just more erotic. They produce sensations that are more varied and more pleasant and if you crank the output levels up high enough, they can become painful.
We have a large body of customers that go for [purchase] these units for the fact that they can produce anything from a mild, pleasant sensation, to something really painful and back again. E-stim doesn’t leave any marks, it doesn’t bruise, it doesn’t do anything like some kinds of BDSM play.
You’ve another tool in your toolbox to help you get off.
I hope this helped give you some idea of what e-stim feels like. In a future podcast I expect I’ll plug a speaker into the output so you can actually hear what the routine sounds like. And we’ll go through the MultiAdjust knob and turn it down and then bring it up so you can see — or actually hear — what the pulses sound like. And with that, you might be able to better relate to what it feels like. That’s coming up next.
I downloaded this app — Arpeggionome — and thought it might feel good if connected to the ET312 in Audio 3 mode. Sure enough, I got a hands-free orgasm (HFO) tonight playing with this iPhone app! Check out the demo I recorded and grab the app if you’ve got an iPhone or iPad. Loads of fun for just $1.99.
This is a video I did back in 2009:
The following is a chapter of an upcoming book I’m writing. Your comments are invited. —Eric
In order for current to flow, we need a complete circuit. And in most cases, this requires two (2) wires connected to the load — or in our case — some part of our body. Think of the wires as tubes with electrons being water traveling inside those tubes. One wire delivers the electrons to the skin while the other returns electrons back to the power unit. And whether the direction changes back and forth several times a second (alternating current or AC) or flows in the same direction (direct current or DC) doesn’t really matter. The fact that you need two (2) wires connected in order to feel anything is required no matter what direction the electrons are flowing.
A closed loop is the complete circuit or path followed by a signal as it is flows from a signal source to the load and back.
The concept of a closed loop in an electrical circuit may seem strange, since many things in nature flow without a definite return path. Water flowing from a faucet, for example, simply flows from the faucet — ending up in a water glass to be drunk, or for any variety of other uses. While it may go down the drain, it doesn’t have to. It could just as easily go all over the floor, or be used to water the lawn. Eventually, water from the faucet returns to some source, but it doesn’t need a definite path to get there.
The Difference Between High and Low Voltage
High voltage — electrical potentials more than 1000 volts AC or 1500 volts DC — have the ability to form an arc or a spark. At high voltages, electrons can flow through air and other materials not normally considered conductors of electrical current. Walking across a carpeted floor in a dry, heated room in the middle of winter can cause an accumulation of electrons that get suddenly discharged when we touch a metal doorknob or other grounded metal surface. In this case, the accumulation of electrons create a voltage high enough to jump the gap between our finger tip and the metal surface. In the case of high voltage, air becomes invisible conductor that completes the circuit.
In our discussion of erotic electro-stimulation, we purposely limit ourselves to low voltages which don’t have enough energy to jump through the air. These low voltages need a conductor to supply the electrons and another conductor to act as a return back to the source.
In other words, two (2) wires are needed and this explains why all low voltage electro-stim devices have two wires for each output channel connected to the body. Connecting just one of the two output wires results in no current flow. There is no means for the current to flow back — in a sense, it’s ready to go but has no way home. Connecting both wires to two (2) separated mono-polar electrodes or one (1) bi-polar electrode allows current to flow between the surfaces. Connecting just one of these and leaving the other wire free prevents current from flowing.
Monopolar and Bipolar
Bipolar electrodes have 2 conductive surfaces separated by a insulating material. Many anal and vaginal toys are bipolar, as well as some cock rings and urethral sounds. If you see two metal surfaces separated by a acrylic, plastic or rubber gap — these are insulators — and two jacks to connect to the lead wires, it’s mostly likely a bipolar device. In some cases, a bipolar may come with an attached cord and plug that connects directly to the power unit. A bipolar electrode has everything you need in one piece: two conductors and an insulated space between them. Current has a way to come from and go back to the power unit, you just insert it and it’s ready to go.
Monopolar electrodes have 1 conductive surface. An ElectroCup (E-Cup) has a single conductive surface that makes contact with the balls, and works great with the CockCap, another mono-polar electrode that contacts the head of the cock. Current flows between the two when each wire of a lead wire is connected to them. But you have to leave a space between them. If monopolar electrodes make contact with each other, you will feel only a slight tingle, if that, since most of the current prefers to take the path of least resistance — from one conductor to the other. This is called a short-circuit. Current flows from one conductor directly to another without doing any work — or in our case — causing stimulation of the nerve endings.
Closed Loops Need:
- Two (2) conductive surfaces
- Body tissue (aka “skin”) between them
- Power source
- Lead wires connected to each conductive surface
- Water-based lube
The Need for Lube
Lubricant (or lube) serves two purposes: it allows smooth movement and it increases conductivity. Dry skin is a poor conductor of electricity, but moist skin is another story. Using fresh water would also do the trick, but it tends to dry out quickly. There are two kinds of lube available: water-based and silicone-based. I enjoy the longer-lasting silicone lubes for regular play, but since silicone is an insulator, it’s bad news for electro play. Imagine getting everything wired up and ready, only to coat the metal with something that prevents current from flowing. It’s no joke — I know it happens all the time! The best lube for electro-stim is water-based and there are many kinds available. I use Gun Oil H2O and many have used K-Y jelly and other water-based lubes with great results. Select a water-based lube you like and apply a coating to every conductive surface that touches the body. For anal toys, it’s OK to use lots of lube. This keeps things moving smoothly during play.
One exception: Gel Electrodes. Conductive gel pads have a surface that sticks well to freshly-cleaned and dried skin. Using lube with these pads will contaminate the gel surface and cause them to fall off. So don’t bother using lube with these. I make it a point to wash and dry any the areas I want to stimulate with gels before getting wired up. Body oils and sweat can interfere with their performance. Clean skin keeps gels sticky, which is a good thing. And they can be used several times and re-wetted to restore the sticky surface.
What happens if I connect just one of the lead wire plugs to my body?
You won’t feel a thing. Nothing. Not even at maximum output levels. This sometimes happens unexpectedly, when a wire comes loose during a session. In this case, current has been flowing quite nicely until — for some reason — a wire gets disconnected. As soon as this happens, the flow of current is interrupted. But the current will flow in whatever manner it can, through the disconnected banana plug tip that’s now dangling off by itself somewhere. Touching it, or having it graze against your thigh (just one example) will let you know that it is still quite able to conduct electron flow! It’s best to turn the output levels down and connect the wire back to where it was attached, and then resume the session.
What about violet wands?
Violet wands produce a high-voltage, low-current output from the tip of their transformer, which is usually connected to a glass tube filled with a noble gas — xenon, neon, argon, or some mixture — that glows when it’s turned on and sends sparks to the skin when brought to the body. Seeing one in action is fascinating, beautiful and the smell of ozone is electrifying! And at first glance, it appears that some kind of magic is occurring with the violet wand. It seems to be violating our “closed loop” requirement. And yet, it’s not.
The high-voltage output of the violet wand is strong enough to produce an arc or spark in mid-air, something that low-voltage devices — all erotic electro-stim units made for play including all ErosTek units — can’t do. It’s the high voltage that jumps across the air to touch the skin and jump off the skin somewhere else to complete the circuit. It’s not a precise circuit by any stretch. The most obvious connection seems to be where the violet wand is comes close to the skin and creates a buzzing sensation with tiny sparks flying between the glass tube and body part being stimulated. The not-so-obvious return path the rest of the body and the surrounding air. The body itself has more than enough free electrons floating inside it to satisfy the violet wand’s ability to move electrons forcibly across the gap. When the voltages are small — in the case of our low-voltage applications — resistance plays a bigger role in the conduction of electron flow.