ElectraStim Explorer finger pads and the joy of nerdy sponsors

Image by me, sorry for poor quality.

One of the most common misconceptions about electro-sex is that it hurts. It’s an understandable misconception, but to be honest we could say the same of almost any sex thing. That glass dildo is pretty fun if you’re sticking it in your cunt, but you wouldn’t want someone to clip you round the ear with it. That flogger feels like the most satisfying back scratch in the world if you wield it gently, but if you swing it like you’re standing in front of a ‘Test Your Strength’ machine it’s guaranteed to smart. Today I want to tell you about the new ElectraStim Explorer finger pads, while explaining why electro-sex does not have to hurt.

Let’s get the basics out of the way first: electro-stimulation toys usually come in two parts. Firstly there’s the stimulator, which you use to kick out the pulses of electricity. Then there’s the tool, which is what you use to deliver that electricity.

The stimulator is the main bit of kit, and ElectraStim offer a few different versions of this: the standard flick pack which delivers the sensations, the AXIS (an extremely fancy version which has modes like ‘input your music’ and other cool stuff), and the Kix (a budget version for people who want to try out e-stim but without breaking the bank). You can read the fabulous Girl in Old School Trouble’s review of the Kix here, or check out my past post about why the AXIS is so awesome here.

Then, once you’ve got your stimulator, you need your tool(s). You plug the stimulator directly into whichever tool you’re using, and use that to direct where you want the sensations to go. In the past I’ve had huge fun with everything from e-stim butt plugs through this beautiful e-stim dildo to the gloriously-named ‘Jack Socket’ which is designed to go round a dick. But in my opinion the best e-stim tool ever is the simplest: the sticky pads that come as standard with any stimulator. Why? Because you can connect one to one person and the other to another, creating a circuit when you’re touching each other, and when you fuck it’s like your cunt is actively sucking their dick inside you. See my write-up of it here, and marvel – as I do – at the wonders of modern fucktech.

Anyway. For today’s experiment, I’m using my AXIS as the stimulator and the new Silicone Noir Explorer finger pads as the tool.

illustration of a hand wearing two black silicone finger pads

Image courtesy of ElectraStim

What does e-stim feel like?

The answer to this question is going to fall somewhere along a very broad range of sensations, because there is a huge range of safe intensities at which you can use an e-stim toy. At the lower end of the scale, you’ll feel nothing at all – the electricity will be running through you, but you won’t feel it because it’s so gentle as to be entirely unnoticeable to most people. I only bother mentioning this so you know that when you first turn on your stimulator, and touch your tool to your skin, I promise you’re not going to be zapped like you’ve sat on a cattle prod. ElectraStim stimulators, as standard, begin at intensity ‘0’ – this is because they want you to have fun, not run a mile.

When you press the up arrows to increase the intensity, you’ll start to feel a gentle tingling sensation wherever the tool is touching you. If your stimulator has a ‘pulse’ mode, the tingling will get stronger as the unit kicks out more power, and if you’re in the zone it can feel like a kind of meditative thrumming. It’s nothing like a vibration, but the effect it has can sometimes be similar to the effect vibrators have: if I’m using an e-stim dildo, for instance, at the right intensity I can feel my muscles start to twitch and clench around it, almost fluttering slightly as the current runs through.

Then if you turn up the dial again, you’ll start to get a slight prickling sensation – as if there are lots of teeny sparklets dancing on your skin. This is the point at which some people decide the sensation is too much. That, incidentally, is A-OK. You don’t have to be able to turn it up to 11 to really enjoy yourself: plenty of people (myself included) have more fun with e-stim at the lower intensities.

If you actively want pain, though, this will be the starting point for your play: get yourself to ‘prickle’ territory then use pulse modes, the ‘flick’ gesture, or whatever else you want to use to turn prickling into snappy, whip-style cracks. I’ve had this before with two pads on each of my arse cheeks, because I do sometimes like a bit of pain, especially if it causes my bum to jiggle involuntarily at the same time.

So there you have it – a brief overview of what e-stim feels like, which I hope will help people understand that e-stim doesn’t have to hurt. I hope it also sets the scene for the wank I had with the ElectraStim finger pads.

How do you use the ElectraStim Explorer finger pads?

These are one of the easiest e-stim tools to use (in my opinion), because they just go on your fingers, and then you do with your fingers whatever it is you want to do: teasing, rubbing, stroking, you know the drill. I plugged them in to my AXIS, smeared them with electroconductive gel, and settled down for what I hoped would be a brand new way to wank.

And it worked. Kind of. But here’s where I have to confess that for the first time since I first partnered with ElectraStim, I have found an e-stim toy that doesn’t really Do It for me. I’m hoping that thanks to the basics above, I might be able to explain why without baffling the shit out of the vast majority of you.

Here’s the thing: the golden rule of electro sex is that the broader the contact area, the gentler the stimulation. So using something like the Jack Socket, for instance, means the intensity of sensation will be much stronger when you reach the ‘upward’ part of your stroke, and just the head (or the tip of the head) of your cock is making contact with the socket. When you stroke down, thrusting more of your dick inside, the feelings will mellow out because they’re being spread over a wider area. This, incidentally, is why when you’re fucking someone and each of you is wearing one of the e-stim pads, it feels like your cunt is trying to suck their dick inside. It’s like the fuckstroke is soothing the intensity of the sensation. Lovely stuff.

With the ElectraStim Explorer finger pads, I think I struggled a little with managing the intensity of the sensation. With a dildo there’s a really smooth transition between ‘lots of contact area’ and ‘less’ because my vagina (here’s the science bit) is basically a fleshy tube. Slide dildo in: contact area increases consistently. Slide dildo out: contact area decreases consistently. However, with the Explorer finger pads, you’re already working with quite a small contact area. The difference between ‘touching yourself with a small section of the pad’ and ‘touching yourself with an even smaller section of the pad’ is quite a tricky one to control with accuracy. The larger the surface area of the tool, the easier it is (I think) to hit that beautiful sweet spot where stimulation is tingly and thrummy but without being either so strong it prickles intensely or so weak you can’t feel it.

What I’m saying, team, is that for quite a while I lay on my bed enjoying an extremely delicate thrum/tingle, but every time I tried to ramp it up to nudge myself towards coming, I ended up tipping too far into ‘pain’ territory. I like the waves of sensation you get using the ‘mic’ input and a decent song (Kickdrum by Felix da Housecat, if you’re wondering), and that worked for me if I kept my fingers still, but as soon as I started actively wanking, I’d end up losing bits of contact here and there, and then the sensation would get stronger and I ended up zapping myself. Not in a super-painful way: to stress, you’re only gonna get serious pain if you have your settings turned up high like a hot masochist slut. But intense enough that it put me off my (clearly erratic) stroke. The electroconductive gel can help with this, because the more of it you use the broader the area over which the electricity can travel – using it helps stop the sensations from feeling too sharp or prickly – but I still found even with the gel that it was A Bit Too Much for me.

So I turned the intensity down, and the opposite thing happened. It felt pretty decent when I stayed still – the gentle pulsing thrum worked in time to the music, as it should do, but I couldn’t get off without at least a bit of friction alongside it.

Should you get the ElectraStim Explorer finger pads?

I mean yeah, obviously: ElectraStim sponsor my site so the more of you buy their kit, the more kudos I get and the longer I can keep them on board as a sponsor, giving me fun new things to try out.

Sorry, facetious answer. Honestly, I think these will be fun for those of you who like the more intense end of ElectraStim play, as well as for those of you who want a nice, simple tool to use for teasing and touching. I’m keen to have a go at trying them on someone with a dick who might be game for a bit of sensory touching around the head, on one of the gentler modes, to see if it can give them the thrumming sensation I couldn’t quite achieve on my clit this time around. The Explorer finger pads definitely have potential, and are one of the cheaper e-stim tools, so if you have read the above and you’re intrigued I don’t want to put you off having a go.

However, as I say, I struggled a bit with controlling the sensation, and I couldn’t fully wank myself off with them. I’m not sure I expected to be able to actually come, because usually I need vibrations too, but my hopes had soared perhaps unrealistically high because that’s how the ElectraStim Explorer finger pads worked for Girl in Old School Trouble when she had a go the other week. They were still fun to play with, even though in the end I swapped out the finger pads for the kickass Silicone Noir e-stim dildo, set the AXIS to simply play the pulse mode so it was thrumming on and off in my cunt while remaining static, then combined that with my Amo Bullet vibe for an edgy-but-more-successful wank.

And God, I’m annoyed with myself for not being able to make this work. But such is life, I suppose. Not all sex toys are going to work perfectly for me, and sometimes I’m going to find I’ve spent the best part of an hour lying on a bed allowing my phone to suggest wank-tracks to me and failing to rub one out. Still. In this job, even my greatest failures involve lying on a bed naked from the waist down listening to Fuck the Pain Away by Peaches and eagerly rubbing at my clit with some fancy fucktech, so overall I am still a big winner.

Get the ElectraStim Explorer finger pads direct from ElectraStim for £39

Get yourself a Flick stimulator to go with them, for £99, a Kix stimulator for £69 (nice), or the fancy-ass AXIS for £349.

Grab some electroconductive gel while you’re at it – £6.99

Use the code GOTN for 10% off anything on the ElectraStim site.


Important addendum: Sex Science in progress

When I sent this post to ElectraStim (cos I always send posts to sponsors before they go up, I’m a suck-up like that – they never edit me, but I do sometimes ask if there are any links or extra details they’d like me to include), they had a little chat and sent me the following:

“We’ve had an idea for how we could make the pads work for you. No obligation of course, but it’d be interesting to see if it works out if you’d be up for trying at some point?

Essentially we could double the surface area of contact by having a square self adhesive pad on the black connector and then connect both of the Explorer finger pads to the red connector. Not only does this double the contact area (assuming both finger pads are in contact) but it also provides a static reference which reduces the chance of spikes when lifting both Explorers away from the skin.

The pad could be placed anywhere around the labia area. As another thought, if we supply two splitters you could have a pad either side of the labia on the black cable and the two Explorers on the red. Either way this will involve a cable splitter, so we’ll need to make you a couple so you can try out both methods. What do you think?”

I think FUCK YEAH! I’m gonna test this out and report back. Meanwhile, my delight at getting to work with a massive bunch of sex nerds grows exponentially, and I am hugging myself with glee. I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve had a go with this new system, and I might even have to buy myself a lab coat so I can experiment in style. Huge huge thanks to ElectraStim, who not only make extremely cool things, but are willing to go the extra mile to test out brand new ways to use it. They’re a fabulous company, and if you buy e-stim kit from them you can support their work and mine at the same time. FOR SCIENCE.


  • CJ Brook says:

    I love that the ElectraStim products sit so perfectly within the GOTN Venn Diagram of Sex and Nerdery… you write about them so beautifully.

    I cant help thinking the pereneum is the way to start here for those of us with cocks. One day I will get a chance to try!

  • CaSlut says:

    We have found that the finger pads work best with their own power box and not in combination with other ‘trodes. We have multiple ElectraStim power boxes (who doesn’t?) and connect one to a tri-phase cable and the Axis, with one pad on my ‘taint, loop around the testicles and one on the cock head to provide the base stimulation. We hook the finger pads to a single cable on the output of a Flic and connect the finger pads as independent stimulatiors.

    It’s true that the small contact points make concentration necessary, but for example, stroking on either side of my boicunt while riding the Axis on Pulse is just so freaking amazing.

    • Girl on the net says:

      OMG, thank you! This is exactly the kind of nerdy sex toy detail that I absolutely live for. I really appreciate you chipping in! ES have sent me some extra electrodes so I can experiment with a few different ways of playing with them, and I’m gonna study your comment in detail and try to copy your ideas too. Much appreciated CaSlut, thank you!

  • ElectraStim says:

    Wow, thanks for the feedback CaSlut. It’s really helpful to hear what sort of set-ups work for people so we can try to improve our advice in the future. You really do have the best readers GOTN!

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