Dear Dr Ren:
I have read numerous testimonials on the pleasures of “electro sex” but apart from potential urethral infections, I have not found any literature on potential health hazards with both short and long-term use.
Could electrical stimulation of the prostate, either through the anus or through the urethra, become an initiator of prostate cancer?
Could there be nerve and/or tissue damage with long-term regular usage using any of the multitudes of electrodes available?
Any other information you have, including research resources, would be very much appreciated.
Curious & Concerned
Dear C & C,
I, too, found it difficult to find scientific research about electrical stimulation. Can you imagine your chances of landing funding for Investigation into the Effects of Electrical Stimulation on Male Prostate Function — or any other sexually identified subject, for that matter? I could not locate anything in the journals.
My medical resources advised that, if you are willing to accept the somewhat controllable risk of acquiring UTIs (urinary tract infections) that accompany any urethral insertion, there is not much else that can hurt you. There is even some speculation that electrical prostate stimulation may be beneficial. Research does tell us that men who ejaculate regularly and frequently have fewer prostate problems and have them later.
Electrical stimulation is used in men with spinal cord injuries to produce sperm-harvesting ejaculations. The voltage used is so high that a man with feeling would require sedation. The low-voltage, controllable levels you would be using appear to be harmless.
And remember, as is in any BDSM activity, “safe, sane and consensual” reigns. You are an adult choosing to play an adult’s game. If you learn the rules and abide them, you get to play relatively risk-free.
As to cancer, I didn’t find anyone who thought there was a connection. It doesn’t make sense to me, either, unless, of course, you are zapping your ass 18 hours daily and get some odd form of UV ‘sunburn,’ but you see how preposterous that is!
Before we get more specific about risks and remedies, let’s discuss how you can determine if this is a behaviour you’ll like.
In your letter, you reference UTIs when you mention prostate massage so I infer you will be sounding, or doing urethral insertion. Have you done this in the past? Do you like the feeling? Do you think ES would add to its arousal? Have you played with electricity before? Does it thrill you in its own right?
You also mention anal play. Do you see that as a good fit?
Most importantly, do you like prostate stimulation?
If you are not sure, you need to start your investigation small. Begin with your finger and locate your prostate, which is walnut shaped and has the consistency of the end of your nose. If that’s a hit, invest in a Nexus stimulator (several shapes, including a solo-handy ‘O’). If, by now, your prostate is your favourite body part, how do you have the most fun with the least consequence when you add the element of electricity?
The safety highlights of ES and urethral sounding are simple:
Clean your hands well or use gloves.
Handle your equipment and your toys minimally and use lube specific to each toy to avoid cross contamination, especially between anal and urethral devices.
Wash everything with alcohol, not bleach.
Use medical-grade toys, or inspect others carefully and often for such things as current-conducting (and sharp!) tape that may come loose.
Skin conductivity varies between people and even in the same person between scenes, so be aware of hydration and lube/electro gel to avoid skin burns.
If all your best hygiene practices fail and you contract a UTI, it will usually self-remedy within a day or two. Women swear by cranberry juice for bladder infections — perhaps it’s the kinky chicken soup.
We may not have scientific research, C & C, but the internet is lousy with fans blogging all types of electro sex. You can easily find a wealth of stories and pictures to educate and entertain you.
Then, when you are ready to invest in some equipment and are deciding which body parts you want to begin playing with (ah, the choices), go to www.medicaltoys.com and prepare for a mind-expanding and entertaining education in a cornucopia of offbeat ways to get yourself off. This is the first time I have mentioned a specific site in my column. You’ll see why.
Extra credit tip: the most nerve endings are in the first inch of your penis. Even small power bursts can give you either a kiss or a wallop depending on electrode placement. Keep in mind that since the body ‘resets’ itself to adjust to pain, you can get more of a hit by playing for a few minutes, stopping, and resuming or moving to a new spot than by increasing power uninterrupted.
You have discovered a sexual behaviour that is both flexible and varied in its applications and effects. Resources of anecdotal and supportive information abound to keep you educated and entertained. And it appears to be pretty safe. Have a good time.