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Electricity Play: Demo Report

Author: Bob Kosovsky

Filed in: health and safety, electroplay

On Nov. 9 [1994] the Gay Male S/M Activists (GMSMA) [of New York] had an evening devoted to the use of electricity. The man and woman who led the demonstration (I did not catch their names) basically dealt with two kinds of electricity, that which affects the surface of the skin and that which affects the muscles below the skin.

Safety was emphasized as the initial aspect of the evening. Know the limitations was the repeated phrase. Throughout the evening safety precautions were repeated but I will summarize them here -- though as someone totally inexperienced with electricity, I may be excessively strict.. Among the most important places is the chest, for electricity should not interfere with the electrical impulses that affect the heart. Though perhaps superficial electricity may be administered to a single tit, by using BOTH tits you are using the chest as a conductor - a very bad idea. Also, with very few exceptions (to be explained below), electricity should be kept away from the head. Small amounts of electricity can permanently damage the eyes and ears.

First some principles. Anything can be a conductor of electricity, including the human body. What makes the body react to electricity is whether its accumulated charge is discharged. Discharge of electricity is accomplished through grounding. By being grounded, electricity will pass right though the body onto the grounding device. Thus, to build up an electrical charge the body needs to have a *ground fault interruption device.* This can be exploited by building up and discharging electricity.

Another principle was that of voltage versus amperage. The thing which causes danger is the level of amperes. The lower the amperage the less danger there is of causing damage.

Violet Wand. (The wand kit illustrated in the Mr. S/Fetters catalog seems to be the same that was used at this demo.) This is among the lightest types of electrical devices, using static electricity. With the violet wand the electricity goes to the surface of things, in this case one of several kinds of attachments which build up a charge and then discharge it by sending it away from the surface. In transferring charges to the body, the end attachment - that which makes contact with the skin -- can vary. The greater the surface area on the attachment, the weaker the charge; conversely the smaller amount of surface area, the greater the charge. The demonstrators brought several kinds of attachments for the wand. The first was something that looked like an oversized light bulb. When it was attached to the wand and the current turned on, one could see the electricity radiate from the central filament to various points on the surface of the glass bulb (it reminded me of a Tesla coil). The speakers said that because the electrical charge was dissipated by relatively large amount of surface of the bulb (it was perhaps 4 inches in diameter), when placed or brushed against the skin the sensation was comparatively weak. Visually it was impressive, as the rays of pulsating electricity became attracted to skin that touched the surface of the bulb. (I gather that because the bulb and skin were conductors the path of electricity became more defined, hence the greater intensity of visual light within the bulb.) Then they tried a smaller bulb, about 2 inches in diameter. Not only was the visual impression intensified, but apparently so was the feeling. Another type of glass device looked like a miniature rake - a small straw-like cylinder that led to about 4-5 prongs set at a right angle - the whole thing about 2-3 inches long. Not only did this give a stronger effect, but this was the only time during the evening that the speakers demonstrated something touching the head - in this case only hair at the back of the scalp for a few seconds. Know what you are doing was a very frequent reminder, repeated here and subsequently. Removing the rake-like attachment, the speakers then showed a few steel attachments which had smaller amounts of surface and thereby caused greater shocks. In at least one of these device one could see the continuous sparkle of electrical current dance between steel prod and skin.

In saying where one could procure this kind of device the speakers said that s/m outlets would charge too much (hee hee) for it, so they suggested flea markets. Apparently these wands were sold as *quack* devices - supposedly could help ailments of some kind. Also, it can be known as a spark-gap tester for neon signs. Prompted by a question from the audience, the speakers also said it could be useful for using on tit rings. One member of the audience cautioned against using electricity on gold which could crystalize (?) and eventually shatter. Hearkening back to the voltage vs. amperage principle, they said the wand actually discharges thousands of volts but in milliamperes which makes it less dangerous to use.

They warned against having fluids around. They are good conductors of electricity and will cause the body to discharge unpleasantly. Any kind of fluid residue (pre-cum, vaginal fluid) especially those with salt (urine) will be dangerous. Alcohol on skin surface was mentioned as something to be absolutely avoided.

The second use of electricity - that which affects muscles below the skin surface - was demonstrated by use of the relaxicizor. This device was designed to be used sitting and exercising. The directions say they can be used simultaneously on both pecs - but do not try it! You can try it on one only but if you try both you risk a significant current interfering with your heart. EXTREMELY dangerous! They also pointed out that if you create something where the electricity is traveling from your hand and being discharged in your leg, that is much travel through the chest and heart area and that this is also something to avoid.

As the goal of a Relaxicizor is to produce spasms, it can be dangerous to have the person receiving the electricity in bondage, and they advised against it. This device should never be used above the chest.

Some of these devices have high voltages but the one demonstrated was only 12 volts DC and had a low amperage. It also was created to give off square sine waves. (What I believe this means is that the emission of electricity is at a steady level; other devices can vary unpredictably in the kind and intensity of emissions.) The expense is pretty much based on the number of channels, each channel being able to give off current. The model they demonstrated had four channels and ran $600. But the showed simpler TENS units that ran $50. Apparently the Japanese are very much into these things for relieving back pain. The less expensive models were all Japanese. In one of the more humorous moments of the evening, the speakers said that you could tell your doctor that you have chronic back pain and get Medicare to pay for the TENS unit!

As the goal of using a Relaxicizor is to get at the muscles underneath the surface of the skin you need something that allows the current to go past the surface of the skin - this is electrical gel which serves as a conductor. The speakers emphasizes the necessity of applying lots and lots of gel - it can dry out quickly (sounds like K-Y, yes?) and more must be re- applied if the electricity is to continue to reach the muscles under the skin. Sweat may cause the gel to dry out. This reminded me of the procedure for taking electro-cardiograms. Similarly the speakers mention devices to attach to the body so as to achieve good conductivity. A home-made vaginal clip was displayed - a band with silver paint laid on it (I gather this must have been special paint designed for conductivity). Later on they discussed different kinds of pads that can be obtained covering small and large areas.

First the speakers demonstrated a specially made metal cockring that had contacts to attach to the Relaxicizor. Poor WM was trying this out and enumerated some of the odd feelings and sensations he experienced in his genital area. The second person had a pad attached to his thigh, held in place with some kind of band. It was quite delightful to watch him slowly succumb to the involuntary spasms in his leg created by the Relaxicizor.

One significant distinction made between the Relaxicizor and the TENS units was that the the former provides breaks in between flows of electricity. The TENS units do not, but have a continuous flow. This can be dangerous in that a muscle forced to be used for a certain amount of time can be damaged. The speakers said that just a few hours applied to the leg would prevent someone from walking for a week.

That is my summary. I hope people could share some of their experience with electricity, to which this was my first introduction.

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