Shock Collars 101

Yesterday someone on Twitter asked for opinions/ advice on shock collars and I was glad to answer his questions. Since there are not many resources on shock collars out there, I decided to condense what I wrote on Twitter into this little piece.

The main element of a shock collar is small box which houses power generator and two stud-like electrodes. The “professional” models designed for dogs are attached to the body using a nylon strap. There are also fetish models out there which feature a rubber or leather collar or are integrated into a metal collar. The shocks are controlled by a wireless transmitter. Depending on the model it can have a range of up to kilometer on an open area. Others are compatible with beacons which trigger the shocks once a line is crossed like an invisible fence.

Once the trigger is pressed, it works like an e-stim power box with build-in electrodes. However, unlike erotic e-stim devices, the shock is not pulsed but continuous and no program is modulated onto pulse. Since all professional models are designed to penetrate a dog’s thick fur, they must not be used on humans! The necessary high intensity applied on bare skin can lead to burns, spasms and especially on the neck permanent nerve damage. If the electrodes face the bottom of the balls, they can even cause permanent infertility.

I am aware that a lot of people will now say that they have been using shock collars for years without any problems. A common argument in the discussion is that you can use low levels which are not dangerous. In my book, shock collars are like solo breath play: It can go well a thousand times, until this one, fatal time. Furthermore, most of the time nerve damage does not occur instantaneous but develops over time. While lower levels are less dangerous, I do not think they are a valid argument. As usage of the shock collar progresses, the sub will get desensitized and used to the intensity, leading to an escalation. This can be facilitated by endorphins (on both sides when the top is getting greedy) during play and the power dynamic between the play partners leading to pushing each others’ limits. And this does not take into consideration that some boxes don’t offer different channels for the trigger so strangers can (un)intentionally shock the sub without the top’s control. Another grave danger is the fact that there are a shockingly large number of shock collars available which put out DC, especially from Asian manufacturers (If you don’t know why DC is potentially lethal, read my E-Stim 101)!

If you still want to use a shock collar, you should also consider the legal implications. In some countries, shock collars are more or less illegal. In Germany they are considered a weapon. Owing them requires a license and they must be transported in a specific manner. In Austria selling, buying, owning and using them is illegal. Since shock collars are explicitly not made for humans, (permanent) injuries cause by them are most likely not covered by liability insurance. Furthermore these injuries might be considered a form of battery the sub is not able to consent to which can be a basis for criminal charges.

Finally, if you still want to use a shock collar, here are the pieces of advice I promised:

  1. Buy a model for erotic use: There are models out there designed to be used on humans which are somewhat safe (the neck is still not the best play to apply e-stim). However, their intensity is so low that it will not impress most real pain pigs or subs who need real punishment to comply. Furthermore, most of the models are made in Asia so be extra-careful if they put out AC.
  2. If you like the look of a real shock collar, only put it on a sub without batteries.
  3. If you feel that only a shock collar can make your sub comply, tie it around his thighs. It is saver than the neck and the pain and fear of collapsing should make him comply.
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