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Eric Forbes

got a call one day from a lawyer asking whether a machine he sells “could force an ejaculation from someone,” he says. Forbes founded a company that sells “e-stim” devices, contraptions that deliver a current of electricity to the genitals through various attachments and sex toys. Forbes likes to be electrically wowed himself. He pens his story on his company website:

“My foray into electrical stimulation started in my early teens, where I built crude but effective electro toys using bits of copper wire, salvaged power supplies, and aluminum foil. By the time I reached 16, I had quite a few pieces of gear to experiment with, all of which had to be hidden away from family eyes.”

Forbes’ stimulating foray ultimately paid off. He now gets to peddle $400 machines like the ErosTek ET-302R (pictured) to like minded fetishists across the globe. He also gets to field some weird phone calls, like the one he tells City Desk that he received from the U.S. Attorney’s office after authorities began investigating the circumstances behind the stabbing death of a 32-year-old D.C. lawyer named Robert Wone.

Forbes says the prosecutor who called him was “very nice” and first wanted to know if it was odd for the three suspects accused of covering up Wone’s 2006 murder— Joe Price, Victor Zaborsky and Dylan Ward—to have owned so many sex toys. According to court records, the trio had quite a cache, one that included floggers, assorted dildos, and the ErosTek ET-302R.  (Read more: “The Secret Sex Toys of the Robert Wone Trial.”)

Forbes told them that, in his experience, it was normal for fetishists to have large collections of toys, he says.

The lawyer also asked about the ErosTek. 

Prosecutors once contended that Wone was sexually assaulted the night he was murdered, and offered as proof the fact that some of Wone’s own sperm was found on his body. Investigators believed that Wone had been bound and then electrocuted into ejaculating.

Forbes told him his machine couldn’t do that. Though electro-ejaculation, which is sometimes used on horses, is possible, he told the attorney it would take a machine with a much higher voltage than the ErosTek.