Non-genomic effects of estrogen receptor α (ERα) signaling have been described for decades. However, the mechanisms and physiological processes resulting solely from non-genomic signaling are poorly understood. Challenges in studying these effects arise from the strongly nucleophilic tendencies of estrogen receptor, and many approaches to excluding ERα from the nucleus have been explored over the years. In this review, we discuss past strategies for studying ERα's non-genomic action and current models, specifically H2NES ERα, first described by Burns et al. (2011). In vitro and preliminary in vivo data from H2NES ERα and H2NES mice suggest a promising avenue for pinpointing specific non-genomic ERα action.