I'll say this since no one else did.
Some people are indeed very sensitive, but most people can handle electrolysis.
The first thing that I would rule out is a bad electrologist, because it is not only the discomfort you are dealing with, but also the effectiveness of your treatment could be compromised.
Get test patches from different electrologists in your area, and you may just be surprised to discover that they all are not created equal. I get clients coming to me all the time with stories about the pain they used to endure with another electrologist, and/or that they've been in treatment for 2 years or longer without visible results.
Also, before giving your verdict on a topical, make sure that you are applying it correctly: a thick layer, occluded with a plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out, 60-90 minutes before treatment. Most 5% Lidocaine creams and gels are effective if used correctly, even the cheap ones you can buy on Amazon