No stupid questions. :-) I use the terms 'locks', 'clutches' and 'brakes' interchangeably. Perhaps I shouldn't.
Those silver levers on the side of the side of your mount axes are what I'm referring to. Your motors (on each axis) turn a worm gear via the belt-and-pulleys. The worm gear meshes with a large, cylindrical ring gear. It is *always* meshed, and that ring will not move, unless the motor drives it. That's just how worm drives go.
So. When you go to balance your scope, you loosen the locks/brakes/clutches, and magically, the axes move freely despite that, so you can balance (if they don't move freely, that's a separate problem). So you balance your scope, line up your marks, then tighten the locks/brakes/clutches, and just like that, you can no longer move the axis around without the motor driving it - what happened?
Friction happened. What those levers do is engage the outer shell of the mount axis, with the ring gear that is inside. Locks/brakes/clutches tightened, and the axis is mechanically linked to the ring gear and can be driven only by the motor. Locks/brakes/clutches loosened, and the axis is disengaged from the ring gear and can move freely around it. Sounds more complicated than it is - there are very few moving parts in there.
Anyway... really, for Explorestars use, about the only time I would think that you'd want those locks/brakes/clutches disengaged, is to balance your scope during setup. Other than that, let the motors drive the scope. Probably 'clutch' is the better term to use.
Does that help?
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras: Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2 290M
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer: Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64