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Cock Rings: Is It Time to Put a Ring on It?

Cock rings can not only help with ED, but can be an exciting new addition to your sex life.

Zachary Zane
Columnist, sex expert, and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, lifestyle, culture, and the LGBTQ community

by Zachary Zane 9 min read

Cock rings are one of the most underutilized sex toys out there.

They’re simple to use, can help with erectile dysfunction, and can increase the strength of orgasms for both you and your partner.

Yet a lot of folks don’t use cock rings because they simply don’t know enough about them.

That said, we’re going to provide everything there is to know about cock rings.

Get ready to dispel the myths you might have about them and learn which type of cock ring is right for you (and your partner).

Quick FAQs

Only if used incorrectly, or if they are just too small for you.

This depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you want one that you and your partner can enjoy then you'll want to go with a vibrating cock ring. If you want something you can "grow" with so to speak then maybe an adjustable one is the type for you. No matter what you're looking for we'll help guide you to the ring that's just right for you.

This again will depend on the type you choose, but for the most part you slide it to the base of your penis. Some of them have straps that also go around the testicles. While others have anal inserts for the person wearing the cock ring to enjoy penetration at the same time.

Yes, because of the way a cock ring traps the blood into the penis it is possible to have both larger erections as well as erections that last longer.

What is a cock ring?

A cock ring is a very simple band or ring that goes around the base of your penis to help you achieve erections that are stronger, longer-lasting and larger. 

Cock ring blood flow benefits

Your erections are based on blood flow; this is why erectile dysfunction and heart disease are often linked.

Pro Tip: One healthy and proven way to increase blood flow is with VitaFLUX from Promescent.

If there's bad blood flow to your penis, or it leaves too quickly, you can't maintain a strong erection.

A cock ring keeps the blood in place, not only prolonging an erection but actually improving the look and strength as well.

Sometimes cock rings are worn around the testicles as well, which is more of a personal choice. The benefits here can increase sexual pleasure but don't really affect erections that much.

Beyond that, there are tons of additional accessories that a cock ring can come with, including:

  • Vibrators (which benefit you and your partner)
  • Anal beads
  • Penis extenders
  • No joke, some have lights, which is fun

The materials most commonly used for cock rings typically need to be stretchy but still durable and strong enough to constrict blood flow out of the penis.

The most common materials are rubber and silicone, but there are also leather and even metal rings.

Types of cock rings

As we spoke about, there are different types of cock rings and each has its own benefits.

Not everyone who uses a cock ring is going to dig all the different ones available; you might love a rubber ring, but a metal one is too constrictive, for instance.

Different types of cock rings available

Softy and stretchy 

Stretchy silicone cock ring

These rings are made from silicone or rubber, though leather is another option.

Stretchy rings are more comfortable, and are usually the ones that people start with.

These rings constrict penile blood flow but don't cut it off completely and are less likely to cause any kind of potential side effects that other cock rings sometimes do.

This is a good place to start if you're having difficulty maintaining an erection, or you want to spice up your sex life in general.

Even if you're not having ED problems, cock rings can maintain an erection after orgasm, so there's less downtime.

Adjustable

Adjustable cock ring

These rings are, well, adjustable, as the name implies.

They can fit different penis sizes and handle differing levels of engorgement.

An adjustable ring is good for someone who is dealing with ED and is actively resolving it.

As your need for the ring diminishes, you can adjust it to fit better.

Vibrating

Pivot vibrating cock ring

Well everyone likes a little vibration during sex, and these types of rings bring that to the table. 

While vibrating cock rings are usually designed for clitoral stimulation during penetration, the pleasure they can bring to you shouldn't be overlooked.

Additionally, even if you're not the owner of a penis, you can slip one of these over a dildo and get the same wonderful results.

Check out the Pivot vibrating cock ring available from Promescent

Stiff/rigid

 stainless steel cock ring

What do you get for the guy who already has all of the normal cock rings? A metal one, of course!

These rings are best left to those who are experienced with cock rings because there's no room for expansion.

If you get one of these without ever having used a c-ring before, you could seriously cause some discomfort. 

Combos

There are cock rings that have double-sided vibrators that affect the head of the penis as well as the partner being penetrated.

Other rings have anal beads attached, allowing you to feel penetrated while you penetrate. Still, others vibrate your shaft or perineum.

The point is that cock rings can bring a lot more than a stretchy ring around the base of your penis. The future of sextech is here!

How do I use a cock ring

Though the method for "using" a cock ring might seem pretty straightforward, it's not as simple as slipping it over your penis.

Obviously, the different materials will affect how you use the ring, but timing is important, too.

3 steps on how to use a cock ring

1. Use lube

Lube generally makes sex better in general, but with toys, you should always lube up.

Use some on the shaft and on the inside of the ring and run it down a semi-erect or completely flaccid penis.

Then, as you get hot and heavy, blood will flow in, but the ring will prevent (or slow) the outflow, keeping you extra-hard for longer.

2. Achieve erection as normal

If you have difficulty achieving erections, a penis pump can help get the blood going where you want it.

Otherwise, continue with foreplay until you're erect.

3. Have sex!

At this point, with your erection and the ring in place, you should be ready for penetrative sex.

Pro Tip: Now that you're to try your new cock ring out. Check out this article on how to last longer in bed to help make the experience last as long as possible.

The biggest concerns with using a cock ring are:

  • It should feel constrictive but in an appealing way. If it hurts your penis, where it's wrapped around the shaft, or in your abdomen, you should take it off. For people using rigid rings and who have experience with c-rings, will know the difference between good pain and bad pain. For a beginner, listen to your body; pain is not something you want to ignore.
  • Never leave it on for longer than half an hour at a time. While the constant erection might seem like something you want to keep using, give your vessels and penis a break for a bit. Focus on your partner and then when you're ready again, slip it back on.

Benefits of using cock rings

There are a lot of benefits to cock rings for you and your partner.

As we stated before, they're a good way to improve ED, but there's a lot more going on than just that.

1. Increased pleasure (for you)

The extra blood supply in the penis makes it more sensitive, and it prolongs orgasm.

This can mean mind-blowing orgasms that last longer than normal, and if that sentence doesn't excite you, go read it again.

Additionally, just being harder, especially for someone dealing with ED, can lead to better feelings about sex in general.

This alone can lead to better, more pleasurable intercourse.

2. Increased pleasure (for your partner)

A harder, more confident penis feels better for everyone, including the receptive partner.

Additionally, you can get different types of cock rings that add more pleasure during penetration:

  • Vibrating cock rings feel good for both of you, but particularly for partners with a clitoris. During the deepest part of penetration, the ring will vibrate their clitoris and drive them wild.
  • Cage rings surround the penis in ridges that add different sensations to penetration. While there are restrictive cages that are used in different types of sexual play, we're not talking about those. Cage rings are designed to allow you maximum erection while benefiting your partner.
  • Textured rings are similar to cage rings, but without fully encompassing the penis. These, like cages, add differing sensations to penetration.

3. Boosting foreplay

Couple that foreplay was made better because of a cock ring

If you or your partner slips a cock ring around their fingers or tongue during foreplay, it can make oral sex or handjobs out of this world.

This works for literally any form of hand/finger/mouth sex and on any partner, so give it a try!

Harder erections

Even if you're not suffering from ED, a cock ring can make your penis larger and harder when erect.

This can look and feel better for both parties, and as long as it doesn't cause discomfort, it's a fun bit of extra spice to your sex life.

Risks of using a cock ring

There are some potential risks with using a cock ring, just like almost anything else.

As long as you take your time and don't try to go all-in with a metal ring on your first outing, you should be fine.

Just pay attention to what you're feeling during sex and dial things back if they get to be too much.

1. Priapism

Priapism is a medical term for an erection that lasts too long, usually in excess of 4 hours.

These can be painful, leave lasting injury to the penis, and are most closely associated with the result of ED medication not wearing off quickly enough.

In one NCBI study, a 47-year old gentleman experienced priapism by wearing his cock ring for too long.

The most likely cause of this condition during cock ring use is not taking a break or removing the ring after ejaculation.

Remember, don't keep it on for much longer than 30 minutes at a time, and give your penis a chance to get flaccid before putting it back on.

2. Pain

Your ring should feel snug and tight, but not painful. If you're feeling pain, get a bigger ring.

Severe pain is an indication of something very wrong, as is pain that travels up into your abdomen.

It might not mean you need a doctor, but you could be pinching a nerve or something similarly horrific.

3. Allergies

If you're allergic to rubber, silicone, latex, or certain metals, make sure your ring isn't made of that material.

You might not know about an allergy before it happens, but if you see redness, have pain, or itchiness, then it's very possible you have an allergy.

Get a different material ring and give your penis some time to recover before hopping back into the saddle.

Common myths about cock rings

As with many things sex-related, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about cock rings.

We're hoping we can dispel some of those so you feel better about giving them a try, while also educating you on things you might not consider.

Common myths about cock rings answered

1. Diseases still possible

You can definitely still get STIs while using a cock ring without a condom.

While many rings work pretty well alongside condom use, using a ring without protection is in no way going to prevent infections.

Glove up if you don't know your partner well, and put the ring on the outside with plenty of lube.

2. Pregnancy is still a risk

Just like STIs, you can still get someone pregnant during sex with a c-ring.

It simply restricts blood flow, not sperm quality or volume, so again, use a condom if you're not ready for kids.

3. They are painful

You might have thought that a cock ring is always painful and unpleasant; something that only masochists would subject themselves to.

This is untrue! 

The fact is that they can be painful if used incorrectly, or if they're too small.

If you have one made of the right material and that accurately fits your penis, then there should be no pain.

Takeaways

Couple is happy after learning about and trying cock rings

Cock rings aren't for everyone, but at the same time, anyone can use them to enhance their sex play.

While cock rings are often used to treat ED, they're in no way something designated only for ED patients.

Anyone can achieve harder, longer, bigger erections with a cock ring—ED or not.

Just be careful, use plenty of lube, and listen to your body.

Consider your options, pick your favorite and go experience c-rings with newfound confidence!

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Zachary Zane
Zachary Zane

Zachary Zane is a Brooklyn-based columnist, sex expert, and activist whose work focuses on sexuality, lifestyle, culture, and the LGBTQ community. He currently has a sex advice column at Men's Health titled "Sexplain It" and a relationship column at Queer Majority titled "Zach and the City." His work has been published in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, GQ, Playboy, Slate, NBC, Cosmo, and many others. He also has a weekly newsletter, BOYSLUT, where he writes erotic essays detailing his wildest and raunchiest personal sex stories.


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