You’ve probably seen penis rings, a.k.a. cock rings, on sex toy store shelves. But you probably don’t know that the cock ring is basically the superfood of sex toys: It pumps up your performance and enhances your pleasure in many different ways.
A small ring that wraps around the base of your penis, a penis ring can not only make your erection bigger and harder, it can also help you last longer during sex and even help your partner reach that big O.
Regardless of the benefits of cock rings, some guys may still be apprehensive about the prospect of sticking their members into a snug little hoop. So if you’re curious about trying one, here’s everything you need to know about how to safely use a cock ring, so you can take your sex life to the next level.
The benefits of penis rings
1) They help you maintain an erection, even if you have trouble getting one to begin with.
No matter what type of toy you use, they all work in a similar way: the ring traps blood inside the shaft of your penis, which helps you maintain an erection, says Dr. Brian Steixner, M.D., chief of urology at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center.
A tight-fitting ring at the base of your penis can also help prevent “venous leakage,” a type of erectile dysfunction that results from tissues in your penis failing to properly lock in blood, Steixner says.
2) They boost your confidence.
Stressing about staying hard may prevent you from doing just that. “Erections require relaxation,” explains sex and relationship therapist Chris Donaghue, Ph.D. Using a penis ring may help relieve some of that performance anxiety, Donaghue says.
3) They can delay and intensify your orgasm.
Anecdotally, some men say that cock rings can help delay ejaculation by compressing the area surrounding the base of the penis and testicles, says Brandon Bartling, manager of the Pleasure Chest sex shop in New York City. This makes sense: It’s almost like a modified version of the squeeze technique, a common tactic to delay orgasm.
4) They can make sex better for your partner.
If your partner is female, she may need a little extra help getting off: only a small percentage of women can reach orgasm from penetrative sex alone. Vibrating cock rings can help stimulate your partner’s clitoris during intercourse, Bartling says. Other cock ring models have built-in “girth extenders” that make your penis feel wider to your partner when you’re inside them if that’s something they’re down to try.
Are penis rings safe?
Most of the time, yes. Just follow these simple guidelines.
1) Make sure it fits.
You want the ring tight, but not so tight that you feel numb.
“I recommend adjustable or stretchy silicone for novices because they are easier to adjust to your size,” says Kara Emry, manager of the sex-toy store The Stockroom in Los Angeles.
2) Take it off after 20 minutes.
This one is pretty important. “The penis can be permanently injured if the ring is left on too long,” Dr. Steixner says. If you feel numbness, pain, or notice the skin changing color, remove it immediately.
3) Maintain your manscaping.
It’s smart to trim or shave your pubic hair before strapping on your new toy. “Nothing spoils the mood like unwanted pain from hair being pulled when putting on a cock ring,” says Hernando Chaves, a sex therapist based in Beverly Hills.