How To Wear A Cock Ring, Just In Case You Were Wondering

Cock rings. Pleasure rings. C-rings. Penis rings. Whatever you call these devices (We are partial to “cock ring”) A cock ring is exactly what it sounds like: A ring-shaped sex toy that goes around a penis or dildo to squeeze the shaft or shaft and balls. Learning this might inspire a very valid question: Why the hell would someone want that?!?! Well, this restriction can feel highly pleasurable for some people. It can also help make erections feel harder. Erections happen when arteries leading into the penis dilate, making the penis bigger than usual, while veins leading away from the penis constrict, trapping as much blood as possible in there. By adding another mode of constriction on top of that vein action, cock rings can help even more blood collect in the penis, resulting in more intense hard-ons. (All of this helps explain why people with erectile dysfunction sometimes use cock rings, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, although anyone in that situation should talk to their doctor before trying this out.) If you’re intrigued and wondering how to actually use a cock ring, here are a few tips to help you out.

S T A R T  W I T H  A  S I M P L E  S I L I C O N E  C O C K  R I N G

Silicone cock rings are flexible, easy to remove, and simple to clean, making them great for beginners. Some cock rings are made of stainless steel or metal, but I only recommend those for people who are more advanced when it comes to these toys.

There are lots of simple silicone cock rings out there. But we actually most like adjustable rings if you’re just getting started because they allow you or your partner to control how tight the ring gets.

L U B E  U P

My recommendation is to always, always, always use lube with sex toys, including cock rings. Before putting on a cock ring, spread a few drops of lube around the inner part. This will help it slide down a penis or dildo more easily. Our bestseller go-to lube recommendation for cock rings is Swiss Navy Silicone Lube

H O W  T O  P L A C E  T H E  R I N G ?

If you and your partner are experimenting with using a cock ring on a dildo, this is a non-issue. Otherwise, don’t try to pop a cock ring on an erect penis. Even with lube, that might be too uncomfortable and difficult, depending on how tight the ring is. Placing the ring over the head of the penis and sliding it down the shaft will typically be easier if the organ is flaccid or semi-erect. You may have to experiment a bit to figure out what works best.
After that, there’s the question of where exactly to position the cock ring, since many of them can either go at the base of the penis or surround the shaft and balls. We recommend that beginners stick with the base of the penis. It’s the easiest way to put the ring on and cuts down on the prospect of hurting those sensitive testicles. On the flip side, if you’re using a condom, placing a cock ring over the shaft and balls means it’ll have a bit of distance from the rim of the rubber, which means the ring can be less likely to slide around and push it up. If you’re levelling up and placing a cock ring over someone’s balls in addition to their shaft, do so with care. Once the ring is all the way down their shaft, stretch it as far as it can go without snapping, then gently - gently - place each testicle through the ring one at a time. Adjustable rings are great for this type of placement as you can make them bigger for the testicles to pass through. Either way, it might be easier for the person wearing the ring to do this part themselves.

Ultimately, the ring should feel pleasantly tight without feeling uncomfortable. Pain, numbness, or skin that’s dramatically changing color (like becoming bright red or deep purple) indicates that the ring is probably way too tight. Encourage your partner to be open with you about how they are feeling and remove the ring immediately if anything feels too uncomfortable. This is not the time for them to take one for the team.

K E E P  I T  N O T  T O O  L O N G

The general industry recommendation is to keep a cock ring on for no more than 20 to 30 minutes. The blood flow restriction is usually safe in short bursts, but much like when you wear a tight rubber band on a finger, it can become painful after a prolonged period. Theoretically, cutting off fresh blood circulation to the penis for too long could cause tissue damage, according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, but people using cock rings shouldn’t have to worry about that as long as they follow the instructions and listen to their bodies. When removing a cock ring, again, gentleness is key. You can even apply more lube if necessary to help it slide off more easily. As with placing the ring, it might be easier for the person wearing the ring to handle this part. When testing out cock rings, the most important thing of all is to enjoy yourself! Just kidding, it’s safety, although enjoying yourself is a very close second. Be careful, pay attention to how everyone is feeling, and, yes, have fun as you figure out if cock rings can make your sex life even better.  

T H E  B E N E F I T S

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. Which makes sense: It's almost like a modified version of the squeeze technique, a common tactic to delay orgasm. 

A R E  T H E Y  S A F E  T O  U S E ?

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.

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