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Cock Rings

Dr_Christopher_Fox_Cock_Picture

Cock Rings – What are they and why use them?

Cock rings, penis rings, constriction devices – three words which amount the same object. The term penis rings is a polite term, whereas constriction device is a term used more so in medical and research literature.

 
Cock rings can be used for pleasure, decorative or rehabilitative purposes. This month’s column focuses on the various uses of cock rings and explains some of the basics as an introduction. To understand the purposes and some of the enjoyment of cock rings we first look at the basic function of erections.

 

Erections – How do Men Get Hard

Erections begin in the brain through mental and or physical stimulation. This stimulation leads the brain to release chemicals which send messages to the penile blood vessels to relax allowing the two arteries to fill the corpus cavernosa. This builds a high pressure in the penis trapping the blood in the two corpus cavernosa resulting in an expansion of the penis and an erection.

Penis_Cross-Section_Dr_Christopher_Fox

Cross section of a penis showing the corpus cavernosa


After the orgasm-ejaculation process, the brain sends messages to release chemicals which allow the blood to flow from the penis. This process can happen at any time, not just after orgasm-ejaculation.

 
So cock rings, or penis rings, are used to assist in trapping blood in the penis and aiding erections.

 

Variations of the Cock Ring

There are three main types of cock rings: penis shaft rings, genital rings and combination rings. Each type of cock ring is slightly different. I discuss uses of cock rings further in the column.

 
Penis Shaft Penis Rings
Shaft rings are designed to be worn around the base of the penile shaft. A shaft ring is the basis for the term constriction device. Shaft rings, like all cock rings, help trap blood in the penis, enhancing and/or maintaining erections. Perfect Fit cock rings have a selection of sizes – the medium and small diameter cock rings are suitable for as shaft rings. (See boxed text for sizing and fitting information).

 
Genital Package Cock Rings
Many cock rings are designed to go around the whole genital package (penis and testicles). This style of cock ring can be metal (solid), leather (stud fasteners or velcro) or silicone (stretchy; see Types of Cock Rings below). The cock ring is sized based on the circumference of the distance around the penis and testicles (see boxed text for sizing).

 
Cock rings which are used on the whole genital package can assist with erections. Other benefits are outlined further in the column. Examples of this style of cock ring are Perfect Fit and Lucrezia and de Sade Leather Cock Straps.

 
Combination Rings
Combination cock rings vary greatly. The basic model is a shaft ring combined with a scrotum ring, or with a genital package ring. Another variation is the T-Bar or cock ring with ball splitter (not as painful as it sounds guys). The T-Bar simply separates the testicles, with some guys reporting delay in ejaculation and/or more sensation/arousal.

 
Other popular combination cock rings are ones with bullets or other vibrating technology. The Vi-Bo Ring Orb by Tenga and B11 Cock Ring by Ovo are two vibrating cock rings. The Cock Armour Buzz from Perfect Fit is a bullet-based vibrating cock ring. These cock rings provide vibrations to the penis and if used during intercourse also provide vibrations to the partner.

 
Couples rings, like the Pino Couple’s Ring and Tor 2 Couple’s Ring, both from Lelo, are designed for the pleasure of both partners.

 
Cock Armour also produce a cock ring and anal plug combination ring called the Tug Lock  – this is not for the beginners. Our experience is to practice putting this cock ring on before beginning any sex play.

 
Combination cock rings are cock rings which are combined with other forms of pleasure adult toys to bring fun to play time.

 

Materials in Cock Rings

Cock rings are made from a variety of material including metal, silicone and leather.

 
Metal
I want to open this section with a strong statement – Metal cock rings are NOT for beginners. Metal cock rings are designed to encircle the whole genital package like the Chrome Metal Cock Ring from Lucrezia and de Sade. There are shaft rings available on the market as well.
When selecting a metal cock ring you need to know the circumference of your genital package (see boxed text). A metal cock ring is worn before you begin sex play. It is not possible to put a metal cock ring after you have started to become aroused. To put a metal cock ring on you first feed your testicles through one at a time and then fold your penis through (must be flaccid). You can then adjust the cock ring around your package.
To remove the cock ring, wait until you are flaccid and then reverse the process. It is recommended you clip or shave the pubic hair around the base of your penis. Tangled pubic hair can pull and it hurts!

 
Silicone
Silicone cock rings are made from medical-grade silicon. Silicone-based cock rings are softer than metal or leather. As they are silicon there are more give and are stretchy. They can be put one before sex play starts or during sex play, given they can be stretched. Perfect Fit has a pack of multi-sizes. The smaller, or the medium ring would be suitable to use as a shaft ring possibly. Another silicone-based cock ring is the Endless Cock Ring by Shot’s Toys.

 
To wear a silicone-based cock ring you can either use the procedure for metal cock rings or simply stretch and place around the genital package.

 
Leather
Leather cock rings, or cock straps as they sometimes called, are used around the whole genital package. Again, size is important. The benefit of a leather ring or strap is that it is adjustable with the studs. These can be placed on before the sex play starts or during. Leather cock straps use stud fasteners (recommended) or Velcro (not recommended). Lucrezia and de Sade produce a number of styles like the Three-Stud Cock Strap and a Buckle-Up Cock Strap. Leather is stretchable and provides good “give” as a material.

 

Uses and Benefits of Cock Rings

There are many benefits reported by users of cock rings. These include positioning of the testicles forward which produce a bigger looking package, as well increasing stimulation during sex for both partners. Others report it is about style or look – it gives a sexy look. Others have suggested wearing a cock ring allows the flaccid penis to look bigger. Men have also found cock rings can assist in delaying orgasm-ejaculation as well as intensifying the orgasm. There is little research-based evidence available on the benefits of using cock rings.

 
Erectile Dysfunction
Cock rings can assist with erection maintenance. The cock ring, more so a shaft ring than a genital package ring, assists to trap blood in the penis. Cock rings have been found to produce harder and/or more consistent erections. When working with men erection issues (erectile dysfunction/impotence) I discuss using cock rings as an adjunct to psychosexual therapy.

 
Premature Ejaculation and Control
Some anecdotal evidence suggests cock rings can slow the ejaculatory process. In my practice some men have reported a small success (gain in time) and others the cock rings did not aid at all. As part of therapy for rapid ejaculation, men use a series of exercises to increase sensation-tolerance in sex play. An advanced exercise I use is encourage men to masturbate with a vibrating cock ring using the Stop-Start Method to increase tolerance and therefore ejaculatory control.

 
Delayed Ejaculation & Re-Sensating the body
Using vibrations can assist to re-sensitise the penis and change sensation used to achieve orgasm for men with delayed ejaculation. A vibrating cock ring can be used in masturbation and in partner sex. I do want to stress that this is only part of therapy and will not fix the problem.

 

Cock Ring Safety

Use your common sense. Start gradually, if you are beginner. I would suggest a silicone or leather style cock ring. It is important to be able to enjoy your cock ring without harm or injury.

 
NO RUBBER BANDS – Rubber bands are not cock rings. Rubber bands will cut into the skin. Rubber bands are tighter. Rubber bands can caused damage to the blood vessels and cause skin irritations. DO NOT USE RUBBER BANDS!

 
Cleaning is an important part of toy maintenance. I would recommend washing cock rings in warm-hot soapy water. Allow to air dry. Then clean with a toy cleaning spray like Lelo’s Anti-Bacterial Toy Cleaning Spray. If you are using a leather cock ring remember leather is a natural material and absorbent so good cleaning and care is important. Metal and silicone-based cock rings are not yet still require good cleaning and care.

 
Sizing is important. If using a solid ring, like a metal or silicone cock ring, then you do not want a cock ring too small – it will hurt during erection and also run risks with causing damage. Too big and it possible won’t achieve its purpose. (See boxed text on sizing)
Shave or clip pubic hair to minimise the tangling of hair when putting the cock ring. You do not create pain of pulling on public hair.
Use lubricant – This help with putting the cock ring. More so with shaft penis rings but also with the genital package style rings as well.

 
CAUTION – If you are diabetic it is not recommended you use a cock ring. Talk to your physician. Other medical conditions where caution is recommended is if you have nerve damage or taking blood thinning medications. Cock rings are not recommended for sex play if you have an injury, are sore or swollen in crotch area. If you experience pain or discomfort or numbness stop using the cock ring and see professional advice.

 
I hope you have fun exploring the world of cock rings and remember a healthy life includes a healthy sex life. And a healthy sex life is sane, (con)sensual and safe.

 
Enjoy!
Dr Christopher

 
Dr Christopher Fox is a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist at Sex Life Therapy in Melbourne. He has clinics in East Melbourne and Frankston.

 
 
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide an overview of the subject matter covered. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions.

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