Constriction Rings: The Basics

One of my favorite and least emphasized sexual items is the constriction band or tension ring, better know as the cock ring. A cock ring is a ring of material that a man (or any penis having individual) wears during sex. The ring is worn around the base of the penis and scrotal sac (there are variations on how it can be worn); with the purpose of stopping blood flow away from the penis. What can keeping blood in the penis help achieve? So much! All that blood in the penis can help to maintain an erection, increase pleasure and sensitivity for the penis, prolong intercourse, and so much more! Now you’re starting to understand why this item is one of my favorites when it comes to sex toys!

Material Matters

Cock rings come in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and with various fun features. They can be made from materials such as: rubber, nitrile, silicone, leather, and even metal. The most basic models are shaped in a continuous “O”, are smooth, look like small bracelets, and come in a variety of diameters. The basic models can be priced anywhere from $6 to $30 and can be found at your local drug store or supermarket. Rings that are made from rubber, nitrile, or silicone, tend to be stretchier and have more give to them when used. These rings can come with small ridges, bumps, and nubs on one side that are great for use with a partner. Vibrating rings are also available and have a small vibrator attached that can add extra stimulation.

Cock rings also come in adjustable varieties where there is usually velcro or snaps used to close the ring at the right size. These adjustable varieties can be made of leather, rubber, and other materials. The benefit of an adjustable ring is that it can be adjusted once it’s in place so that the fit is more comfortable. Now there are also cock rings that would be considered “for advanced users”. These would be rings made out of metal, bronze, or any other hard material. They look cool, have some interesting designs, and can be used to cater to BDSM players or with individuals who have a particular kink or fetish. However, the person wearing the ring needs to be sure about their size and fit needs. While cock rings are generally considered safe when used appropriately and to the specifications of the ring (i.e. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT COME WITH THE RING!!!), they can become stuck and there is such a thing as wearing them for too long.

These websites have a large variety of rings and can give you insight into what you might enjoy:

Safety and Measuring

As I said above, these rings are great…but there are some considerations to take into account before you slide one on. First, if you or your partner have any allergies, make sure you read the material/ingredients your ring is made out of and avoid any rings that you or your partner may have sensitivities to. Next, when it comes to cock rings, size matters. What I mean by this is that you need the right fit. This is especially important if you are going to use a ring that is not easy to remove in an emergency (the metal rings or any other ring made of a hard material). If a rubber or silicone ring isn’t fitted correctly or becomes stuck, it can be safely cut off with medical scissors (or very carefully with regular scissors), but a ring made of harder material is another story. Measuring is simple enough. While hard, take a soft measuring tape and wrap it around the base of your penis and underneath/behind your scrotum. You want to get a measurement of the area where you will be wearing the ring, so around the penis and balls. You can also take this measurement by wrapping a string around this area and then laying it next to a ruler to determine the correct measurement. After you get your measurement, divide the number by 3.1. If you come up with an odd number, round up, not down. Example: if your measurement is 4.5 inches, you would divide by 3.1, and get 1.5 inches, so would buy a ring that is 1.5 inches in diameter. When buying the ring, the box should say the diameter or you can look at the manufacturer’s website.

Time is also important. The instructions for your ring should tell you the amount of time they are meant to be worn, however, the general rule is between 15-30 minutes. Remember, this is a ring that is constricting blood flow. Wearing the ring for longer than recommended is unsafe. A few other considerations for comfort and safety: take the ring off immediately if it feels uncomfortable or painful; it may help to do a little extra grooming or trimming to help the ring to not pull hairs; and lube is helpful in placing and removing the ring.

Remember, always read the instructions or manufacturers recommendations for your particular ring. If you have an emergency with the ring (it gets stuck) seek emergency medical help immediately. Getting stuck is a rare occurrence if you have measured and followed the instructions for the ring, but can happen and should be addressed immediately.

How To Use

Now comes the fun part. How to use the ring! As I said in the beginning, cock rings help keep blood flow in the penis, which in turn can do things like: increase sensation and sensitivity; help maintain erections; help to create a firmer erection; prolong intercourse; and delay ejaculation. Sounds great, right? Now everyone’s experience with cock rings is different and just like any other sex toy, you may try it and find it’s not for you. That’s ok! For those of you wanting to try these rings, the basic how to is as follows: take your measurement as described above, decide what material you want and what extras you want to try (ribbed, vibrating, etc.), take the ring home and READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, add some lube to the penis and scrotum to help with placing the ring, and then place the ring around the base of your penis and balls while you are semi-hard. The easiest way to place the ring is to hold the ring just in front of your balls, slip the skin of your scrotum through, then one ball at a time, finally you will push the head of your penis down and slide the shaft through the ring. Remember, the ring will feel tighter as your erection grows, but it should not feel painful, nor should your penis go numb.

Myths and Facts

There are a few myths about the cock ring that I want to clear up.

Myth #1: Cock rings are only for people with erectile dysfunction or other sex related issues.

The Facts: While cock rings can help with some erectile dysfunction and other issues (like helping to delay ejaculation), they can be used purely for pleasure, for kink or fetish related purposes, and even just for the aesthetic.

Myth #2: It will get stuck or hurt.

The Facts: As I explained above, the cock ring should never hurt. Pain in this case implies the ring is too tight or there is another issue like it’s a material that’s causing a negative reaction to your skin. Measure as described above, read the instructions, and find the ring that is right for you.

Myth #3: Cock rings are a form of contraception or barrier.

The Facts: No! Cock rings are an open ring that is not meant to protect against STIs or to prevent pregnancy. You will need to use other preventative measures and safety barriers as contraception and to help keep you and your partner safe from STIs. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning the ring after each use and before storing.

Myth #4: Everyone should use a cock ring.

The Facts: Cock rings are not for everyone. Check with your doctor if you have any issues relating to erectile dysfunction (to ensure there isn’t an underlying issue), if you have heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or other serious medical condition. Your doctor will be able to better inform you if cock rings are safe for you to use if you have one of the above medical conditions. Cock rings are also not recommended if you have trouble urinating, have limited sensation in the groin area, or have weakness in the hands as this could make removing the ring difficult. If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should also not use a cock ring as impaired use can lead to safety issues and wearing the ring for too long.

Use with a Partner or Solo

Cock rings can be fun, helpful, and even add a little pizazz. They can be used for solo play by placing them as you would normally, and then masturbating in whatever manner brings you the most pleasure. Using the ring in this way can increase sensation and can add an element that changes up your solo experience. If you want to use the cock ring with a partner, it can be helpful to discuss the ring before bringing it into the bedroom. Talk to your partner about the ring, educating them to it’s benefits and to safe use of the ring. Communication is key to intimacy and to spicing up the bedroom. Cock rings come in a wide variety of styles and the ones with vibrators can increase your pleasure and that of your partner. Trying different positions while wearing the cock ring can be a fun way for you and your partner to explore combined sexual pleasure and can increase feelings of excitement and curiosity.