What’s a cock ring and how do I use one?

Q: In a conversation recently the talk went to sex toys and someone started talking about cock-rings. Everyone seemed to have something to say about them but I don’t even know what one is? What do they do? Are they like a vibrator for men? Can someone enlighten me?

A. So, a cock ring is essentially a tight-ish rubber or silicone ring that slips down to the base of your penis and restricts the blood flow. This is useful in a few ways, the first and foremost of which is to help men with erection and blood-flow issues, as well as things like premature ejaculation. 

For example, did you ever, as a kid, wrap a piece of cotton around your finger and watch the tip go red, then purple, then start to throb a little? That’s pretty much what a cock ring does. It keeps the blood in the penis and makes it harder and thicker and, for men who can have problems with maintaining erection, can make all the difference in the world as it stops the blood from flowing back down.

In this same way it also helps those who suffer from premature ejaculation because it takes longer for the pressure and sensation to respond and allows for more thrusts and action, and then, when he DOES come, it has been reported to be stronger, more powerful and more enjoyable than just regular orgasms.

Thick Or Thin? One Size or Adjustable?

For the most part, most men we talk to about this recommend a thicker ring. The thinner rings have been described a lot as having a “pinching” feel rather than a “tight grip” feel and can be a little bit uncomfortable, especially if you’re not used to it. You can also get adjustable ones either in a lasso style that has a little clip you move to adjust the tightness or looseness (although often the silicone is super thin and gives that pinching feel), or with press studs to change the girth. These are usually made of leather or PVC and can be great for those who like to look the part in leather wear etc, but can be tricky for new users to work out exactly what feels right for them.

Our sexpert recommends: PipeDream Fantasy C-Ringz, Tantus Super Soft C-Ring, California Exotic Silicone Stud Lasso, California Exotic Tri-Snap Erection Ring

Double It Up

You may, in your research, come across cock rings that have two loops (a small and a large) or just one big one that looks like it should be a cock ring for an elephant or something… These are designed to restrict not only the shaft of the penis but also wrap around the testicles as well, doubling the pressure, the intensity, and the pleasure. Quite often the larger single loop ones are made of metal or rigid, non-stretchy silicones and plastics but I’d recommend leaving those until you’re a bit more used to using them and working out which style/size etc is best for you.

Our sexpert recommends: Rocks Off Cock and Ball Ring, Doc Johnson OptiMALE 3 C Ring Set

Get The Buzz

In the top paragraph, I said “essentially” because over the years they have evolved and changed and improved a lot and the humble rubber ring is seeing a whole new life as a pleasure toy as well as a non-medical aid for ejaculation and erection issues.

Probably the most common “updates” to cock rings is the inclusion of mini vibrators that are designed to not only carry vibrations down the penis for extra stimulation, but also to vibrate against the clitoris for “her” pleasure during heterosexual intercourse.

While this is a noble and theoretically positive addition, for the most part they’re a little bit crap. I say “for the most part” because every human is different, but the most common complaint about vibrating cock rings is that the vibrator is placed in a position that doesn’t really touch the clitoris, and if it does, because of the constant movement of sex, it’s not consistent enough. See, so many companies put the little buzzer in a horizontal position, but if you know anything about the anatomy of vulvas and their accompanying bits, the clitoris is at the top and the vagina is at the bottom… And with a little horizontal thing… Never the twain shall meet as it were… Some companies are now using a more vertical vibrator (some even with rabbit ear etc attachments) that are far more effective but for the most part, the majority of people I speak to prefer to keep their cock rings and their vibrators separated (used together, sure, but not as part of the same item).

Our sexpert recommends: Screaming O O’Hare Vibrating Rings (battery and rechargeable versions available), We-Vibe Pivot Cock Ring, Doc Johnson OptiMALE Rechargeable Vibrating C Ring

The Ol’ Reach Around

Far more effective in adding extra sensations to the moment are the extra bits designed for his pleasure. While yes, female arousal and enjoyment is essential to good sex, men’s pleasure is often left to the ejaculation side and the small, yet intensely pleasurable, additions are often forgotten. Like with the double loops mentioned above, there are a few other designs of cock rings that have been made to stimulate two other erogenous zones on the male body, the perineum and the prostate. These toys include not only the cock and often testicle ring too, they also curl around towards the back of the body, either with a flatter part to rest and vibrate against the perineum, or reach all the way around with a plug or similar to be entered anally for prostate and anal enjoyment. You can get them in both vibrating and non-vibrating versions, and all sorts of different sizes and intensities. These cool and updated tech versions are becoming more and more popular as men’s pleasure, and the products to assist them in getting there, become more common and spoken about in conversations about male sexuality.

Our sexpert recommends: We-Vibe Verge (perineum), PipeDream Anal Fantasy Collection (prostate)

Simple Pleasures

My best advice is to go to an adult shop and have a look at the range they have. Start small and simple  (most shops will have a good quality simple silicone ring for under $15) and see if you like it, and if you do you can start adding to your collection with all sorts of attachments and gadgets and gizmos. Always make sure the product is body safe (silicone really is the best for flexibility and body safety) and that you get a good water-based lubricant to go with it.

I hope this answers your question! Good luck, and enjoy the newly discovered world of cock rings and their friends.

* All recommended products are silicone, and within the range of most average budgets.


  • D_I_Y Photo
    More than a month ago

    Well esteemed sexperts, May I add some sage advice learnt from my own experience with stainless steel rings?
    I now only wear SS rings with a 20mm wide band so comfortable as I immensely enjoy wearing like jewellery.
    So many years ago I bought a set of rings as I was unsure of what size I’d need the 35 mm had buckleys getting on so after a ten minute rest. I tried the 40mm ring both testicles slipped through one after the other then threaded my foreskin through for the shaft to follow. Everything seemed ok played some favourite porn to get rigid which began to become painful halfway through. Nothing was stopping it from engorging, my mind was racing thoughts of having to call the fire brigade to cut it off plagued my mind. Until I had a brilliant idea I grabbed a 4Kg bag of ice from the freezer forcing it straight onto my now hot and raging blue steel hard on. I couldn’t believe how much ice the heat caused it to melt leaking onto the floorboards. After the initial relief I then insulated the ice bag with a tea towel. It took around ten minutes for the full effect to be achieved and that ring to finally be able to slide off my shaft. The cold not only deflated it but also caused the shaft to slightly retract within making the task of getting it of easier.
    So then I went and hunted down a 50mm ring as I wasn’t game to try the remaining 45mm one that came in the multi pack.
    So lesson learnt is start with an adjustable on first to work out your size.
    Also as a side note if I ever ingest ciallis or similar performance enhancers I will go a 55mm ring. Especially when when a bratty wanton imp of a sub/Baby Girl (in the D/S definition of that term) is in desperate need of remorseless hard deep fucking until the blunt force trauma causes such an internal swelling. That she swear she is having her virginity broken into all over again.
    How pleasurable it is having a cock that can used like the rest of my impact toys to adjust the bratty entitled Princess attitude when needed.

  • gcdirtyboy Photo
    More than a month ago

    Are there any negatives with cock ring use? Any chance of tissue damage from using them too much?

    I have a variety of them - I enjoy larger stainless steel rings around my cock and balls - they have to be put on when soft. I also sometimes use silicone on my cock or balls or both - those can be put on hard or soft as they stretch fairly easily. I definitely agree with the tip about trimming/shaving! A bit of lube can help too - I have pinched my foreskin sometimes squeezing into my steel rings.
    I also have a very thick aluminium one which is more for looks. I've heard that men will wear them for (the right kind of) nude beaches or events to "present" their equipment. This thick ring is fun to wear and look at but totally impractical for sex or masturbation - it cuts into everything. (It could still work if you only play with the head - might be good as a restraint for a teasing session....?)

  • Velvethammer941
    More than a month ago

    A little tip for the lads, make sure you keep it all trimmed down there when using a ring ??

  • FiftyOneShades Photo
    More than a month ago

    Hi Eva,

    For me, I've never tried using one with a partner, as I always have that feeling like it's going to slip off. Maybe I'm using the wrong type.

    Anyway, great article and Happy New Year, keep the good stuff coming!

  • Funguy868
    More than a month ago

    When do you put a cock ring on when you soft or while erect

    • DeliciousEva Photo
      More than a month ago

      When it's soft. It's easier to go on, and you can gauge how tight it is getting. It should feel tight but not painful or pinching.
      Same with one's that go around the testicles too.
      Hope this helps

  • Zamboon Photo
    More than a month ago

    Great little helpers - I havent used them much myself but someone gave me great advice - use silicone or rubber rings first - if things get too tight you can cut them off - not so with a metal ring.

    Basically the blood pumps up close to the middle of the penis and back to the heart via veins close to the surface of the penis and therefore retains the blood and the erection - so the ring prevents the flow back to the body - but the blood doesnt stop flowing into the penis - in theory the penis will get bigger and bigger - the ring then starts cutting into the flesh - if you have a metal ring - you need a steady hand and a side cutter at least - my nurse friends have many stories about cock rings and metal holes that guys put their dicks into..

  • wickedcat Photo
    More than a month ago

    This article covers most of the basic information regarding cock rings ... except for one major thing ... As many men tend to roll over and go to sleep after sex, a VERY important warning should be noted especially when using silicone cock rings .... make sure you remove them within a reasonable time frame, as some of the silicone rings are of a size that will restrict blood flow even when flaccid, which could lead to penile damage.
    Maybe a bit obvious I know .... but most men can only think with one head at a time, and the small one doesn't always make the best decisions ... lol

  • qick-e
    More than a month ago

    i love them, my favorite is the metal ones that go around your cock and Balls makes your balls sit up nice and tight and great for the lady to suck and play with them ,, and its best to have shaved/waxed balls makes it even more fun , they can be tricky to get on the first time using them ,, but you will get the hang of it pretty easy , i often keep mine in all day makes for a nice semi hard cock all day

  • Ifuwannadome Photo
    More than a month ago

    Vibrating Silicone Rabbit Ring Cock/Penis use this and be nice to the ladies lol

  • Dale409 Photo
    More than a month ago

    And with a little horizontal thing… Never the train shall meet as it were…

    Picky I know but the expression is "never the twain shall meet" not train.

    Otherwise, an interesting and informative article.

    • AMM.Editor Photo
      More than a month ago

      Message from Eva: Oops auto-correct, thanks for picking it up. It's been changed.

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