How do erection rings work?

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Dear Sex Counselor,

Are cock rings a hoax?


No, cock (erection) rings are definitely not a hoax. Here’s how they work.

Erections are caused by blood traveling into the penis through blood vessels deep in the core of the penis and becoming "trapped" there for a time, then returning back out of the penis on the outer surface veins. Applying something like a cock ring around the base of the penis, or around the penis and testicles, helps keep the blood "trapped" in the penis by not allowing it to flow back out. This means the penis will be slightly enlarged, feel "harder", and be a little more sensitive to touch.

Cock rings have benefits and drawbacks. For one thing, many men report that cock rings make their penis more sensitive to touch. This can be exquisitely wonderful, or it can make someone who struggles with premature ejaculation very unhappy. Having said that, other men feel that the cock ring actually decreases the sensation on their penis tip, allowing them to last longer (experiment to find out which way this goes for you). A cock ring can make the time spent after the first ejaculation very pleasurable, though, since cock rings slightly decrease sensitivity of the penis after ejaculation/orgasm has happened, and can allow for prolonged intercourse.

Some men wear cock rings just for the fun of the changes in sensation, while other men find that they enjoy their firmer erections - it can make the differnece between a "soft" erection which makes penetration more difficult, and a "firm" erection.

Because cock rings restrict blood flow, we suggest wearing them for no more than 30 minutes or so at a time, just to make sure you’re not cutting off blood flow to this important body part.

What about material? Which material is best?

The "best" types of cock rings, we think, are those which allow for some blood return, and can be removed easily and quickly. These types of rings come in all types of materials and styles, from rubber to leather, Velcro to snaps to slides. People have been quite inventive with cock rings, so your choices are quite varied. Have fun!

One important note about materials - metal cock rings do everything mentioned above except they cannot be removed easily if the penis becomes over-enlarged. This can quickly become a medical emergency. It’s not like you’re going to squeeze a hacksaw in there to take it off in a pinch. (Sorry for the reference, guys!) For this reason, we do not suggest metal cock rings unless you are a very experienced practitioner and are willing to accept this risk. If you (or someone you know) ever gets a ring "stuck on", don’t panic and try to pull it off. Instead, fill the bathtub with cold water, and have the person sit or lie down in the tub. As the person gets colder, the penis will shrink. If it’s still stuck, go to the emergency room - they’ve seen everything, and you really do need to get it off.

The Sex Counselor