What Are Cock Rings & How Do You Use Them?

15.1.2022
Mike Givens

In 2022, we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to toys that enhance our sexual pleasure. From anal beads to nipple clamps, there is no shortage of appliances that can make sex even more potent. 

As the toy has become more commonplace, so have the features and benefits, which only improve our ability to curate our sexual experiences and get the most out of the many pleasures sex can bring. 

Cock rings are primarily for sexual pleasure, but they also serve a purpose for those who experience erectile dysfunction.

But first, what exactly is a cock ring, and how does one use it? 

What are cock rings

A cock ring, also known as a “c ring” or “penis ring,” is a cylindrical device that one inserts their penis into, all the way down to the shaft. Many users push their penis and scrotum through the hole for maximum effect. 

And what effect is that? Well, when a penis-wielder is aroused, a significant amount of blood rushes to the penis, causing an erection. Sliding a cock ring down the shaft and passing the testicles through the ring creates a tight—but not too tight—pressure at the base of the penis that can help the erection last longer. 

Cock rings can—and are—made from many materials. From silicone, wood, and silver to plastic, rubber, glass, and even titanium. They can come in a range of sizes, and some retailers sell cock rings in sets, so you can experiment with several different sizes. 

Many people use cock rings as an aphrodisiac; the feeling of something round and tight cupping the penis and scrotum can be a big turn-on. Some users like cock rings for aesthetic purposes (they like its look when wearing it). And yes, some use cock rings to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). 

A common condition like ED can often serve as a blocker to engaging in satisfying sex. Cock rings provide a semi-barrier to keep blood in the erect penis that helps prolong intercourse. 

So now that we know what a cock ring is, let’s learn how to use it. 

Tips for using a cock ring 

Cock rings are a non-chemical method of enhancing sexual pleasure for those with penises and their use is relatively low-risk, as long as you abide by some basic rules. 

  • Know Your Body—Experiment with different sizes. A ring that is too big will not be effective, and a ring that is too tight could cause pain or priapism, which is an erection that lasts for hours. The perfect fit will be tight enough to hold the shaft and scrotum closely but loose enough to slide off after use. Before working your way up to a titanium cock ring, start off with a plastic or silicone one so that you can gain some experience before you graduate to a less forgiving material. 
  • Educate Yourself—Seek out sex-positive resources to learn about the different types of cock rings, how they work, and their effect. 
  • Experiment—There are ergonomic cock rings with extra features that can stimulate the clitoris or perineum, that space between the scrotum (or vagina) and the anus. These areas are susceptible to pleasure when caressed correctly. Some cock rings have anal beads, and some even have built-in vibrators that stimulate you and your partner. 
  • Be Time Sensitive—Cock rings, when used to sustain an erection, should only be used for a small window of time, or else you run the risk of priapism and/or penile damage. The penis was not designed to be erect for extended periods, so make sure you get the ring on, get off, and then take the ring off. 
  • Cleanliness is Key—As with any sex toy, cleanliness is paramount. Wash and rinse the ring regularly—particularly after use—and make sure that you’re using a clean instrument every time to reduce risk for infections.
  • Mind Your Pubes—Yes, dear reader, if you’ve got a substantial bush at the base of your bean pole, that can make using a cock ring tricky. Public hairs are notorious for getting caught up in anything that comes within a centimetre of them (your underwear, fingers, tissue, the mouth of the Grindr hookup who’s going down on you). If you’re going to experiment with—and regularly use—a cock ring, consider doing some maintenance to cut down your pubes. This way you’re less likely to experience the frustration—and mild pain—of having your pubes ripped out when removing the cock ring.

Now that we’ve gotten the safety measures out of the way, it’s time to learn about…

Experiencing pleasure with a cock ring

Sex has so much to offer us, and the toys we use are designed to enhance the experience. 

When using a cock ring, don’t be afraid to push your limits, experiment a bit, and find the best style, fit, and material that’s good for you. As with any sex toy, dedicate a small amount of time to exploring the impacts it has on your body.

Does the cock ring really make your erection sturdier and long-lasting?

Do you find your orgasms a bit stronger while wearing one?

Do you enjoy the slight pressure of the ring around your naughty bits? 

Don’t be afraid to explore. Here are some other tips for maximizing your pleasure with a cock ring: 

  • Use Lube—Say the following affirmation to yourself whenever you use a new toy: “Lube is my friend. Lube is my dear, dear friend.” If playing by yourself or with someone else, remember to use lube to enhance the small amount of friction that will happen between your shaft, scrotum, and the ring. Lube will also help get the ring off after you’re finished. 
  • Expand Your Horizons—In the same way that we have a diverse amount of sex toys, the situations they can be used in are also many. Don’t limit yourself to just using your cock ring when you’re about to have penetrative sex with another partner. Use it when you masturbate while alone. Use it if you’re receiving a handjob or blow job. Use it during foreplay. Let the pleasure it provides spread to all the different forms of sexual pleasure you receive. 
  • Use Accessories—As mentioned before, cock rings can come with a number of amenities, from anal beads to an internal vibrator. But even if you have the most basic, cheapest, vanilla cock ring, don’t be afraid to spice things up with other toys. Slide a dildo or vibrator inside your bum; let your partner spank you with a paddle; break out the nipple clamps. Mix and match toys so that you optimize your pleasure. 

Most importantly: have fun! Cock rings are made for your pleasure. Use them in a way that best satisfies you while also keeping you safe. Sex, whether alone or with another person (or persons), is always best when we are well informed, know our boundaries, and have a firm sense of what will turn us on and get us off. 

Written by:
Mike Givens

Mike Givens received his bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and English Literature from Virginia Tech. He has a master’s degree in investigative journalism from Boston University. He is a social justice advocate and is the full-time communications director for an international human rights organization in New England. He spends his spare time writing on a range of issues, from LGBTQ+ rights and income inequality to sexual health and politics. He is also a freelance copyeditor.