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Between The Sheets: The Wonderful, Albeit Weary, World Of Cock Rings

Everything you could possibly want to know about cock rings…
 
From helpful how-tos to cultural dissections, ‘Between the Sheets’ tackles fundamental––and sometimes just plain fun––sexual topics from a queer perspective.
 
By Bobby Box
 
Confession time: I’ve never used a cock ring during penetrative sex. OK, that’s not true. It’s more accurate to say that I’ve never enjoyed using a cock ring during penetrative sex. I always rip it off within minutes because I’ve found it too obstructive, uncomfortable, or unnecessary. In short: cock rings just aren’t my thing, at least not for now. That’s not to say I won’t love them in the future, as I recently discovered after having my first stroker orgasm. (Before this, I was rather outspoken about my distaste for them.)
 
I’m not the only one who’s had undesirable experiences with cock rings. A very close friend of mine recently slapped one on and had to see a urologist the next day following significant swelling and a pain he described as “a tight pinch” under his scrotum. He was relieved to find out that no permanent damage had been done, he just had to wait for the pain and swelling to go away. After said experience, he assured me that he will never use a cock ring ever again.
 
Yet, when I published a poll on Instagram, 64 percent of the vote said they love wearing cock rings (though 69% of folks said they don’t use them regularly), and there’s data to match, with retailers reporting cock rings are best-sellers among people with penises. Despite my own reluctance to use them, I’m going to tell you everything you could possibly want to know about cock rings. Let’s get started.
 
What are cock rings?
Cock rings have two main uses. One, to support an erection. They complete this function by restricting blood flow out of the penis. Blood can flow in to encourage an erection, but a snug ring makes it more difficult for blood to flow back out (it traps the blood in your cock, essentially). As a result, an erection may last longer, be firmer, and be more sensitive to touch since this build-up of blood wakes the nerves right TF up. Due to the slow and limited  blood flow, it can also result in more powerful orgasms.
 
Second, cock rings can provide added stimulation during partnered sex. Some cock rings come with additional strucutres and vibrating capabilities that transform your penis into more of a sex toy than it already is.
 
“This does not have to be an hetero-only situation,” Carol Queen, PhD, staff sexologist at Good Vibrations tells IN. “People wearing strap-on dildos can add a ring for more stimulation And in a two-people-with-penises pair, if the wearer is topping, the ring can be worn upside down to vibrate the partner’s perineum.”
 
While cock rings should fit snug, it should never feel uncomfortable. If you experience pain, severe discomfort, numbness, or your skin rapidly changes colours, remove the cock ring immediately. Cock rings should be worn for no longer than 20 to 30 minutes or you can cause tissue damage. As an added precaution, trim your pubes since cock rings can tug on the hair when you’re putting it on or taking it off. Lube can be used when taking the ring on and off as well.
 
How do I  wear a cock ring?
While some cock rings are designed to be worn around the shaft, most are worn around the shaft and balls. This way better prevents blood flow from exiting the area since it’s as close to the body wall as possible.
 
However, the way in which you wear a cock ring is largely decided by the type of cock ring you purchase, for which there are two main styles.
 
One is a “snap-on ring”, which is often made of leather or a similar material. To put these on, begin behind the scrotum and pull the ends of the ring around, snapping it together. “You can even put these on before an erection,” Queen adds. “But if your hard-on makes it too tight, adjust the snap.”
 
The other style is the “solid ring,” which are made of things like metal, rubber and silicone. If the ring is flexible, gently stretch it around the cock and balls. If it’s a solid material, things get a bit trickier.
 
“Place one ball in, and then the second,” Queen explains. “Then, carefully tuck the penis in and adjust your package. An already-erect penis won’t tuck, so this has to happen before (warning: it will make the ring fit somewhat tighter too).”
 
Will cock rings hurt?
As with most things regarding sex, cock rings can be uncomfortable and/or painful when used improperly, so it’s your responsibility to be careful.
 
First, let’s begin with a story my friend recently shared with me. A casual fuck buddy came to visit him, chunky metal cock ring stored in his backpack. He thought it would be fun if my friend tried it on and topped him.
 
He was skeptical but a good sport and put the cock ring on, the two started fooling around. “A few minutes in, my dick started to hurt like crazy,” he describes. “I had to stop and get it off, but I couldn’t. It was stuck. So I grabbed the base of my penis and squeezed it. I was convinced my cock was going to fall off.”
 
Nothing worked. He then rushed to the bathroom to run a cold shower, standing under it until his penis was freed from the ring’s grip. “I had little round indentations all around the base of my dick,” he says. “It was beyond embarrassing.”
 
Now, I didn’t share this story to scare you. I’m just letting you know that you need to be careful, because these stories are more common than you think.
 
“I have to warn people about this all the time!” Queen says. “If the ring ends up being too tight, the erection won’t easily go away, and a persistent erection can be a medical emergency since blood is supposed to flow in-and-out.”
 
If the ring is made from a softer material like silicone, you can cut it off using safety scissors. The same cannot be said for harder materials, where you’ll likely need to go to the ER. “Before taking that step, try using a lubricant or a cool pack to try to get the ring off/shrink their erection,” Queen suggests, adding: “Never use a rubber band as a cock ring either, it’s too narrow.”
 
Additional uses for cock rings
There are many uses for cock rings beyond achieving stiffer erections and heightening sensation. To source more of these uses, I put out a request on my social channels and the messages came flooding in.
 
“The look and the feel of a cock ring keeping me hard and building pressure for one big cum shot is the best,” Alejo, 39, who likes metals rings for their weight and the cold feeling against his shaft, says. “I even like wearing it casually as an accessory. Just knowing it’s wrapped around my cock and giving me random chubbies with no one else knowing is total fetish.”
 
Zane, 36, likes wearing cock rings for more practical reasons. As someone who’s a grower, not a shower, wearing a cock ring gives Zane more confidence, particularly when wearing more revealing garments, like a Speedo.
 
“I also like the way it tightly frames my cock and balls, giving me and my partner(s) a place to grip my junk when sucking or stroking, and it appeals to my amateur interests in gear kink/fetish,” he says. “I’ve also found it arousing to wear a cock ring under my clothes when meeting for a hookup, and seeing the surprised look on a sex partner’s face when we get naked. It’s a turn-on.”
 
For Eric, 32, cock rings offer reassurance. “Sometimes I get nervous when I’m about to engage in sex and a cock ring aids in getting my cock hard.”
 
A lot of people don’t wear cock rings the traditional way. Some prefer the ring along their coronal ridge, the most sensitive part of the penis, where the head meets the shaft. Whereas others prefer to wrap the ring around their testicles because of the weight it provides. Cock rings can also help folks with ED.
 
As you can see, there are many great uses for cock rings, some of which you may not have considered. But there are also risks. When using a cock ring, you’re safest to choose one made from softer materials, like silicone or leather, and work your way up to solid rings. Just be careful and aim for a snug fit rather than a tight fit. Don’t fret too much, though, your body will let you know when something’s not right. It’s good like that.
 
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