You don't need a penis to benefit from this sex toy.

By Claire Gillespie
January 04, 2021
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If you have a penis—or have sex with somebody who has one—you might have heard of a cock ring (also called a penis ring). This sex accessory is primarily used to help maintain longer, harder, larger erections by preventing blood from flowing back down the penis, Shelby Sells, certified sex and life coach and resident sex expert at WOO More Play, tells Health. As a result, penetrative sex may last longer.

How to wear a cock ring

In its simplest form, a cock ring is a silicone ring that fits over the shaft of the penis. But it can also be used around the testicles, and you can use a few at a time on both the shaft and testicles.

"Penis rings can be used in a vast number of ways," Sells says. they can heighten sensation during penetrative sex, and also "for more pleasurable hand jobs, oral sex, and solo masturbation," she adds. Cock rings can also double as a vibrator—some models are truly multifunctional.

What to know before buying a penis ring

If you're thinking of buying a cock ring, the first consideration is what the ring is made from, Sells says. Silicone—a hybrid between synthetic rubber and synthetic plastic polymer—is generally considered to be safe to use and not toxic because it's chemically stable. Go for high quality, ideally "medical grade" but at least "food grade" silicone—and if the grade isn't listed, shoot the manufacturer a message to find out. (Sex toys aren't regulated, and there's a dearth of research about how silicone, plastic, and other materials used in the manufacturing process interact with our bodies.)

If you're planning to use a cock ring with a partner, chat about it and make sure you're both on board before you buy.

Sex benefits of a cock ring

By maintaining blood flow to the penis, cock rings are designed to help individuals who struggle to maintain an erection or have a physical penile impairment, SKYN sex and intimacy expert and licensed clinical social worker Chris Donaghue, PhD, tells Health.

Another potential benefit if the cock ring vibrates is that the vibrations stimulate the vagina and clitoris," Sells explains. which can mean more pleasurable orgasms. "Penis rings add an element of fun to any sexual atmosphere," she adds. "Think of it as a friend that helps both partners experience more pleasure."

Penis ring risk factors

It's important to purchase the appropriate size to avoid cutting off circulation to the penis—some cock rings come in a "variety pack," which makes finding the right size a cinch. "Use a cock ring that is stretchy or has snaps or other forms of easy release so it doesn't get stuck and lead to damage," advises Donaghue.

"Lube is your friend in all scenarios," Sells adds. "Be sure to sanitize the ring between uses, and take it off immediately if you feel any discomfort or pain." Speaking of pain, you might want to do a little hair removal (or at least trimming) before using a cock ring to avoid an unwanted hair-pulling experience.

Keen to try out a penis ring? Here are the top-rated ones on Amazon.

PHANXY Silicone Dual Penis Ring, $9.99

Amazon's best-selling cock ring is the PHANXY Silicone Dual Penis Ring, which is designed to go around the testicles and the penis. Reviewers love it because it's easy to put on, easy to take off, easy to clean—it other words, it's super easy. "This durable little double silicone ring makes a big impression," wrote one happy customer.

Loverbeby Vibrating Cock Ring, $25.10

Available in pink or purple, the Loverbeby Vibrating Cock Ring can also be used as a clitoris massager, with nine speed vibration modes. (Users say it runs for about 30 minutes after a full USB charge.) It comes with a remote control for hands-off stimulation. If you've already tried a regular penis ring and want something a little more versatile, this toy could be a good option. "My wife and I have used all kinds of toys, but this one is amazing," said one reviewer.

Adorime Couple Vibrator, $26.99

The Adorime Couple Vibrator is a cock ring and a vibrator (with nine speed settings and an optimal remote control). The curved, flexible, semi-open design gives couples and singles the freedom to use it however—and wherever—they wish. "This vibrator packs quite a punch," declared one user. "It truly astonished me how much effervescence you can get from this even on one of the lower speed settings."

PALOQUETH Penis Rings Set, $8.99

The PALOQUETH Penis Rings Set includes four cock rings of different shapes and sizes to let you customize your experience. (The bottle opener–shaped ring is designed to fit over the penis and testicles.) If you like a budget-friendly, no-frills penis ring, you won't have much to complain about here. "All of the rings are very stretchy, making it easy to get them on and off," commented one reviewer. "My personal favorite, the double ring, is a little thicker than the others but still goes on easily and doesn't feel too tight."

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