Q: My husband has expressed interest in using cock rings. I’m down for it too. What should we know about using them safely before we start? I don’t want to constrict him so much that his dick falls off.
Loss of dick would indeed put a damper on things. First, good for you and your husband for making safety a priority. It can be easy to get swept up in the moment or to get so eager about trying something new that you don’t take the time to learn about how to do it properly, which can sometimes work out just fine but other times not so much.
There is quite a range of cock ring varieties to choose from. If you’re unsure of what size would work best and also want something that can be removed easily, it may be good to start off with an adjustable cock ring like this one. It should fit around the base of his dick, under the balls, and be snug but not constricting – an adjustable one can help you figure out what size works best, something you can keep in mind if you decide to explore further with other styles. It should be noted, too, that not all of them are meant to fit the same – many varieties, depending on the material and elasticity, can have similar unstretched but widely varying stretched diameters. Also, vibrating cock rings, should you choose to try one (or several), are to be worn only around the base of the cock, so you would want to get one considerably smaller than if you were shopping for a standard ring.
The kind you choose may also depend on what exactly you’re hoping to get out of it. According to Babeland, a feminist sex store and website, a ring worn just around the base of the dick heightens sensation, while a ring worn beneath the balls too can serve to prolong erections and delay ejaculation. A ring like this one is just a simple silicone ring and can be worn either way. (Always see if the product description specifies how it’s meant to be worn.) We’ve also seen rings made of wood, steel, and even 14k gold; these will obviously be less flexible than silicone and trickier to put on and remove.
Finally, if you want your cock ring to do all sorts of fun things to both of you, a vibrating ring may be right for you. There are almost as many varieties as there are varieties of vibrators – rabbit-style, textured, dual-stimulation (two bullet vibrators for clitoral and anal stimulation for you), remote-controlled, double-looped (a ring for the base of his dick and another for beneath his balls), and so on. We’ve seen one-time-use vibrating rings that last for 45 minutes or so (more on time in a bit) and these tend to be pretty cheap, so this could be a good way to test the waters and see if it’s worth investing in further. EdenFantasys is a great place to look through your options, as the site lets you filter the possibilites by material, texture, diameter, and so on. (We would caution against jelly, as it’s one of the more porous sex toy materials and can be really hard to get clean; this is a more pressing concern with an insertable toy like a dildo but still worth keeping in mind.)
Some tips for general use and safety once you’ve settled on a ring:
- As excited as you may be to jump right into bed with your husband and new toy, you should give him some time to himself with it first. (Actually, the very first thing you should do is wash it, but we would hope that goes without saying.) Let him try it on and masturbate with it to get a feel for its fit and comfort before using it in partner sex.
- If you’re using it to prolong his erections, and even if you’re not, don’t leave it on for too long. When Cialis commercials warn about erections lasting longer than four hours, they mean it – it can cause permanent damage to the erectile tissue. Twenty minutes should be the longest continuous span with it on, and he should take it off immediately if things start to feel swollen (in a bad way – he’ll know it if he feels it), tight, or uncomfortable, or if there is a significant change in color to red or purple.
- If you’re using a more rigid ring (like a metal one), put it on while only semi-erect, and don’t force anything. If you’re using a really stretchy rubbery ring, lube will help it go on more easily and comfortably. Be mindful of the ring’s material and the type of lube you use (silicone lube, while a personal favorite of ours, should not be used with silicone toys).
Got a question you’d like us to discuss? You can e-mail us at FriskyFeminist@persephonemagazine.com, and we’ve also set up a Tumblr for the sole purpose of receiving completely anonymous questions at paperispatientsexqanda.tumblr.com.