What is a Ring?
Rings (also known as penis rings and cock rings) are worn either at the base of the shaft or behind the scrotum. They function by restricting the flow of blood out from the genitals, and for many folks they result in firmer and longer lasting erections. They also have the effect of creating a feeling of pressure that some people find very pleasurable - while some folks find to be too intense. Most cock rings are made of rubber and leather and are worn at the base of the penis and behind the scrotum. Rings are often used to keep a pump assisted erection firm and work very well for this purpose.
How To Choose
Choosing the right ring is definitely a process of trial and error. A lot of our customers are buying for a partner, which can make deciding even more difficult. These types of toys provide a unique sensation and it's a feeling some people love, while other folks may find it too intense.
As with any sex toy you or your partner haven't tried before, our advice with choosing your first ring is to start inexpensive and simple, and then if it works you can always invest more heavily! That said, here are three things to consider when choosing a ring.
Rings are made from a variety of materials, including rubbers that are soft and stretchy (like the Screaming O Ring O) or firm without much give, like leather and metal. If you're just starting out in the world of rings, it’s a good idea to begin with something soft and stretchy while you're learning about how your body responds to these types of toys. A softer, stretchier ring is flexible, easier to use, and most importantly, easy to take off if you don't like the feeling. The drawback to a ring made of more flexible material is that it usually doesn't feel as tight, and some people prefer the look and feel of metal. Nonetheless, you can get a basic ring in rubber or leather for around $10 or less, and we think this is a great place to start!
Fasteners and Closures
The next major consideration is how the ring fits, and how it is tightened. Some designs include a bead or knot that can be moved up and down to adjust the size (like the Silicone Lasso). Others have snaps or Velcro. Solid metal rings are not adjustable. They go on before you get an erection and don't come off until you get off.
Each method of fastening has its benefits and drawbacks. Velcro is by far the easiest to use, but it can slip and wear down over time. Snaps are more permanent, but it's easy to get hair caught in them, and if the snap is stiff they can be hard to snap shut. Rings made of stretchy jelly rubber/silicone mixes can be stretched wide enough to slip over an erect or flaccid shaft. But these rings don't provide the same intensity as firmer rubber or solid rings.
Bells and Whistles
Maybe you don't want to listen to us and you want to start with a toy that has all the bells and whistles. Never say we didn't warn you! Seriously though, there are lots of extras you can get with rings that are a lot of fun.
Some rings, often called c&b rings or c&b splitters, have extra straps that separate and pull on the balls, creating more pressure and a very pleasant feeling of containment (the Spartacus Nickel-Free Leather C&B Ring is a great place to start). There are also rings that allow you to attach weights to them, or a leash.
Finally, there is a whole line of vibrating rings that can be used either to provide stimulation to the ring wearer or to the person they’re playing with. Just like non-vibrating rings, vibrating rings come in a range of shapes and sizes, and they also differ from one another in the kind of vibrator they sport. Vibrating rings that are larger tend to be good for providing stimulation to a partner’s external bits, since they have a large surface area and can provide secondary stimulation through friction.
How To Use
We've never seen a ring that came with instructions, which is funny because none of us at the store knew how to use them before someone showed us (unless we all managed to miss that one day at school when they covered rings in Sex Ed. class)! These toys are relatively easy to use, but there are a few important safety considerations to keep in mind:
- Never wear a ring for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- If you're feeling discomfort or pain, remove the ring immediately.
- Don't use "makeshift" rings that could be difficult to remove.
- Beyond that, here are some general tips that you may find useful about how to use a ring.
Even if you're planning on using a ring with a partner, we recommend trying it out on your own first. This gives you the chance to figure out how it works, learn how to put it on and take it off, and make sure that it fits right and feels good. We recommend putting the ring on and masturbating to orgasm. Try moving around while you’re wearing it and see what it feels like in action.
Wear It Right
Make sure you know how the ring goes on before you buy it. Some rings go around the base of the shaft and behind the scrotum, while others are designed to just go around the base. Some have extra straps that go around the scrotum separately.
You can always experiment with different ways of wearing your ring, as long as you aren't pinching or cutting any skin. If it's hurting you, it's on wrong, so try making some adjustments until the ring is in a good position and everything feels comfortable.
Don't Forget the Lube
Using a good quality lubricant can make it a lot easier to get your ring on and off. The one exception to this is rings that have a sliding bead or knot for adjusting the size. If you get lube on the part that moves, the lube can prevent it from staying in place and render the ring useless until the lube dries. You don't need to put lube on the ring, but a little lube on your bits helps everything go on and off more smoothly.
Partner, Meet Ring
Rings can be something you use but don't focus on during sex, or they can be a focal point of sex play. Letting your partner put a ring on can be very sexy (particularly if the ring goes on after you get an erection, as they may have to help with that…). You or your partner can also use the ring to pull on your genitals during sex, if that feels pleasurable to you.
Add in Some Good Vibes
Vibrating rings are highly versatile toys that we recommend for a variety of uses. The basic vibrating ring can be placed at the base of the shaft (or at the base of a dildo) and used to provide extra stimulation to your partner’s external bits during penetration. Vibrating rings can also be pleasurable when worn with the vibrator pointed downwards to stimulate the wearer. Some people use vibrating rings with their hands, as a ring can easily wrap around your fingers and make it easier to hold a vibrator in place.
Rings and Condoms
You can use a ring while wearing a condom as long as you’re careful that the ring isn't in a position where it can tear the condom. Rings that fit around the shaft aren't recommended for use with condoms, only those that fit behind the scrotum.
Thinking Outside the Box
Rings - vibrating and otherwise - can be used in a multitude of often unexpected ways during sex play. Many rings can be worn on strap-on harnesses to accomodate larger or smaller dildos, and rings can be placed on any penis or dildo as a barrier and reminder when deeper penetration is proving to be uncomfortable or painful. We love using vibrating rings because they provide an easy way to attach a vibe to many body parts - not just penises - and when grasping a toy is difficult with fingers, stretching the toy around a hand, or arm, or toe can be super useful and mighty pleasurable too.
Care and Cleaning
Rubber or Elastomer: Wash with mild soap and water.
Silicone: Wash with mild soap and water. Silicone toys can also be boiled in water for 3-5 minutes to help sanitize them (as long as there aren’t any mechanical parts, like vibrators).
Stainless steel: Wash with mild soap and water. Stainless steel toys can also be boiled in water for 3-5 minutes to help sanitize them.
Leather: Use a damp cloth to wipe down your leather ring. Pat with a towel to dry. If you’d like you can use a leather conditioner to help keep the material from drying out and cracking over time.