Don't knock it 'til you try it—and once you do, you'll probably love it.

By Jillian Dara
July 06, 2020
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The bold term "cock ring" may leave some blushing, but we're here to ensure you don't shy away from this trending sex toy. Here's what you need to know.

What Is a Cock Ring and What Does It Do?

Cock rings, also called penis or c-rings, are round devices meant to be placed at the base of a penis or dildo or around the shaft and testicles. "Cock rings constrict the blood flow through the penis during an erection. This results in fuller, longer, and more intense erections," says Zhana Vrangalova, Ph.D., professor of human sexuality at New York University and sexpert for sex toy brand LELO.

That's just one reason cock rings can be used to amplify the sexual experience for both partners during partner play. "The penis-owner feels the constriction, which can be pleasurable in and of itself, and both partners will feel and appreciate the fuller, longer, and more intense erection," says Vrangalova. "If you're using a vibrating cock ring, the vibration is an added bonus for both the wearer and their partner." Depending on the position, you can strategically place the vibrating cock ring so that it comes in direct contact with the other partner's clitoris, "which is amazing—it's basically like having a hands-free clitoral vibrator while having sex," she says. (Speaking of hands-free vibes; you need to check out these vibrating panties and wearable vibrators.)

That said, while some cock rings can extend an erection, some users may find their penis is extra sensitive and actually orgasm faster and more intensely.

"Many penises reach orgasm and ejaculation more quickly because it feels so good, especially if there are additional vibrations against the base or perineum," says Jess O'Reilly, Ph.D., sexologist, relationship expert, and We-Vibe sex expert. "Not everyone wants to last longer during sex; some people enjoy the increase in pleasurable sensations regardless of redaction."

How to Use a Cock Ring

Available in all shapes, sizes, materials—and even extra accessories, such as butt plugs—cock rings are typically applied before arousal. Some designs (think: snap-on) allow for the c-ring to be placed after arousal. Regardless, be sure to use a lube to eliminate any friction. (You'll want to use non-silicone lube if your cock ring is a silicone product; using silicone lubes with silicone toys can cause them to break down. Opt for water-based, oil-based, or even aloe vera-based lube instead.)

You can use cock rings with or without a condom (having safe sex is more important than ever); however, if you're using a condom, be sure to arrange both so that the cock ring doesn't tear the condom, or use a cock ring that only goes around the testicles instead. The ring should go on first (usually when flaccid), then roll the condom on (when the penis is hard), and make sure the two aren't rubbing, according to condom brand Durex. Once in place, the c-ring can enhance foreplay, including oral sex, as well as intercourse—and while one of it's perks is delaying ejaculation, this doesn't mean you can keep the ring on all night.

"Generally, it's only recommended for [consecutive use] for up to 30 minutes," says Kate Balestrieri, Psy.D., sex therapist and founder of Modern Intimacy, a mental and sexual health therapy platform. "It's always a good idea to consult a physician to ensure a cock ring is safe for you to use," she says. "If left on too long, a cock ring can lead to numbness, discoloration, or pain."

If you're wondering how to approach your partner about using a cock ring into your partnered play, check out this guide on introducing sex toys in your relationship.

The Best Cock Rings to Try

Now that we've established the basics and captured your attention, check out these expert picks for cock rings and vibrating cock rings. You can thank us later.

LELO TOR 2

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Credit: Lelo

Designed specifically for partner play, Tor 2 has a sizeable vibrating area that's particularly effective at providing clitoral stimulation during penetration. "It's like two toys in one: a cock ring and a bullet vibrator," says Vrangalova. "It's high quality, fits pretty much all anatomies, it's comfortable to wear, and the vibrations are strong."

One reviewer says, "I was skeptic at first introducing a toy into our relationship, but my wife and I love this toy!" while another writes, "I bought this a month ago and so happy that I did. It has brought so much pleasure and excitement into our bedroom." (P.S. people are also obsessed with the LELO Sona 2, a clit-suction style toy.)

Buy It: LELO TOR 2, $139, lelo.com

We-Vibe Pivot

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Credit: We-Vibe

Don't let the soft, stretchy design fool you—with 10 vibration patterns controllable through the We-Connect App, this ring is a bestseller for a reason. "It's powerful and versatile," says O'Reilly. "Its angled design allows you to wear it in almost any position." (BTW this isn't the only toy that connects to the We-Connect App—We-Vibe has a bunch of remote-control vibrators you can control from your phone.)

b-Vibe Snug & Tug Ring/Plug

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Credit: b-vibe

A cock ring, butt plug duo, this toy is as much for couples experienced in anal play as it is for beginners. "It's unreal," says Balestrieri. "It blends together an anal stimulator with a cock ring for pleasure in multiple areas simultaneously." (If you or your partner are curious about butt plugs, check out this beginner's guide to butt plugs and how to use them.)

We-Vibe Verge

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Credit: We-Vibe

Unlike We-Vibe's other vibrating cock ring, this one is aimed more at providing extra pleasure for a person with a penis vs. a partner with a clit. That pointy part actually aims backward on the wearer, providing stimulation of the testicles and perineum (the sensitive area between the testicles and the anus). "My clients are going wild for the Verge," says O'Reilly. "The powerful vibrations and pressure against the perineum (the site of the million-dollar mark) intensify each stroke and so many clients report that they have more powerful orgasmic contractions while wearing it—solo and with a partner(s)."

Mystery Vibe Tenuto

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Credit: MysteryVibe

A design so multifaceted, Mystery Vibe's Tenuto comes with its own PLAYbook depicting all the ways to reap the toy's rewards, from most effective positions to use elsewhere, including as a masturbator or nipple stimulator. Strategically designed with six anatomically positioned motors (that you control via an app), the tenuto stimulates the penis as well as a vulva-partner's labia and clitoris.

Lovehoney Basic Silicone Cock Rings

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Credit: Lovehoney

Take it back to basics with this set of three cock rings. Whether you or a partner dons one or all three (one around the base of the penis, one around the testicles, and the third around the shaft) these cushioned, silicone rings are a simple way to try a c-ring if you aren't sure about investing in a pricier vibrating cock ring. And while there aren't any additional external stimulators for your partner, they'll still experience the benefits of a fuller, more erect penis (and possibly longer performance). (If you want to add vibration, you can always use a finger vibrator or a bullet vibrator in addition to these rings.)

Dominix Deluxe Stainless Steel Donut Cock Ring

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Credit: Lovehoney

Elevate the basic c-ring design with this smooth and cooling variety (if you're worried about shrinkage, it can also be warmed prior to use). The stainless steel material permits a firmer grip on the shaft while the weight of it (6.2 ounces) applies a gentle tugging sensation for the duration of intercourse. (P.S. You should also consider trying a stainless steel sex toy to reach your G-spot, too.)

Electrosex Prestige ElectraLoops Cock Ring

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Credit: LoveHoney

This adjustable cock ring is ideal for couples craving that extra spark (literally!). The toy's conductive rubber transfers sensations on its own but for an added zing, connect the ring to an ElectraStim stimulator for electrostimulation (yes, similar to the kind you might get at physical therapy or in new e-stim workouts). It'll light up the nervous system with a sensual tingling. (P.S. Vulva owners can get all-natural tingles from these arousal oils too.)

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