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The Boner-Boosting Properties of the Humble Cock Ring

Better boners? That has a nice ring to it

There’s been a lot of talk about cock rings ‘round these parts. They’re often touted as a way of enhancing boners by helping them stay erect, and in turn improving all sorts of sex acts where a boner might be involved. But what exactly does a cock ring do? Is it like a ring you wear on your finger, where its only benefit is looking cool? Are boners just extra confident when they’re wearing an accessory? 

Well, that might be part of it, but cock rings have plenty of physical effects that can be helpful for sex and masturbation. In the most straightforward terms, cock rings work like a gentle clamp on your dick, holding blood in your erection instead of letting it flow back out. “Cock rings are one of the most simple yet effective sex toys out there,” says Dainis Graveris, a certified sex educator and relationship expert for the sex-toy site SexualAlpha. “Basically, they function by trapping blood in the penis to keep it from flowing out when [someone] gets an erection.”

Obviously, blood flow is a pretty essential part of a boner. You need it to develop an erection, but you also need to be able to keep the blood in there to maintain it. It’s this latter factor that cock rings can help with most. According to Graveris, this can be especially true for people with health conditions like ED, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress and anxiety, all of which can affect blood flow to the dick. 

That said, if you can’t develop an erection in the first place, a cock ring won’t really help, as there’d be no blood to hold in the penis to begin with. But if you can get the blood flowing in there, Graveris says cock rings can make your dick harder and more sensitive, as well as help you last longer in bed. Likewise, adding restriction to your testicles can help prevent them from contracting and delay your orgasm. 

The most basic cock ring is one that’s worn at the base of the penis, but there are other options, too. “Some rings are smaller and sit around the head of the penis, and some are larger and worn around the shaft and balls,” says Brian Robinson, owner of The Pleasure Chest, a sex toy store with locations in L.A. and New York. “Some of the larger rings have multiple rings so that one ring can be worn around the shaft and one ring can be worn around the balls, in effect separating the shaft from the balls and creating a pleasurable tension. There are rings that are textured, ones that vibrate, ones that are adjustable… the variety is truly abundant.” 

There are a handful of caveats to keep in mind with cock rings of any variety, though. Wearing a cock ring that’s too tight for too long can constrict blood flow entirely, which is not only painful, but can lead to long-term damage to penile tissue. Also, you should never have a boner for more than four hours straight, even with a cock ring, as you run the risk of developing priapism. “If your ring feels too small and is painful to wear, you should opt for a larger size,” says James Kelly, an erectile expert with ED Clinics. “Also, choose one with a stretchy and skin-safe material like silicone. You don’t want to end up in hospital because your metal ring won’t come off.” Using lube when putting it on and taking it off is also highly recommended. 

If you’re able to achieve an erection but struggle to maintain it, or you just want to add some new sensations to your dick, putting a ring on it might do the trick. In essence, it works the same way as tying a tight string around your finger does, except it’s your dick, and therefore way more fun. And even if it’s not quite a ring in the jewelry sense, it will probably make your dick look prettier — just sayin’. 

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