Ask the Doctors: Cock Rings and Erections

What is the proper way to use a cock ring? My partner has had trouble keeping an erection and I wanted to try to use one.

Cock rings are used to restrict blood flow out of the penis, which creates a sensation of tightness and pressure that many people find pleasurable. Although some people find that wearing a cock ring can make erections firmer or longer-lasting, I don’t advise using cock rings to “cure” erectile difficulties without first seeing a doctor.

There are a couple of reasons for that. First, erection difficulties can be a sign of several different medical conditions and it’s important to get them checked out. Second, if there is a medical condition that’s affecting his erections, a cock ring might be the wrong thing to do. For example, diabetes can cause erection difficulties by affecting the nerves in the penis and a cock ring can make that worse. So getting medical advice is a good first step.

If your partner does decide to use a cock ring, here are some useful tips:

Cock rings are usually worn at the base of the penis, behind the scrotum, although some people wear them in front of the scrotum. Most people find it easier to put on a cock ring when their penis is flaccid or not fully erect. He may want to trim or shave the hair around the penis base and/or scrotum to decrease the likelihood of catching hair in the ring or snaps.

The first few times that he wears one, he may want to remove it after five or ten minutes. Just as with too-tight shoes, it can be difficult to know when it’s too snug when it’s an unfamiliar sensation. After a few times, he’ll be able to tell the difference between too tight and just right.

For first timers, I usually suggest the Leather Cock Ring or the Neoprene Ring because they’re adjustable. To put it on, place it behind the scrotum and fasten over the top of penis. If it starts to feel uncomfortable, it’s easy to take off. Some guys like to wear them during orgasm and others don’t, so the snaps are a good choice.

Some rings like the O Wow or the Screaming O are stretchy, so they are pretty easy to put on and take off. And they often have vibrators which can be a great addition to intercourse for some hands-free clitoral fun. He can also wear the vibrator underneath the testicles for a fun sensation. I don’t recommend solid rings like the Nitrile Ring for beginners because you can only put them on and (more importantly) take them off when the penis is soft.

We have some other useful information about cock rings on this page. I hope this helps!


We’re dedicated to getting you the information you need about sex, pleasure and your health. If you have any questions, please email our staff experts, Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Charlie Glickman, at education@goodvibes.com! For product-related questions, please email or call our customer service staff at customerservice@goodvibes.com.

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Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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