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Sex Tech spotlight – PenisRings

For our first product spotlight, we’re having a look at one of our most recommended sexual aides – the humble PenisRing, more commonly known as the CockRing!

What is it?

In a nutshell, these are wearable devices which go around the base of a penis, or at the very base with both the penis and testes through it (think like when you put a rubber band around your finger or wrist). There are many different materials available, but we recommend stretchy ones, as they are easier to use and are more adaptable to different penis sizes (and safer to use). A solid stainless steel one looks good, but MUST be the right size or you can land yourself in trouble.

So, stick with the stretchy ones!

We also recommend ones which have a little vibrator attached. More on that soon.

How does it work?

When an erection occurs, blood rushes into the spongy tissues of the penis, filling it up with blood and making it hard. The pressure of blood inside prevents venous outflow of the blood, serving to help maintain the erection. In folks that don’t get full erections, putting on a cockring helps the blood to stay in the penis (again, think like the rubber band on the finger!). This can help make the erection harder, and help it stay hard.

Another aspect of erections is two important types – Reflex and psychogenic. Psychogenic comes from the brain and down the spinal cord to the genitals, meaning a person gets an erection without any touch (i.e. think sexy thoughts, get an erection). This pathway can become limited by things like anxiety, and traumatic injuries like spinal cord injury. Reflex erection happens independently of the brain, and happens in response to local stimulation (i.e. stimulate the genital area, get an erection). This pathway is a little easier to stimulate and is an especially useful strategy for many people with spinal cord injury.

Cockrings can also assist the effect of medications for erectile function (like Viagra and Cialis), if indicated and prescribed by a doctor. You can also use a ‘penis pump’ to get the blood into the penis first (stay tuned for our future Sex Tech spotlights!).

Vibrating CockRings?

Using a vibrating cockring works in two (or more) ways –
It helps maintain and achieve an erection mechanically, by constricting outward blood flow.
It stimulates the reflex erection pathway, which can bring an erection from direct stimulation.

The added intensity of sensory stimulation through vibration can also assist people to reach orgasm and may help improve function in people with incomplete spinal cord injuries (some of the message might get through if it’s more intense). The extra stimulation is also great for your sexual partner!

Constricting blood flow?? are they dangerous at all?

Not if used properly. Here’s the safety stuff –
We recommend that regardless of how much you’re enjoying it, take the cockring off after 30 minutes, to allow the blood to recirculate. Wait a few minutes, then feel free to put it on and keep going!
As mentioned above, use a stretchy one that feels comfortable, and don’t use other things like string or rubber bands. Not using a purpose-made and stretchy cockring can cause damage and may need to be removed at the emergency department of your local hospital. You only need a small amount of constriction pressure for them to work.

Another consideration is sensory capacity – If a person can’t feel their penis, it’s important to stick to the 30-minute rule. Another useful tip for skin integrity is to apply some water-based lubricant before putting on the cockring.

Finally – the desire to go to sleep after sex can be strong sometimes. DO NOT go to sleep while wearing a cockring. Take it off first!

OK, I’m in. What do I get, and where?

Cockrings are available from any store or provider of sexual aides and toys, so shop around. They come in all sorts of brands, shapes, sizes, colours and with different vibrating and power functions (battery or rechargeable). They can cost anywhere from $20-$180, but if it’s your first time, start with a cheap one. If you like it, splash out on a fancy one later.
If being used to improve function for folks with disability, they can also be funded under NDIS (consumables) and iCare (equipment requests). Sex tech is assistive tech!