The Ring?
    K.G. from Seoul, Korea:
    Since I was a teenager (I'm now 69), I've heard about cock rings, and I've seen
    pictures of different styles? Now that I'm getting a little older and sometimes I'm not
    able to get as hard of an erection, I've wondered if a ring would help the situation. I
    would never go into a condom or adult shop to ask, but I'd like to know. What's it
    supposed to do?

    Jeoffrey and Renée:
    The quick answer:

    A cock ring is most often used to make an erect penis harder and bigger,
    to keep it that way for a longer amount of time, and to delay and heighten

    It is generally placed at the base of the penis to prevent
    blood from escaping and to strengthen one's erection.

    Now for the longer answer, pun intended:

    Reportedly, cock rings have been said to have been used through
    the ages, found at ancient Greek sites, and have been documented
    from China’s Jin Dynasty (between 265 and 420 BC, gaining
    popularity during the Song and Ming dynasty. Supposedly, cock
    rings were used as status symbols, but the usefulness in promoting
    bigger and better erections brought wider usage.

    Cock rings have been made from a wide variety of materials, from animal skins,
    rawhide, jade, ivory and wood.

    Today, the rings area available both online and in adult or condom shops, and are
    made from a variety of materials, including silicone, nylon, metal, latex, rubber, plastic
    and leather. (We've even heard that some men prefer to use the simple black rubber
    "O-rings," bought inexpensively in a variety of sizes in automotive parts stores).
    Another quick-and-easy solution is a snug condom, rolled up, with the nipple end cut

Adjustible cock rings, such as those made of leather or rawhide straps (sometimes with velcro or snaps) are
easier for beginners to use since the fit can be changed, and taking them off is more manageable. Another
alternative is elastic strips (available in sewing supplies).

Cock rings work by constricting blood flow, keeping blood in the shaft of the penis (based on the fact that blood
coming into the penis region is deeper below the surface, while blood being carried from the penis to the body is
closer to the surface).

    Many wearers report that when they do climax, the sensation is more intense, since it took
    a longer time to build to an ejaculation, and because the penis is filled with additional blood.

    Cock rings can be used successfully with your partner or for self-pleasuring. In fact, it may
    be recommended to try the ring alone until you become more comfortable, and as you gain
    experience and confidence. (NOTE: The last sentence is extremely important. The big
    moment is not the ideal time to practice.)

    The flexibility of rubber and other elasticized cock rings allows a greater range of fit for
    differently endowed men, but they are not one-size-fits-all. Thankfully, many cock rings
    come in sets of three or more sizes, allowing you to experiment with fit, flexibility and

    Many of the newer rings come in with variety of accessories, including vibrating rings with
    can stimulate the partner's clitoris at the same time if you are using face to face positions.

    NONE: Avoid using cock ring substitutes such as rubber bands, which can cause too much

    Less flexible cock rings need to be the right size and chosen for a proper fit. One that fits
    too tightly can restrict circulation too much and can also be difficult to hard to remove.

    Cock rings, as the name implies, fit over the shaft, preferably at the base. Lube can be
    added to make putting rings on and taking them off a little easier. Lubrication also helps to
    keep from pulling pubic hair.

    More involved cock rings (such as double and triple rings) can also fit both at the base of
    the shaft as well as over the testicles. Some men prefer this, citing significantly enhanced
    erections and intensity of orgasms. Some enjoy the cock ring by itself.

    The ideal cock ring stays in place when the penis is soft, yet it can fairly easily slip off or
    unsnap when the penis is hard.

    For safety and pleasure, a cock ring needs to increase the size of the erection only slightly.
    If it hurts, it's too tight.

    In addition, it's dangerous to leave a ring on for too long, including wearing one to sleep.

    One final note: cock rings for erectile dysfunction (ED) generally work well with a
    mechanical vacuum pump (very easy to operate!), and the rings must be able to be placed
    in position while the pump is connected. This rules out most types other than simple elastic

In the end, cock rings may be for you. Or not. They have worked well for millions of men for years, long before
Viagra, Levitra and Cialis.

As with all other changes in lifestyle, if you have questions, check with a physician who understands the special
challenges of manhood and aging.

T. D. from (City Withheld by Request), Maine:
I'm a 75 year old man and I had never heard of cock rings until I read about them on your website. Since that time,
I've tried a variety of them that I ordered ?

Jeoffrey and Renée:
For starters, let's get th

R.E. from Johannesburg, South Africa:
Most of my life I have wondered about whether the size of a man's penis is that big of a deal to women? I am a man
of average size (from what I saw in comparison when I served in the military and from what I've read). I've worried
about it much, never asked my wife of over 40 years what she thinks about size, and have always seemed to be
able to please her. She has certainly never indicated any disappointment that I'm not built larger, but I still wonder.
What does your research say?

    Jeoffrey and Renée:
    For starters, let's get the basics out of the way. The average man's penis
    is 5.6 inches long (14.2 centimeters) when erect. The average penile girth
    was about 4.8 inches (12.2 cm). That number has stayed fairly consistent
    for as long as research has been available.

    Not surprisingly, penises come in all shapes and sizes. A recent study
    reported in Psychology Today mentioned that the smallest erect penis in
    the study was about 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, and the largest was 10.2
    inches (26 cm) long.

    But not to worry if you are smaller or larger than average. Both small and large can be extremely
    effective. The most important sexual organ is your brain.

Our research through the years on sexual satisfaction tends to suggest that factors other than size, including
foreplay, intimacy, cleanliness, affection, prowess and trust) are much, much more important to women.

I wish we could tell you how many times we've interviewed couples where the subject of size comes up (we would
never ask that question!). In so many cases where the male wishes he had a larger penis (is there any other way?),
the female speaks very little about girth and expresses admiration when her partner is a skilled lover, regardless
of size.

And we wish we could tell you how many times we've heard men talk about sexual satisfaction (stroking,
sensitivity, ejaculation, etc.) where size has absolutely no relevance. The stereotypes - men with large penises
drive women wild and enjoy sex much more then smaller guys, and men with smaller penises leave the women
unfulfilled - simply aren't true. In fact, Some men with huge tools report less satisfaction, while men of smaller
sizes often report great satisfaction.

As with so many other areas of life, sex is what you make it. Refusing to accept the "fact" that size matters is

So much modern literature and media glamorizes a man of incredible size who can pound the deep vagina walls,
causing waves of expressible ecstasy. In truth, a woman's most sensitive intimate area seems to be centered in
the entrance and first inch or two of her vagina. In addition, a larger penis is sometimes a cause of pain to some
women who are small or normal sized inside.

    That's not to say that some women don't like a stallion, and nearly every man dreams
    of being one, but the whole porno-fueled ideal is more mythological than real.

    The secret is using what you have, focusing on what you can control and
    concentrating of becoming a skilled lover, thoughtful and giving during foreplay,  
    intercourse and afterward.

                                 What male college student hasn't snickered this timeless limerick?

                   There once was a man from Exameter
                   Who had a prodigious diameter
                   But it wasn't the size
                   That brought forth the cries
                   'Twas his rhythm, iambic pentameter

    To improve your sexual life, bypass the brazen advertisements for dramatically
    increasing your length and girth. Instead, focus on becoming a better lover.


Get involved in a fitness program. Many men who embark on a healthy program of more exercise and a better diet
are thrilled to discover that less pounds, especially around the midsection, causes the penis to seem bigger and
more pronounced. (Always check with your health care practitioner before beginning any new exercise or dietary

Get your testosterone level checked. If it is low (and this happens often among older men), ask about programs
and injections that are available to increase your T-levels.

Check with a trusted physician if you have erectile dysfunction more than occasionally. ED is a fairly common
challenge, but there are answers available.

Check out books and videos that explain how to improve yourself. Avoid the porn that hires men based largely on
penis length and casts fawning women who pulsate and moan on cue.

Consider sex counseling or therapy if you continue to have questions or concerns. Ideally, seek out a counselor
or therapist who understands aging and the special needs of mature men and women.

Seek to open up discussion channels with your lover concerning what you enjoy in terms of intimacy. Some men
get greater erections with oral sex during foreplay. Others find that certain erogenous zones start the erectile
engine better than others.

    Be trustworthy. That is the greatest aphrodisiac of all. Almost universally,
    women express a desire to have a lover they can trust. Intimacy,
    therefore, takes on new dimensions as a couple shares themselves
    exclusively with each other through the years.

    Above all, realize that you are not alone. Wanting a larger, more
    responsive tool is one of mankind's greatest and most unfulfilled desires.
    Focus on what is real and important.

Maybe the title from that old 1951 Rhythm and Blues song from The Swallows that says it best: "It Ain't the Meat, It's
the Motion." (And if you like that song, be sure to get Maria "Midnight at the Oasis" Muldaur's version from her
Meet Me Where They Play the Blues CD.)
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