The Best Sex Toy I Own Is Also The Cheapest

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Durex-Play-VibrationsPhoto: Courtesy Of Durex.
Women who will tell you all about their Rabbits and their Bullets sometimes get shy if and when cock rings enter the sex-toy conversation. The name doesn’t help: The word "cock" veers toward dirty-talk territory and makes the device sound niche, hardcore, and a little taboo. Those who have used one pass around brand recommendations furtively. (Maybe its use would be more widespread if it were rebranded as a “dick loop” or “penis lasso”?)

A cock ring won a place in our recent roundup of the best sex toys for every budget, so today, I’m reporting from the front lines on what it’s like to use one. As open as I am to toys in the bedroom — I own a decent collection of vibrators (including one I wear around my neck) and have opinions on all of them — I first tried using a c-ring just a few months ago. While on vacation, my partner and I were wandering through the New Orleans French Quarter after a cocktail or two when we noticed a sex toy shop. I’m a firm believer that a couple’s first visit to a sex toy shop is a relationship milestone, so I grabbed my partner by the hand and dragged him inside. (He followed somewhat reluctantly, but later described it as one of the sexier things I’ve done.)

Durex Play Vibrations Vibrating Ring, $4.37, available at Amazon.
cring2Photo: Courtesy Of Erotic Favors.
We walked out half an hour later with a bright-pink, translucent, silicone ring, complete with a butterfly emblazoned on the vibrator piece. I’d spent $10 on the most basic model after attempting in vain to coax my partner into trying a more elaborate option. (Turns out, there is a jaw-dropping array of cages and slings and sleeves in which to creatively encase the male genitalia. So, baby steps.) How the toy works: “Cock rings restrict blood flow out of the penis, creating a sensation of tightness and pressure that can be very pleasurable for the wearer,” explains Coyote Days, purchasing manager for renowned sex toy retailer Good Vibrations. “Vibrating rings offer another level of sensation, with the vibration echoing through the penis as well as stimulating the clitoris.

“Rings come in a variety of materials, from leather to metal to silicone,” Days continues. “Rings made of softer materials will simply offer a sensation of pressure for the wearer but, being flexible, won’t restrict blood quite as much. Leather rings are popular, as they wrap tight around the shaft (and scrotum as well, if you like) and snap closed. This eliminates the one-size-fits-all guessing game and offers a firmness that can be very pleasurable.”

Erotic Favors The Big O — The Multi-Stage Reusable Vibrating Ring, $16.57, available at Amazon.
cring3Photo: Courtesy Of Adam & Eve.
The stretchy silicone model my partner and I purchased can fit around the penis or both penis and scrotum, but fits tighter — and restricts blood flow more efficiently — when stretched around both. So, how pleasurable was using it once we got down to it? My partner’s penis did feel harder and longer, for longer, and significantly so. It may be a cliché, but I’d describe the deeper penetration plus the vibration — especially during girl-on-top — as sex on steroids. All of the same sensations were there, but they were heightened. Clit stimulation is that magical missing piece in heterosexual, penetrative sex; I now know that $10 can solve that problem.

My partner enjoyed his increased hardness and the ring’s vibration, which I (perhaps naively) hadn’t thought would have an effect on him. He also affirmed that his orgasm felt more explosive when he had been wearing the ring. And, as he pointed out, there’s something inherently sexy about introducing a new item into the bedroom, whatever it is. It’s a shared mini-adventure. Summary: thumbs-up, highly recommend, will try again (maybe tonight). C-ring newbies can certainly splash out some serious cash on a high-end model if they’re so inclined, but this is one device that delivers, no matter your budget.

Optimale Vibrate Double Penis Ring, $37.95, available at Adam & Eve.