How to last longer during sex: Do cock rings work?

lostintheredwoods-cock-ring-photo-from-flickr

Having worked in the field of sexuality research and education for more than 10 years, an enormous number of men have asked me questions about how to last longer during sexual intercourse (usually, vaginal intercourse). Some of these men find it difficult to last more than 30 seconds or a minute or two no matter what they try and their situation would likely fit the description of what some call “premature ejaculation” or “rapid ejaculation”.

Other times, men may believe that they aren’t lasting long enough during sex when, in fact, they are lasting a fair amount of time – say, 10 or 15 minutes during intercourse – before they ejaculate or orgasm (ejaculation and orgasm are not one in the same, by the way, though usually they coincide, so for the sake of this post we’ll treat them as occurring at the same time).

Stop-start and squeeze techniques (first practiced during masturbation, then sometimes carried over into partnered sex) are commonly recommended to men who wish to learn to delay their ejaculation (last longer during sex). Some research in recent years suggest that, for some men, there may be an inherited/genetic propensity toward premature ejaculation. Perhaps in part because of such findings – as well as a greater focus overall on medical interventions to treat sexual problems – some research has looked at whether medication can successfully be used to help men last longer during sex. What they’ve found is that certain doses of specific anti-depressants (often those of the SSRI variety) may help some men to last longer before ejaculating. If you’re interested in such a strategy, please speak with a healthcare provider rather than tinkering with medications you may be taking for actual depression or anxiety (and never buy medications illegally or over the internet as you may not be getting the real thing).

Though there are myriad other ways that men try to last longer during sex, more often I am asked whether cock rings help men to last longer during sex. The truth is, there has been very little research on this method although many people claim this benefit of cock rings. Some men with certain physical conditions may actually benefit from using cock rings or other constrictive devices, as recommended by their healthcare provider, to help them to maintain their erection – but I’ve not come across solid research on cock rings actually helping men to delay ejaculation or generally last longer during sex (unless by “lasting longer” they only mean keeping their erection).

Even the erection claims are vague as rings probably would only help a small subset of men with erectile problems. Many erection problems are caused by performance anxiety (particularly in younger men) or medical conditions such as diabetes or heart problems (particularly in middle aged and older men). As such, any time that a man experiences ongoing or more frequent erectile problems, he should bring this to the attention of his healthcare provider just in case his difficulty getting or keeping an erection is an early warning sign of a serious medical condition.

The bottom line, then, is that we have few, if any, research-based reasons to believe that cock rings will help men to last longer during sex, but they can certainly be used for sexual fun and enjoyment, and if you or your partner find them to be helpful, then they may indeed be just that! Newer vibrating rings can feel pleasurable for both partners, and we need more info on how men with premature ejaculation issues respond to vibrating rings (do they come more quickly than they’d like to, while using rings? or does the vibration dull sensation enough for them to last even longer?)

Science has not found all (or even one-tenth!) of the answers yet when it comes to sex and many people have found successful strategies in their sex lives that work well for them, all on their own. If you do use cock rings, it is generally recommended that they be worn for fewer than 20 minutes and that they be removed from a man’s penis and scrotum if he feels any discomfort or pain or notices discoloration (such as bruising) – this is rare, of course, but important to mention in order to reduce negative risks to fantastic penises everywhere.

Check out Dr. Herbenick’s book, Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction, and follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor

To read more MSP posts about lasting longer during sex, check out:

- MSP Q&A “How can I last long enough during sex to satisfy my wife of 24 years?”
- Can yoga help premature ejaculation?
- A book review/overview of “How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation” by Helen Singer Kaplan

[Above image by lostintheredwoods, via Flickr Creative Commons.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • mr. smith

    Great info. i have one question…..are there any health risks to wearing one? i have one and when i put it on my main vein on the side of my penis gets reallyu large. is this normal and is it ok to keep using it as long as i dont leave it on for more than 10-15 minutes. thanks

  • mr. smith

    Great info. i have one question…..are there any health risks to wearing one? i have one and when i put it on my main vein on the side of my penis gets reallyu large. is this normal and is it ok to keep using it as long as i dont leave it on for more than 10-15 minutes. thanks

  • http://www.last-longer-during-intercourse.com/ Ron

    Nice Info. I too have a website based on similar issue. Are these rings safe to use?

  • http://www.last-longer-during-intercourse.com Ron

    Nice Info. I too have a website based on similar issue. Are these rings safe to use?

  • stephanieslocum

    i have yet to meet a guy who dons this kind of gadget. a bit scary for me. haha.

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