The first documented use of cock rings occurred in ancient China. The ancient Chinese cock ring was made from the eyelid of goats with the eyelashes attached. The flexible eyelid was placed around the base of the erect penis, the hardened lashes were said to increase the pleasure of intercourse. Later during the Ming Dynasty between 1368 and 1644, penis rings were made out of jade and ivory and were sometimes encrusted with jewels, which accentuated the pressure. Early European travellers to the Far East such as Marco Polo and the Venetian, Nicola di Conti, describe a form of penis ring which was used by men in Burma. The rings were inserted under the skin along the length of the penis and would increase the pleasure of intercourse as well as lengthen the penis. This form of penis enhancement was supposedly very popular amongst Burmese men during the medieval period. Rings which lengthened the penis were also used by the ancient Egyptians, some African tribes, South American tribes as well as in South East Asia.
During the nineteenth century penis rings were developed which were meant to decrease the sexual urge and the erection. The Leather-Jacket Corset was created by Dr. Fleck in 1831. It was made from leather and steel and was designed to be used by adolescent boys to prevent masturbation. This obsession with denying masturbation lead to the creation in the 1950s of the spike-lined cock ring which was meant to prevent erections; the spikes within the inner ring would press against the engorged penis and so cause pain and therefore discourage the erection, or so was the idea. During the mid twentieth century male prostitutes would use rubber condoms as a form of cock ring, but it wasn’t until the sexual revolution of the 1960s that cock rings were once again designed specifically for sexual pleasure. These early modern cock rings were made from leather and were similar to a belt with holes or press-studs used for fastening the “ring” around the penis. By the 1980s rubber, rigid plastic and metal cock rings were being sold and like the earlier leather cock rings were designed to fit around the base of the penis and the scrotum. Today it is possible to find all sorts of cock ring from simple leather straps to those which vibrate. There are weighted leather straps or ones with small balls around the ring which are similar in purpose to the ivory and jade jewel encrusted ancient Chinese cock rings. The cock ring has today become more than just a simple band which fixes around the base of the penis, its future looks likely to be even more exciting than its past.