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Maintaining an erection can be crucial to enjoying sexual activities, but it's not always easy. Penis pumps can help, but sometimes the effects don't last as long as desired.

This article examines various approaches to sustaining an erection following penis pump use, particularly utilizing a cock ring (or constriction ring). However, that's not the only option for maintaining and improving the quality of your erection, as we're about to discuss.

This article assumes that readers already have a clear understanding of how erections, penis pumps, and cock rings work; for those readers who require or would like an explanation and more understanding in those areas, please scroll down to the sections toward the end of this page.

10 Tips for Maintaining an Erection After Pumping

With the increased blood flow to your penis from the penis pump, you've achieved the erection you need to enjoy sex. However, once the pump is removed, your body will resume normal behavior, slowly dissipating blood from the penis unless you can keep it in place. So, how do you keep it in the penis where you need it?

The simplest and safest practical method is using a cock or penis ring.

They're one of the standard applications to aid erectile dysfunction and work hand-in-hand with penis pumps.

As well as penis rings, there are several alternatives to help maintain erections for longer. Some are medical, others are practical, and many are lifestyle changes that encourage you to be your healthiest self, giving your body its best chance of operating at its most efficient.

1. Use a Cock Ring – and learn how to use it properly

As discussed, a cock ring is the simplest and most efficient way to keep the blood in the penis where needed to maintain an erection. To get the best from penis rings, it's essential that they're used correctly and fit properly. Following our guides and the specific instructions for each model should help you achieve the enhanced pleasure you hope for.

Once again, we provide far more in-depth information on our blog exploring the topic. If you'd like to know more about their benefits, best use, hygiene, and aftercare tips, it's all on our page 'What is a cock ring and what are they used for?'

2. Erection training

Using a penis pump a few times a week can help to improve the quality of erections, most noticeably in cases of mild erectile dysfunction. Penis pump training can help to stimulate penile tissue and improve the quality of erections.

Further erection training can be carried out during masturbation

Experimenting with touch and alternative stimulation can help you to understand the things that encourage arousal. Taking your time and using techniques such as 'edging' to prolong erections and delay climax can help mild ED sufferers improve their performance.

3. Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors

There are several levels of erectile dysfunction: from mild cases with occasional failure to maintain a suitable erection to more severe cases where achieving an erection is only possible with medication or surgery. Such medications (Viagra [sildenafil], Cialis [tadalafil], Levitra [vardenafil], and Stendra—the four FDA-approved prescription medications) combat erectile dysfunction problems ranging from damaged erectile tissue, whether due to illness or physical damage (heart disease, prostate cancer, spinal cord injury, etc.) or surgery (radiation treatment, prostate surgery, etc.) or emotional and stress-based issues.

ED medications still require sexual stimulation and arousal to achieve an erection, so they won't necessarily combat all emotional issues surrounding erectile dysfunction.

Typically, erectile dysfunction medications are used to assist in achieving and maintaining an erection, so for those using a penis pump to encourage and improve blood flow into the penis, erectile dysfunction medication will help keep the blood vessels open and an erection in place. Erectile dysfunction medications should only be used as part of a prescribed treatment plan.

4. Plan and communicate with your partner

It's no secret that emotional and psychological influences contribute to sexual problems. If there's no obvious physical health condition suggesting why you may be experiencing erectile issues, chances are it's something going on in your mind.

Although it's often a difficult topic to approach, talking to your partner almost always removes some of the blocks between you and your usual sexual function.

Don't let poor communication with your partner be part of the problem. Their understanding and assistance may be enough to remove the stress and pressure and help you get back to your best self.

5. Prepare for sex in advance and set the mood

Failing to plan is planning to fail. While that's not always necessarily the case during sex, if you're worried about your performance and erection problems, it can ease your mind and help maintain an erection if you've got everything you need close to hand and ready to go.

If you've found that sex toys help, make sure they're clean and prepped for use, and if you're using a penis pump and cock rings, you've got everything you need to ensure a smooth flow from arousal to intercourse.

Setting the mood

If you're stressed in any way or worried about whether you'll maintain an erection long enough to satisfy your partner, you need to find a way to deal with any intrusive thoughts and fully commit to enjoying the experience.

Taking time to relax before sex can help, or following psychological practices such as mindfulness and CBT exercises.

Again, being open with your partner will reduce performance anxiety, and a slow build toward the event can enhance anticipation and arousal.

6. Experiment and try new things in bed

One key component of sexual arousal is how we get turned on. One of the key issues in modern society that is thought to contribute to erectile dysfunction is an unhealthy relationship with pornography.

While no definitive proof exists that masturbating to pornography causes erectile dysfunction, overuse and engagement with unrealistic sex practices and stimulation are thought to leave those users less turned during regular sexual activities. So, to combat this, it may be necessary to lessen or stop porn use and focus on ways to become more aroused during sexual activity.

One key component of sexual arousal is how we get turned on.

Communication plays a big part in better sex; discussing the things we like the most, what turns us on, our fantasies, and our favorite positions can all play a healthy role in more naturally arousing sexual activity.

Could introducing sex toys into your routine add a new level of excitement? Or perhaps extended foreplay, role-playing, exploring erogenous zones, oral or anal sex, new locations, or switching up positions? Concentrating on the journey and enjoying how each step in the process feels—especially touch and how it affects anticipation, arousal, and sensation—as opposed to performance and outcome alone is a far healthier and more engaging practice.

7. Eating healthily

The healthier you are, the better your body's chance of working to its physical best, and the best place to start is with what you put in it. A healthy diet can help in so many ways. Losing weight means your body won't have to work as hard in other areas. Dropping fatty, fried, and processed foods and maintaining a healthy diet will help with high cholesterol, blood pressure, and other physical conditions that affect blood flow.

Losing weight means your body won't have to work as hard in other areas.

One example, a study into how a Mediterranean diet might affect erectile dysfunction (carried out by the European Society of Cardiology) showed promising signs of improvement. Utilizing a healthier diet, researchers assessed how it lowered the subjects' blood pressure, improving symptoms of ED.

8. Maintain healthy lifestyle changes

Eating healthily is only one way to help your body work at its best. Most healthy lifestyle changes are common sense: exercise regularly, monitor your alcohol intake, quit smoking, ensure you get enough good quality sleep, lower stress where possible, and avoid recreational or illegal drug use, all of which affect your overall health.

Eating healthily is only one way to help your body work at its best.

Regular exercise is a key area shown to lower erectile dysfunction symptoms, as this cross-sectional study of Brazilian men concluded. Its results showed a 20% reduction in risk for men over 40 participating in low or high physical activity levels.

A special note for cyclists:

While cycling is a great form of cardio and aerobic exercise (one that encourages blood flow and builds nitric oxide, a natural chemical that contributes to better erections), too much time in the saddle can compress the pudendal artery that supplies blood to the penis. If you're a keen cyclist, explore split-seat or other specialist saddles and clothing designed to protect that part of your body. Also, take plenty of breaks while riding, lifting your body from the saddle wherever possible.

9. Lower your stress levels

Given sexual function relies heavily on our mental and emotional state, stress is one of the common causes of erectile problems. As discussed, open communication with your partner will help lower stress about sexual performance (known as performance anxiety); however, lowering other areas of stress in your life may take more exploration and effort. Finances, work, family, and more—all impact our mental health and well-being and can dampen our sexual excitement, reducing our ability to perform.

Given sexual function relies heavily on our mental and emotional state, stress is one of the common causes of erectile problems

The effectiveness of psychological interventions has shown real promise when used with or in place of ED medications, as this review article on the National Library of Medicine uncovered. Whatever the reason for our emotional or mental stresses, engaging in cognitive behavioral therapies and therapy can improve erection performance and sexual satisfaction.

10. Exercise the muscles that encourage blood flow to the penis—for example, with kegel exercises

Regular exercise will help you stay in shape, but some exercises work specifically on the areas of your body which can directly affect the ability to maintain an erection. Kegel exercises work the pelvic floor muscles you use during sexual intercourse and are regularly suggested for erectile dysfunction cases.

When to see a doctor

If you're experiencing any erection problems, issues with sexual arousal, or have lost interest in your sex life, talking to an expert is a great start to uncover the possible problems. There may be an underlying health condition, it could be stress-related, or it may be down to relationship problems.

Sexual arousal relies heavily on both physical and mental health.

Many factors contribute to sexual dysfunction and erection trouble, from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem to physical issues such as high blood pressure or a reaction to certain medications. Considering all options with your doctor will help determine the ideal route for your specific case.

Erections 101: What you need to know

To better understand the methods that help maintain an erection, it helps to know just how an erection works.

What happens when you get an erection

When penis owners become sexually aroused, the blood vessels in the penis are flooded, taking advantage of widened arteries triggered by an automatic response to signals from the brain. This fills the sponge-like erectile tissue (the corpora cavernosa), creating additional pressure throughout the penis, becoming engorged, erect, and ready for sexual intercourse.

An erect penis depends on the healthy functioning of the brain and the body. The brain plays a critical role in achieving and maintaining erections, so our mental state is often just as crucial to satisfying sex as our physical health.

The main reasons why you lose an erection

Typically, we can group erection issues into five areas:

  1. Decreased blood flow

  2. Abnormal hormone levels

  3. Medication side effects

  4. Abnormal nerve function

  5. Emotional or mental problem

However each case of erectile dysfunction presents itself, it can usually be placed within one of those key areas.

Penis pumps and cock rings 101: What you need to know

How do penis pumps help you achieve an erection?

A penis pump (or vacuum pump) is a medical device that helps those with a penis achieve and maintain a stronger erection. A clear plastic vacuum tube fits over the penis shaft, with a soft ring around the base to create a comfortable, air-tight fit. A pump removes air from the tube, creating suction around the penis. The pressure encourages blood to flow into the penis, strengthening the penile erection.

As well as being used to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction, penis pumps are also used for pleasure, enhancing penis size and hardness for varying sensations during partnered or solo sex.

A penis pump (or vacuum pump) is a medical device that helps those with a penis achieve and maintain a stronger erection.

For a full run-down on penis pumps, including a deeper look into the benefits, their efficiency, and if they're right for you, read our in-depth blog from our Knowledge Center.

How do cock rings help you maintain an erection?

A constriction ring is a circular band that slides onto an erect penis. Typically medical-grade silicone rubber, they're easy to use, clean, and hygienic. Its snug fit should be tight enough to restrict blood from flowing out of the penis but not so tight to be uncomfortable or cut off circulation.

Cock rings offer additional pleasure to sex play.

They're often designed to deliver additional pleasure for both partners with varying vibrating features.

How to safely enjoy a penis pump

If you follow the instructions of your penis pump, you should safely experience the various medical and recreational benefits they provide.

A penis pump should never cause pain or discomfort. By removing too much air and applying too much pressure, there is a danger of damaging the blood vessels in the penis, so it's essential to apply the relevant level of care during its use.


How often can I use a penis pump?

You can use a penis pump quite safely a few times a day if you follow the instructions correctly. Try 10 to 15 minutes at first, increasing the duration as you become more comfortable. However, if you notice any issues, such as swelling or discomfort, you should take a break until your penis fully recovers.

What are the potential side effects or risks of using a penis pump?

There are very few risks when used correctly. Still, some users may experience bruising, discomfort, small red spots on the skin (petechiae), a slight skin discoloration (cyanosis), or in some instances, difficulty ejaculating during intercourse.

Do I need a prescription for a penis pump, or are they available over the counter?

No. All types of penis pumps are available as over-the-counter purchases, whether for pleasure or medical use. However, medical professionals can write prescriptions for FDA-approved vacuum devices as part of a treatment plan for erectile dysfunction.


Penis pumps and constriction rings are excellent tools to encourage blood into the penis and keep it there. Whether used as a medical aid or for pleasure, regular use can help increase erection quality and sexual performance.

While they might not cure or prevent erectile dysfunction in more serious situations, they can help those with milder cases achieve better, longer-lasting erections.

There's also a great deal to be said for making healthier lifestyle choices and taking care of our emotional, mental, and physical health, all of which can help improve our well-being, relationships, stress levels, and, ultimately, our sexual performance.

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