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Savage Love

If we only listened to doctors, no one would ever eat sugar, smoke or let his girlfriend lock up his cock in "The Grinder."

My girlfriend and I read your column, and I have you to thank for being comfortable enough with my kinks to tell her about my interest in BDSM. She has indulged all my kinky fantasies and discovered some of her own. Our latest adventure has her locking up my dick in a CB-6000 male chastity device. The play/sex has been super-fun so far, but we want to be aware of any health and safety concerns. We're most concerned about whether restricting erections with a chastity device can cause nerve damage, erectile dysfunctiom or other issues. Should I be concerned about having my erections constricted while being teased or wearing it overnight? We plan on taking off the device for sexual play, which we do about five times a week, so there would be plenty of opportunities for my guy to stretch out. Is there any issue with having the device on long-term while soft, in regards to the cock ring that serves as the back end of the device? If it is fitted properly, are there any negative effects to having this on for a day? A week? A month? I find it odd that manufacturers don't provide more information about this. From what I've read online, there seem to be a lot of guys who stay locked way more long-term than I'm planning.

Lock On Cock Kausing Erectile Dysfunction?

Whether you're talking about food, politics or locking a dude's cock in a male chastity device, LOCKED, you'll find more anonymous liars online pretending to be experts than actual experts. 

Male chastity play is a real kink, not some bullshit made up by a high-school kid to gross people out, e.g., "Dirty Sanchez," "Donkey Punch," "Michelle Malkin." But the number of men who enjoy this kind of play is relatively small, and the number blogging about it is smaller. So it's best not to take health-and-safety advice from anonymous chastity players online.

So how about some health-and-safety advice from a board-certified urologist? "I've never had a patient ask me about using, or admit to using, a male chastity device," said Stephen H. King, MD, a urologist in Washington State. "And I cannot find a single reference in the medical/urological literature."

What would Dr. King advise a patient about wearing a male chastity device? "As a urologist, my primary concern is long-term health and preservation of erectile function, so I tend to err on the cautious side," said Dr. King. "I'd certainly caution against long-term or continuous use of such a device, anything more than four to six hours, if it places any significant compression on the tissue."

Some guys who wear male chastity devices for extended periods invest in custom-fitted devices, which are less likely to put "significant compression on the tissue" than a semi-adjustable, one-size-fits-all CB-6000. The device you've got is fine for newbies and short-term play, but the expensive chastity devices they sell at — devices with names like "The Torture Puzzle" and "The Grinder" — are safer and impossible to remove without the key.

So let's say you invest in an expensive chastity device that doesn't rely on potentially tissue-compressing rings. What does Dr. King say? "With no compression from the cock ring, it might be safe for somewhat longer use," he answered. "Overnight use may still be problematic. Nocturnal/spontaneous erections are hypothesized to encourage blood flow and stretching of the vascular and erectile tissue to keep it healthy and prevent atrophy. Like any other tendon, ligament or muscle — use it or lose it. I can't see how preventing spontaneous nocturnal erections can be healthy. But I can't prove any long-term damage."

Of course, if we only listened to doctors, no one would ever eat sugar, smoke cigarettes or let his girlfriend lock up his cock in "The Grinder." So I got a second and a third opinion.

The second opinion is mine. The manufacturers of male chastity devices don't provide information about risks because they're not required to. Sex toys are sold as "novelty items," not medical devices, and the FDA doesn't regulate them. But so long as your CB-6000 isn't cutting off circulation, pinching nerves or rubbing you raw, and so long as you're not wearing it for extended periods (I wouldn't wear one overnight), you'll be fine. There are thousands of CB-6000s in circulation — it's the most popular male chastity device on the market — and if they were injuring men or rendering them impotent, we'd be hearing from the lawyers. Dr. King consulted a doctor whose specialty is "urology trauma," and his colleague hadn't heard of any issues related to chastity devices. "Perhaps that speaks to the relative safety of them," said Dr. King. "If they were messing up lots of penises, surely we urologists would be the first to know."

The third opinion is from a kinky blogger. Metal served for six years on the board of Gay Male S/M Activist — an organization that promotes safe, sane and consensual BDSM — and runs the popular BDSM site He's also a keyholder to several men locked in long-term chastity devices.

"I'm not a medical doctor," Metal said, "so I can't speak with authority on potential long-term physical effects. But I can tell you that many, many men use chastity to enhance their sex lives."

None of the men Metal has locked up — some for months at a time — have had trouble getting hard once their devices were removed. "When guys are first locked up, they often complain of waking up in the middle of the night with painful erections," said Metal. "But that usually passes in a week or so. What I would suggest to this couple is to experiment. Lock him up for a day or two initially, then a few days, and then maybe work up to a week or more. Rules are good. Maybe he gets unlocked only when he's chained to the bed. Then after he comes — if he's allowed to come — his dick gets locked back up before he's unchained." 

Metal urges you to be cautious, but not to fear chastity play: "The possibilities, and the long-term sexual rewards, can be endless."

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