“It’s a construct designed to keep us consumed with insecurity and consuming products.”
In the year 2023, we’re really spoiled for options in the sex toy market. There’s the classic vibrator, which people can use for vaginal or anal penetration, or variations that target the clitoris. There are sucking toys, butt plugs, G-spot stimulators, and dildos. And there are toys designed specifically for people with penises. Perhaps the most well-known toy in that category is the cock ring. And Maude—a Latina-owned sexual wellness company revered for its innovative and chic products—just launched Band ($52), a vibrating cock ring.
Cock rings (or c-rings) often don’t have vibrating functions, and are typically just meant to cut off circulation and pump more blood to the penis, which can help give the penis a stronger erection. These vibes, if you will, are but one of the things that makes Maude’s Band so unique. In honor of the launch, I tapped my sexual partner to see if he’d be down not only to try it with me and give his adulterated thoughts. Luckily, he agreed.
Made out of a silky-smooth, FDA-grade silicone, the Maude Band is a vibrating cock ring that has five different speeds controlled with a single button. It comes with a carrying case and a USB charger.
Size: 2.4 x 2.9 x 0.9 inches
Material: 100 percent silicone
Battery life: 45-55 minutes
- Extremely soft to the touch
- Noticeable intensity change
- Both parties can feel the function during penetrative sex
- Travel mode prevents it from accidentally turning on
- Comes with an artsy canvas bag for discreet storage
- The button is hard to access during intercourse
- May not come pre-charged
- Only a localized part of the ring vibrates
First impressions of the Maude Band
While my primary partner and I are open to trying new things in the bedroom, neither one of us had tried a cock ring before—vibrating or otherwise. He had heard of them and conceptualized cock rings as thin bands without any extra frills. As a sex writer, I knew there were other, more high-tech options, even though I hadn’t tried any for myself. However, we’re no strangers to other kinds of sex toys. In fact, we recently incorporated a clitoral suction toy during intercourse, but its plastic exterior kind of hurt our pelvic areas.
When we opened the package, I pulled out Band and was immediately impressed by how soft the toy was. I handed it to my partner and he agreed that the silicone material was almost buttery in texture.
“In the moments of full penetration, it was pretty bomb.”
My partner, thought, was mostly surprised by what the band looked like. “I was expecting more of a cinching situation, like it was going to cut off my blood pressure, but that doesn’t seem like it would’ve been the case since the opening wasn’t extremely tiny,” he said. Indeed, the diameter of the ring is small, but it stretches a considerable amount—making it good for girthy and not-so-girthy penises alike.
Upon initially setting my eyes on the Band—which has a slightly thicker area that houses the motor and battery—I was worried that it would feel a little bulky. I also wondered if it would be uncomfortable to, ahem, bump up against during more vigorous sex. Would it be painful like the aforementioned plastic suction toy? We’d have to test it ourselves to see.
Other features to get out of the way: You can charge the Band via the included USB cable. A full charge takes approximately an hour and provides 55 minutes of play time on the lowest vibration setting (there are five total) and 45 minutes of play time on the highest setting. When not using, you can stow it in a discrete bag.
Our experience with the Maude Band
Before we even placed the Band on my partner’s penis, we spent some time getting familiar with the sex toy. We noted how much it stretched and where the power button was and how you increased the intensity. (It’s one button for both of these things.)
Since neither of us had tried a cock ring before, we wanted our foreplay to help us unwind and lower the stakes a bit. We had a glass of wine and started with a sensual massage using Maude’s amazing, soy-based massage candle ($30). I’m glad we did this because it helped us get out of our heads and into the mood.
Once we were both aroused, we placed the cock ring on my partner’s penis. We made this a team effort—I expanded the band while my partner inserted his penis in the ring. (Though one person could easily do this.) We did this while the ring was turned off, as it seemed like it would be hard to do while it was on.
My partner and I are big fans of penetrative sex. Though I prefer clitoral orgasms, my top-rated sex combo is penetrative sex simultaneous with clitoral stimulation. That’s what Band offers. To be sure, this also felt good to my partner—but mostly when he was fully penetrating me.
That’s because we positioned the ring with the motor facing away from my partner’s testicles, positioning it more directly on my clitoris during sex. “In the moments of full penetration, it was pretty bomb,” he so eloquently tells me.
While I very much enjoyed this sensation, I have to say that it was more of a tease as my partner thrusted. The back and forth motion directly translated into a start-and-stop stimulation of my clitoris. (Still felt good, though!)
The main downside: The single button on the toy is kind of hard to reach and press during intercourse. We found that we either had to set the intensity in the beginning and keep it there, or pause the action to press the button and change the setting. However, that wasn’t a big deal breaker, as we found the anticipation more enticing than mood-killing.
A few days after our first test, my partner noted that Band’s vibration was mostly concentrated on the base of his shaft. “It basically just felt like someone was holding up a vibrating device to this one small area of my penis,” he said.
We wondered if the placement of the motor could make a difference. We tried flipping Band so that the motor was facing, and rubbing up against, his testicles. “I’m definitely not used to this sensation on my testicles,” he says. “It’s a lot. It feels like my balls are going to fall off.” Once we introduced other sensations—like a hand stroke on his shaft—he changed his tune. “Yeah, like, that… felt pretty good, honestly,” he says.
It was wild how just a simple tweak made a big difference in my partner’s experience with the toy. Consider our lesson learned: It’s pretty damn crucial to talk to your sexual partner about what feels good and what doesn’t. Pleasure begets pleasure, and everyone deserves it in equal amounts.
The bottom line
The Maude Band delivers on many levels. You can rotate and expand it to stimulate the testicles or the genital area that the penis is going into. It’s superbly smooth. And it has an easy-to-activate travel mode that keeps it from buzzing around in your luggage or purse. If only it wasn’t so tricky to change the settings mid-sex. While it wasn’t a sure-fire way to guarantee an orgasm, I found it a buzz-worthy way to introduce some variety into partnered sex.