erection enhancer

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a gift idea for a man in your life, from Out magazine for February 2012, p. 86:

Forget the classic cock ring: the incoqnito Smoke Ring is made of a dozen quartz beads (rumored to stimulate the libido) that come strung on knotted elastic to make for an adjustable erection enhancer – or attractive piece of jewelry. $65:

Erection enhancer is the linguistic point I want to focus on.

A longer description from the Babeland site:

Incoqnito Smoke Ring

Increase your pleasure in style with the beautifully crafted Smoke Ring cock ring. Twelve smoky quartz beads (believed to stimulate sexual energy) are strung on a non-porous, knotted elastic to create an easily adjustable cock ring. Just bring the ends together and twist, and the Smoke Ring will stay firmly in place (while keeping you firm, too). Apply it around the penis and balls when semi-hard for a longer-lasting erection, increased sensitivity, and delayed ejaculation; or, wear it around the penis itself as jewelry. Makes a perfect holiday gift for the adventurous gentleman in your life.

Some background, starting with cock rings:

A cock ring, or cockring, is a ring that is placed around a person’s penis, usually at the base, primarily to slow the flow of blood from the erect penile tissue, thus maintaining erection for a much longer period.

Cock rings can be worn around just the penis or both the penis and scrotum, or just the scrotum alone, though this is usually called a testicle cuff. Rings can be made of a variety of different materials, most commonly leather, rubber, or silicone, though nylon and metal are also used either as the main component or part of the closure. (link)

(Cock rings are mostly used by gay men, but there’s nothing intrinsically gay about them.)

Cock ring is a N + N compound, with the meaning ‘ring for a cock’ — but it’s also a fixed expression, with a more specific meaning than that. (Not (yet) in the OED.)

Babeland identifies the Smoke Ring straightforwardly as a cock ring, but Out treats it as something beyond “the classic cock ring”. What are the larger categories to which cock rings belong? Well sex toys, but that covers a lot of territory. Out has opted for a category in between classic cock rings and sex toys in general: the category of things designed to increase erections, for which the magazine uses the semi-technical term erection enhancer, a synthetic compound in -er (I’d imagine that  the back-formed verb to erection enhance is somewhere out there).

I’ve commented on the domain-specific use of enhance — in enhancement — before, in connection with the diet supplement ExtenZe:

ExtenZe is marketed as a “male enhancement” product – note the distant N N compound: male enhancement ‘enhancement of males’, alluding to a specific kind of enhancement, namely enhancement (that is, enlargement) of the penis.

[The voluminous literature on such treatments and products also uses the expressions penis / penile enlargement and penis / penile enhancement; also penis / penile augmentation, but usually for surgery. …] (link)

If you google on {“erection enhancers”}, you’ll find a variety of products, including both temporary enhancers like cock rings and (some) penis gels and also purported permanent enhancers: gels and creams, pills and herbs, penis pumps, even hypnosis treatments, all offering penis enlargement.

The structure of the categories here is clearly complex, and the use of particular labels for the categories is not completely fixed.

Meanwhile, the Smoke Ring is a handsome object (in some photos it appears to be solid black, which makes the name Smoke Ring puzzling), though a bit pricey for a cock ring.


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