FirmTech Tech Ring review: an innovative performance ring for tracking erectile health
Claiming to hold the award for “the first men’s health sex tech”, FirmTech is a relatively fresh US brand pioneered by physicist-cum-entrepreneur Dr. Elliot Justin, an Emergency Medicine Specialist and Consultant in Urology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Diabetes.
The start-up’s focus is on developing products that “encourage fun, enjoyable sex for [cis] men of all ages” while promoting erectile fitness “in an effort to keep men firm and fit for a lifetime of lovemaking”. It should come as no surprise then, that its flagship product is essentially a smart cock ring (referred to more politely by the firm as an “erection ring”) with a pledge to monitor erectile health.
Named simply FirmTech Tech Ring (FTR) this “under-wearable”, as it’s been coined, uses an in-built suite of sensors alongside Bluetooth technology and a connected app to track the performance of a person’s erections. There’s also a considerably cheaper FirmTech Performance Ring (FPR), which doesn’t have any of the ‘smart’ functions or tracking – but costs just $60, rather than $275.
Before we get into whether it’s good or not, we should probably explain its use case some more.
FirmTech Tech Ring: Who and what is it for?To measure and enhance erections
The idea behind FirmTech’s Tech Ring is to not only enhance a user’s performance during play like any other vibrating ring. Rather, its aim is to track the vital signs of erectile fitness throughout sex or solo play, and during sleep. That’s right, FirmTech suggests wearing its clever erection ring to bed—and by counting the number, duration, and firmness of nocturnal erections while a user is in the land of nod—it can give them insights into cardiovascular health.
But how? Unlike blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, the number of nocturnal erections and their duration during REM sleep can directly reflect vascular health, claims Dr. Justin. With all this data viewable within the app, users and their doctors can then more easily measure sexual health and performance to understand the impact of things like medications, stress, alcohol, and drugs are having on their sexual wellness, particularly in relation to issues such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and the like. FirmTech is keen to point out that its Tech Ring isn’t just for those experiencing ED but for those who are seeking to prevent it, too.
Basically, the FirmTech Tech Ring is a Fitbit for anyone with a penis. And while I love the idea, I can’t help but wonder if it will work as well as promised, and whether it’s comfortable to wear during sleep.
Brave and intrepid reviewer that I am, these doubts didn’t stop me from spending a couple of weeks testing out the FirmTech Tech Ring for this review.
FirmTech Tech Ring Review: Rating & Overview
Sitting on the higher end of sex tech devices, the Tech Ring costs $249.99 (~£210), and is designed to measure and enhance erections, in order to provide a fuller picture of sexual (and cardiovascular) health. As a ‘Fitbit for the penis’, it tracks a whole range of data that can provide a more complete picture of your health, as well as increase firmness during sex.
This comes at a somewhat literal cost ($/£200+), and while the app works on the whole, it can sometimes be a little glitchy. Overall though, I was impressed with the potential of the FirmTech Tech Ring for monitoring and improving sexual health.
I’d love it even more if it didn’t attract dust and lint when not in use though!
- Comfortable for extended periods
- Helps increase firmness during use
- Decent build quality
- Very insightful data recording
- Great potential for overall health
- Relatively expensive
- Recording sessions can be fiddly
- A little bulky
- Attract lint
- App can be glitchy
FirmTech Tech Ring: DesignElaborate and adjustable, but not easy on the eye
The Tech Ring sports a rather simple design that makes it super easy to pop on and off. Made from a medical-grade elastomer material, it comprises one loop that attaches to a central sensor box via a hook. The loop stretches around the testicles with one side under them and the other sitting on top, under the penis shaft. These then hook onto the sensor box, which sits on top of the penis, providing slight engorgement. The good thing here is that the stretchy elastomer material means it can adjust to any size and sits very comfortably around your parts without being too tight or pinching.
The addition of a sensor box to a cock ring does mean that the Tech Ring has an overall chunky and somewhat elaborate design – so it’s probably not something most people would feel comfortable wearing with a new sexual partner. Another niggle we have is that it does attract a lot of lint that’s not easy to wipe off and is a little unpleasant on the eye.
We should also note that the Tech Ring ships with a charging dock, which it clips into and is juiced via USB.
FirmTech Tech Ring: Experience and in-useMay take longer to turn on than your partner
While its design and application are relatively straightforward, operating the Tech Ring to track erections isn’t quite as easy as we’d hoped. It’s not just a matter of turning it on and connecting it to the app. It’s all very fiddly and takes some getting used to.
To get it going, you have to short-press the power button, generating a flashing blue light. Then, you need to load up the FirmTech app on your phone and tap the “Pair” option. Once paired the blue LED will stop flashing and you can begin recording a session, just press the “Record a session” button in the app. Once activated, a green light on the ring will flash green—a somewhat unnecessary—10 times to tell you it’s unpaired and is now recording data. To stop recording data after taking it off, you’ll have to press and hold the power button on the ring until it flashes red three times. This will stop the recording and turn off the ring.
This is the truly annoying thing: you can’t see the data in real-time and you’ve got to disconnect the ring from the app to record the data, which we assume is to preserve battery life. To upload the data you’ll need to power up the device once more, open up the app, and pair it again. Once paired it will automatically start uploading the data.
It’s a rather convoluted process that you probably won’t be arsed with just before having sex. There’s no bigger passion killer than a cock ring that takes longer to turn on than your partner.
Once on, though, it is very comfortable and does help to sustain erections, keeping them firmer for longer during use. But isn’t this something most run-of-the-mill $5 cock rings can achieve? Still, the data the Tech Ring records are impressive and seem to accurately track erectile activity – even over long periods.
Data is displayed clearly within the app in the form of graphs showing erection events and their firmness over time. This makes it especially easy to share with your doctor or health professional. With each recording, you can also make a note of medication, alcohol, or recreational drugs you consumed around the recording, and whether the ring was used for sex, masturbation, or sleep tracking.
We did find that the Tech Ring encountered some software issues throughout use, however. The smartphone app, for example, failed to load towards the end of our reviewing period, forcing a reinstallation. As a startup, we’ll give FirmTech the benefit of the doubt here and (we hope) this is something it can simply smooth out with future updates. Additionally, your data is stored on your account so any app glitches won’t mean everything is lost.
We also experienced a few problems with the device not recording the entirety of sleep, which could have been due to leaning on the power button while sleeping, or because the battery run out.
Speaking of battery life, the Tech Ring last about 12 hours per charge, which is enough to see you through a good night’s sleep if tracking nocturnal erections, and plenty of episodes of masturbation or sex before having to strap it back onto the charging dock.
FirmTech Tech Ring: Interpreting your dataInsights for making your plan of action
Having the data showing your erection firmness during sex or sleep is all well and good, but how does one understand and use this data to make a more impactful, positive change?
Well, one example is if you notice you have nocturnal erections that are firm but not so much during sex. This could indicate psychological ED or performance anxiety and, in this instance, FirmTech recommends seeing a sex therapist.
Another example is if the data shows a persistent decrease in erection rigidity. This, FirmTech says, could be a sign of high blood pressure, or clogged blood vessels caused by things like stress, diabetes, or obesity, which are known to lead to dysfunction. Cutting back on drinking, recreational drugs, and smoking could help here, FirmTech advises, but this could be a good talking point when visiting a doctor.
And even if you can still have sex but your sleep data suggests a declining number of nocturnal erections or a decrease in their duration, this could also indicate ill health and is worth chatting to a doctor about.
There are plenty of scenarios where the insights offered by the Tech Ring can really help to drive change and improvements in health outside of the bedroom. Our only gripe here is that the app doesn’t give you these suggestions
FirmTech Tech Ring: Is it worth buying?Speak to a professional before investing
If erectile dysfunction is something that you suffer from, be it often or infrequently, or enough to concern you, then the Tech Ring is definitely worth considering. But at $250 a pop, we’d suggest talking to your doctor before making a purchase, and asking them if the data the Tech Ring provides is something that would be helpful to them in their diagnosis. If it’s something they can work with to help you, we’d not hesitate in recommending the Tech Ring, especially if your erectile health is laying heavy on your mind.
However, if you’re just a little curious about how many hard-ons you get in your sleep but don’t really suffer from loss of erections regularly, then it’s probably worth saving your money and buying a much cheaper, non-smart cock ring for couples or solo use instead, albeit without the data you might want.
FirmTech Tech Ring: The final verdictA novel yet expensive sex aid with great potential
There’s no denying that the FirmTech Tech Ring is an innovative bit of kit. It’s not every day you see technology integrated into a sex “toy” aimed at more than simply enhancing pleasure.
Sure, it’s not the sleekest or sexiest-looking instrument to be wearing when getting down to it, and it’s certainly not cheap either, which hurt its overall score in this review more than any other individual factor.
However, if erectile health is a major concern, and having dedicated data around this is something that can help your doctor better treat you with more actional insights, then it could prove a very worthwhile tool in improving not only your sex life, but mental health going forward.