If you thought the VCR was a relic of the past, I’ve got news for you. Not only does the VCR provide you with hours of cheap entertainment, but once you turn it on, it can get you off.

Of course, I’m not referring to the type of VCR buried deep in your closet, unearthed only when you need a fix of old school porn that’s only available on VHS. I’m speaking of the legendary vibrating cock ring – a device so simple and yet so pleasing it’s only a matter of time before they’re sold alongside Trojans at the drug store.

The first time I heard about the VCR, I was on one of my routine visits to the sex shop downtown, snickering at the notorious Pussy-Ass and purchasing a tube of warming lube. The clerk asked if I was interested in a “fun little sex toy,” and pointed me in the direction of a fishbowl filled with vibrating cock rings. I was intrigued, but refused the offer because I figured asking my man to add a vibrating contraption to sex could be insulting.

A few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned the mind-blowing sex she’d shared with her boyfriend the night before, and credited their dual orgasms to the “O Boy Vibrating Quickie Kit.” I asked her if her boyfriend had resisted the idea, and she informed me the ring had actually been a gift from him. I initially thought he was just a progressive male – thinking of his woman’s pleasure first – but it turns out the VCR is an equal opportunity design. The cock ring, sans the vibrating apparatus, was originally intended to strengthen and lengthen erections. The rubber ring is rolled to the base of the penis to cut off blood flow, which not only allows the dude last longer, but also engorges his dick. As if that isn’t enough to improve sex for all parties involved, some genius decided to make it vibrate.

As soon as I discovered the VCR’s far-reaching benefits, I immediately booked it to the Adult Store to begin my research. One wall of the store is devoted to things that pulsate, and I walked right past the basic, outdated vibrators – which, aside from the Rabbit, simply cannot compete with a real-life vibrating cock – and moved on to the veritable haven of VCRs. The O-Wow, the Bong-A-Cock Ring, the Adonis Pouch, the Purple Ring of Passion – they were all proudly hanging from the wall, and the selection was picked over just enough to prove their popularity. After rejecting all of the rings with remote controls and/or wiring, I opted for two models to compare side by side. I went with the Clit Flicker, because whoever thought of that name deserves to make a profit, and the unadorned Cordless Vibrating Cock Ring, because it’s so small and unthreatening.

When I tried the Clit Flicker, I was not impressed. My very lucky research assistant and I agreed: That particular VCR had failed with flying colors. We tried missionary, cowgirl and reverse cowgirl, and finally had to pull off the ring to make it to the finish line. The problem was, the ring was simply too big. It cut off at least an inch of length, and didn’t allow nearly enough skin-on-skin contact. And I never thought I’d have a negative word to say about anything that vibrates while in contact with my clit, but instead of making me cum, this VCR made me numb.

Thankfully, the good ol’ Cordless Vibrating Cock Ring – also known as the Hum Dinger – came through and restored my faith in the VCR industry. This one is almost as small as the bottom part of a condom, complete with the tiniest batteries I’ve ever seen. Unlike the Clit Flicker, it provides vibration all the way around the ring. Not only is the clit stimulated, but the balls get in on some of the action too – and I always welcome the chance to include the lonely scrotum in sexual escapades.

Next time, I’m investing in a vibrating condom – it doesn’t get any better than birth control and an orgasm all rolled into one.