An elongate flexible band or round member is disclosed having interengageable attachment means at the ends to provide a plurality of adjustable fastening points to enable the device to be formed into an encircling restriction of different effective circumferences in accordance with the physiological differences in the male genital organ. The fastening points are characterized by being easily applied and adjusted, providing a positive attachment, easy to manufacture, being comfortable to user and easily detached without discomfort. Various embodiments are disclosed including telescoping members, Velcro type attaching units, and the combination of transverse slots and a hook member, each of which interlock in a manner to form a joint which presents little, if any, undue and uncomfortable pressure points or interfering obstructions during application, use or removal.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The advantages to be gained by allowing full flow of arterial blood into the organ while restricting the back flow of venus blood are known in the art and a number of devices to accomplish this purpose are known. Continuous annular sleeves of soft elastic material with a base end that is relatively un-elastic and a forward end which has greater circumferential elasticity, have been used. Surgical applicances of this nature having circumferential outer channels with longitudinal cut slots therebetween, defined by detachable endless rubber bands to import flexibility, are also used. Split tubes of plastic or rubber with an overlying stretchable rubber tube have been proposed. Radially adjustable, inter-engaging lugs within a split tube comprise another prior art embodiment.
In spite of these developments in the art, devices of this nature have not been widely used to overcome psychic impotence. One of the primary reasons is that such devices cannot be quickly and easily attached to the organ, nor can they be removed without delay or discomfort. Furthermore, during use they present external surface deviations which are an obvious source of discomfort. These and related inadequacies of the prior art devices have prevented their general acceptance by the public, who though generally aware that the majority of psychic disturbances or inhibitions do not require psychotherapy, are reluctant to use the devices.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention concerns the provision of terminal fastening means at the ends of an elongate elastic member of flat or generally round cross-sectional configuration, which provides instant fastening, adjustability and instant release of the appliance. Therein disclosed terminal fastening means are practically infinitely adjustable to vary the effective circumference of the appliance to suit the needs of the user to accomplish the required restriction of venous blood back flow while leaving the arterial in-flow unrestricted. Each of the fastening means is characterized by including at the ends of the device at least a pair of interengaging elements with at least one of the elements being multiple and spaced longitudinally of said appliance.
In one embodiment of the invention the device includes members at each end adapted to fit in telescoping relationship one within the other, annular recesses and ribs which interenegage circumferentially to lock the device into a circular configuration. In an embodiment of the invention the device is in the form of a flat band having an area of tufted stiff plastic fibers on the opposite sides of the other end, whereby as the device encircles the organ the two areas at the ends come into adjacency and the outer is pressed against the inner to form the fastening. Infinite adjustability is provided by the foregoing embodiment. In still another embodiment, a stiff hook is provided at one side of one end and the other side of the other end has a series of longitudinally spaced apertures into which the hook is engageable. With the device turned to a circular configuration, the hook engages a selected aperture to lock the device in place. The main body portion of the device with any of the fore-going fastening means employed can be a flat band, a tubular member or a rod-like piece of flexible material such as rubber, plastic and the like.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The several embodiments of this intention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of one form of the device in assembled circular condition with the ends attached;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the device of FIG. 1 with the ends disengaged;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary partial cross-sectional view of the device as shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the lines 4--4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-section view of another form of telescoping attaching ends as a modification of the device shown in FIGS. 1-4;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of another form of the device;
FIG. 7 is a side view of the device shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a plan view of the device of FIGS. 6 and 7 in assembled condition;
FIG. 9 is a plan view of a modified form of device shown employing the end attaching means of FIGS. 6-8;
FIG. 10 is a side plan view of the device of FIG. 9 with the ends disengaged;
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 11--11 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 12 is a plan view of another form of the device of this invention;
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 13--13 of FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is a cross-section view of the device of FIGS. 12 and 13 in assembled circular condition; and
FIG. 15 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view to illustrate the use of the device of this invention as the closure for the open end of a contraceptive device.
THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 the device of this invention is seen to include the elongated solid cylinder body portion 20 having rounded end 22 and the opposite tubular end 24. The base of the rounded end 22 is provided with a plurality of spaced circumferential ribs 26, each defined by a beveled forward surface 28, a rearward facing shoulder 30 and being spaced from one another by the cylindrical sections 32. The body portion and ends are fabricated as a unit by molding from any suitable elastic material such as rubber or plastics exhibiting combined strength and elongation properties.
The tubular end 24 has the central opening or blind bore 34 terminating at the inner end wall 36 (FIG. 4). The wall of the blind bore is tapered outwardly, as indicated at 40, so as to easily engage and receive the smooth, rounded, bullet shaped top 42 of the end 22. The bore 34 contains a plurality of annular projections 44 which are defined as counter parts of ribs 26 each having the beveled or sloping surfaces 46, the circumferential edges 48, the annular shoulders 50, spaced by the cylindrical wall sections 52. Each of the annular projections 44 is individual and may be continuous or discontinuous about the inner wall 54 of the bore 34. Similarly, the ribs 26 may be continuous or discontinuous about the circumference of the end portion 22. The wall 54 and the tubular portion defined by it can be free of projections near the end wall 36 which may abut against the rounded tip 42 in the innermost mated portion of these parts.
The device shown in FIG. 2 is brought into the circular position of FIG. 1 by merely wrapping it about the base of the organ and inserting the end portion 22 into the blind bore 34 to the desired tightness as shown in FIG. 4. As the end portion 22 is pushed into the bore 34, the ribs 26, being resilient, cam within the smaller circular openings defined by the edges 48, which are also resilient with very little resistance and one or more of the respective ribs and edges interlock to hold the desired size. Removal of the end portion 22 from the bore 34 is prevented by the interlocking ribs 26 and edges 48 or shoulders 30 against the oppositely facing shoulders 50.
Although he interengagement of one shoulder 30 with only one shoulder 50 is sufficient to hold the device in operable position during use, and the interengagement of more than one such pair of axially spaced shoulders increases the holding force, the wedging action of the ribs 26 which are against or part of the solid body 20 is sufficient to easily release the assembly when the end 22 is pulled out of the bore 34. This is aided by having the wall 52 relatively thin so that the tubular section 24 can respond to this expansion force. The bore 34 can be provided with one shoulder element 50 with the end portion 22 having a plurality of ribs 26 as illustrated or the bore 34 can be provided with a plurality of shoulder elements 50 with the end portion having one or two ribs 26 as an alternative construction.
The matching shoulders 30 and 50 are shown to meet in a radially disposed planar interface as indicated at 56 (FIG. 4). However either or both of these shoulder surfaces can be at an angle to the axis of the respective end portions 22 or tubular section 24 as long as an interlocking action is maintained.
FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment wherein the end portion 22' is provided with a plurality of annular outer ribs 60 which are rectangular in cross-section and designed to enterengage over the single inner circumferential rib 62 of the tubular section 24' providing only one interlocking point. The embodiment shown in FIG. 5 can be reversed with the pair of ribs being on the end portion 22' while the greater number of ribs is carried by the tubular portion. The relationship and numbers of these parts is governed in part by the hold power desired or necessary and the resiliency of the material from which the device is fabricated. This is a feature of the invention since the interlocking force can be adjusted during fabrication by increasing or decreasing the number of interengaging ribs used. Thus in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4 the holding force can be adjusted, even by the user, merely by shaving off the end-most ribs 26 so that either do not engage or only offer partial engagement.
Referring to FIG. 6, another embodiment of the invention is shown wherein the device comprises the elongated generally flat elastic band 64 having the Velcro type attaching units at each end but on opposite sides of the flat portion. The Velcro portions known in the art, are readily attached or made a part of the band and of a generally elongate rectangular form, with a side edge 68, end edge 70 not covered thereby, so that the hair-like plastic hooks do not contact the user. The Velcro type unit is infinitely adjustable and the device is brought into the configuration shown in FIG. 8 by merely wrapping it around the base of the organ and pressing the outermost end, i.e., 72, upon the innermost end 74, whereby the Velcro hooks interlock as indicated at 76.
A modification of the device is shown in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 wherein the body portion 78 is a solid cylinder of elastic material and the ends are formed with the opposite tapered portions 80 and 82 with the Velcro type attaching units 66 thereon. Again, the Velcro units are of lesser widths than the widths of the tapered portions so that in the assembled condition, FIG. 11, there is space or border 82 around the side edges and ends and the juncture is still essentially smooth and round.
In FIGS. 12, 13 and 14 still another embodiment of the invention is shown wherein the device comprises the flat, elongated elastic band 84 having the hollow section 86 therein, completely enclosed and with a number of spaced transverse slots 88 extending through one wall 90 thereof and also provided with the tapering flat end portions 92 and 94, on the samd side as the slots 88, with the latter having embedded therein the flat metal hook 96. The embedded shank portion of the hook 96 is illustrated at 98.
In the encircling assembled relationship for this embodiment, FIG. 14, the tapering parts over-lap in reverse while the hook 96 engages a selected slot and is entirely protected within the hollow section 86. The hollow section 86 is shown to extend a substantial portion of the length of the body of the band 84 in FIG. 13. This construction gives added resilience and softness to the band without sacrificing its strength and allows its fabrication from light-weight, strong but resilient rubber or plastic compositions
In FIG. 15, the element 100 represents the ring 20 of FIG. 1, the band 64 of FIG. 6, the ring 78 of FIG. 9 and the band 98 of FIG. 14 as same is an integral part of the open end of the contraceptive enclosure 102 comprising a thin flexible housing of latex or rubber material for the male organ. The juncture 104 represents any of the adjustable fastening means described therein where the over-lapping ends are secured.
In summary, the device of this invention includes an elongate flexible elastic member having a head end and a base end with an intermediate body section presenting a smooth soft exterior surface. The head and base ends have matching interengaging means along a portion of their surfaces and the device is adapted to be formed into circular configuration about the base of the organ with the interengaging means in quick-release locked juxtaposed at selected positions of different constricting diameters with the smooth body section defining the enclosing portion thereof. One of the interengaging means is adapted to overlap or encompass the other interengaging means so that the body section is substantially the main portion of the circular configuration. Various interengaging means are disclosed including mating ribs and grooves, mats of protruding resilient plastic fiber members such as the material known under the trademark Velcro, and interengaging hook and slot members, each characterized by the covering, protected or encompassing features thereof whereby comfort to the user is assured.