Do Numbing Sprays Really Work for Premature Ejaculation?

Do Numbing Sprays Really Work for Premature Ejaculation? Image

It can be easy for even the most mature adults to get uncomfortable discussing the more intimate details surrounding sex. Certain topics in particular — like the issue of premature ejaculation — seem to carry an extra level of taboo and embarrassment.

Do Numbing Sprays Really Work for Premature Ejaculation? Image

Although the topic of premature ejaculation can be a touchy one, the reality is that as many as 30% of men experience premature ejaculation. If you’re one of them, the good news is that you have options.

There are lots of different ways to cope with premature ejaculation, one of the most popular of which is the use of numbing or desensitizing sprays. Haven’t heard of them before? Here’s everything you need to know:

What Are Numbing Sprays?

Numbing sprays are products that can be used on the penis to help delay orgasm, allowing sex to last longer. They are most often made with ingredients like lidocaine and prilocaine, which help to numb the skin. They can be purchased over-the-counter, without a prescription.

black and white photo of a male couple kissing

Do Desensitizing Sprays Work?

In general, yes. Though every person’s anatomy is different, duration sprays are a great option for those people in possession of a penis who would like to last a little longer in bed.

As Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sexologist explains, “Desensitizing products have been shown to work well in people who have been diagnosed with premature ejaculation. In one study, using a duration product five minutes before engaging in intercourse resulted in a 6x increase in delay of orgasm.” For many people, this can be a real gamechanger.

Over the course of three months, couples utilized the ejaculation delay products and tracked the time from vaginal penetration to ejaculation and recorded an average duration of 3.8 minutes — a considerable increase from the 0.6 minute pre-intervention average baseline. Participants abstained from sexual activity for 24 hours before each encounter and the double blind study revealed that the product containing lidocaine and prilocaine facilitated sexual encounters that lasted 6.3 times longer.

“However, it’s important to remember that the length of a sexual encounter is not the sole barometer of its quality,” Dr. Jess continues. “The same study found that orgasm quality increased with product use. Nearly two-thirds of the men in the treatment group rated their orgasms as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ in comparison to 20% at the start of the study (pre-intervention).”

Drawbacks and Side Effects of Ejaculation Delay Sprays

While numbing sprays can be a great tool for people dealing with erectile dysfunction, Dr. Jess cautions that there are a few potential drawbacks and side effects to consider including:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Numbing of the partner’s genital region
  • Reduced sensation

You may want to numb yourself in order to last longer during sexual activity, but you probably don’t want to numb your partner in the process. In order to prevent this, you should rinse the excess numbing spray off of your penis before touching your partner’s genitals with it. That rinse-off process can really kill the mood (especially if you use cold water).

If your partner is experiencing reduced sensation as a result of contact with a duration spray, you may want to try a different brand. As Dr. Jess explains, “Each product is unique in terms of ingredients and application. Some are quickly absorbed so you can rinse your penis before contact with a partner to reduce their chances of feeling some of the numbing and/or desensitization effects.”

It’s also important to note that not everyone wants to last longer in bed. As Dr. Jess explains, “The average duration of intercourse is only a few minutes — you don’t have to have marathon sex every time. Research suggests that men (who have sex with women) tend to desire longer duration of intercourse than women and this may be tied to their perception that their female partners want it to last longer.”

Unrealistic standards established by porn as well as other social pressures may play a role in shaping this perception — which is why it’s so important that you get feedback from your partner. You may believe they want you to last longer during intercourse when in fact, they may not.

As Dr. Jess explains, “They may be perfectly satisfied with duration, but desire other types of sex to complement intercourse — the only way to know what they want is to ask and cultivate a relationship in which you can be honest and open with one another.”

Are Numbing Sprays Safe?

Barring any allergic reaction, desensitizing sprays are safe in and of themselves. However, an important thing to remember is that not all duration sprays are condom safe. The chemicals in some ejaculation delay sprays can compromise the integrity of a condom greatly, diminishing its ability to protect you against pregnancy and the transmission of STIs — so make sure you check the packaging. If not using condoms is not an option for you, you can always try a desensitizing condom that has an effect similar to that of a duration spray. 

Premature ejaculation can feel like a daunting issue to address, but the reality is that tons of couples who deal with premature ejaculation are still able to have fun and fulfilling sex lives. The key is to communicate about your needs so that you can explore the options that work best for you. And, as with any medical concern, if you have any questions, be sure to talk to your doctor.

How have your experiences with numbing sprays been? Did they work for you? Let us know by tweeting us @Astroglide.


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