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Do you come earlier than you’d like to during sex?

You’re not alone. It’s estimated that about 1 in 3 men ages 18 to 59 in the United States experience premature ejaculation, or PE for short.

Many of these people may have tried a number of methods to help slow their progress toward climax, like the squeeze technique or edging. But what about benzocaine wipes?

Benzocaine wipes, also called premature ejaculation wipes, are disposable wipes moistened with a numbing agent. They’re meant to numb your penis nerves and slow down the process of ejaculation.

Benzocaine wipes first hit the market in 2017 after a study published in the Journal of Urology suggested that wiping your penis with one before penetrative sex could delay ejaculation.

But do they actually work? And should you have any concerns or take any precautions before you try them out?

Let’s get into how premature ejaculation wipes work, how long they last, and when you should see a doctor for premature ejaculation.

Premature ejaculation wipes — or PE wipes, as they’re sometimes referred to — are disposable wipes that typically contain a small dose of benzocaine, a mild topical anesthetic. Sometimes different mild numbing agents are used instead of benzocaine. The wipes are meant to be used before intercourse.

After a few minutes, the solution on these wipes slightly decreases sensitivity on the head and shaft of the penis, which may help prolong the time before climax.

Pros

  • An easy-to-obtain product that could be a potential solution to PE.
  • May be effective for mild or occasional PE.
  • A good alternative if you don’t want to take prescription medication.

Cons

  • Further research is needed to determine their effectiveness.
  • While benzocaine has been FDA approved in some forms, these products have not been FDA approved or evaluated.
  • May cause some side effects.
  • Not a cure-all for PE.

In an effort to help you take the best care of your health and well-being, we occasionally partner with brands and recommend products in our content.

Any product we recommend or brand we work with is thoroughly vetted by our team for medical credibility, good business practices, and social impact. Customer reviews are taken into consideration, as are customer complaints against the company.

Products chosen by our editorial teams go through a similar process to ensure brand integrity and product safety. Ultimately, this vetting process ensures that you’ll only see recommendations for products and companies that we stand behind.

Note that none of the products in this article are evaluated by the FDA.

Best for first-timers

Roman Swipes

  • Price: $3.38 each in a $27 box of 8 wipes
  • Benefits of using Roman: monthly or quarterly subscriptions available; free 2-day shipping
  • Who it’s for: someone looking for a first-time promotional discount to try out PE wipes

You have to purchase Roman Swipes on a subscription basis. The good thing is that they are delivered to your door in discreet packaging.

The $27 monthly plan includes 8 disposable wipes. You can modify or cancel at any time. The first month also includes a promotional $10 off. The trial discount makes Roman Swipes great for trying benzocaine wipes.

Find an in-depth Healthline review of Roman Swipes here.

Best subscription option

Hims Clockstopper Climax Delay Wipes

  • Price: $2.71 each on a $65 three-month subscription, plus a $5 processing fee
  • Benefits of using Hims: Hims offers other sexual health products too, like condoms, lube, and vibrators, making it a one-stop shop for many users
  • Who it’s for: someone looking for a reliable, fairly priced subscription service

Hims will send you a starter pack of three Clockstopper wipes for $19. There’s also a $5 processing fee. On the 3-month subscription plan, you’ll get two packs of 12 wipes every 3 months. The 3-month plan costs $65, not including the processing fee.

Since you’re paying a fee with every order, a subscription is best for this product.

Best discreet packaging

RexMD Performance Wipes

  • Price: $2.00 each in a $20 box of 10 wipes at full retail price; large discounts available for buying in bulk
  • Benefits of using RexMD: most affordable, especially when buying a multi-month supply
  • Who it’s for: someone looking for free shipping and discreet packaging

RexMD Performance Wipes offer discreet packaging, door-to-door shipping, and low cost. A 1-month box costs $14.95 and comes with 10 wipes. RexMD also includes free shipping as a perk. As with the other companies, they offer varied subscriptions that include savings.

Each package comes with 10 wipes, making RexMD a good option if you know PE wipes work for you.

One important thing to note, however, is that this product’s marketing contains stereotypes and stigma surrounding premature ejaculation, which does not align with Healthline’s approach to well-being.

If you sometimes finish too soon in bed, PE wipes may be for you. They’re an easy, relatively safe way for people who occasionally ejaculate too soon.

If premature ejaculation is an ongoing issue, these wipes may not be the right treatment. Addressing the root cause of premature ejaculation is necessary. Sometimes diet or stress may contribute to premature ejaculation.

This also depends on you.

If you’ve used numbing cream or gel elsewhere on your body, it’s the same idea: Your nerves are numbed temporarily until the effect wears off. It’s not painful or particularly uncomfortable.

Some people have reported the numbness being similar to wearing a thick condom that reduces sensation. You can still feel the pressures of penetrative intercourse, but the intense nerve stimulation is reduced or absent.

It can be a little strange to experience numbness in your penis at first.

You may also feel a little distress if the numbness doesn’t wear off as soon as you’d like, especially if you’re planning to have sex again after your first ejaculation.

But no users of benzocaine wipes have reported any pain during their use.

When nerves are stimulated, sodium activates the nerve endings and sends signals known as action potential to the central nervous system.

When benzocaine is applied to the skin, it blocks the channels that help the sodium activate your action potential. When these channels are blocked, you don’t feel as much (or anything at all) when something brushes up against your skin.

Benzocaine is pretty common. It’s used in topical treatments to temporarily relieve symptoms of cold sores and even tooth pain.

How long do they last?

When it comes to how much longer you’ll last when you use a benzocaine wipe, there’s no number that fits every case.

As we saw in the 2017 study, the men who used the wipes for 2 months increased the time it took for them to ejaculate to an average of 4 minutes.

It is worth noting that this represents an average range. Not all of the men reached the 4-minute mark, while others may have gone beyond that.

How long they last can depend on other factors, too, such as:

  • Where you apply the wipes: Most wipes are meant only for the penis head, so that you still have sensation in your penis shaft. The head has the most nerve endings, so this reduces the sensation of intercourse significantly. Wiping the entire penis from head to shaft may make you last even longer, numbing the nerves from top to bottom.
  • Where you start from: If you ejaculate in 30 seconds or less, the numbness may only make you last another 30 to 60 seconds. This is still technically considered “premature” but may result in more sexual satisfaction for you and your partner.
  • When the wipes are applied: How long the wipes take to work and how long they last will largely depend on the wipes you use. But generally, they take a few minutes to work, and you can expect them to last for 1 to 2 hours.

A 2017 study first brought PE wipes to the public eye. It’s important to note this study was funded by Veru Inc., which made the benzocaine wipes used in the study, so there is bias here. (These wipes were later sold as Roman Swipes.)

The study looked at the effects of 4 percent benzocaine wipes on 21 heterosexual adult men in monogamous relationships.

All of these men had several characteristics in common that made them eligible for the study:

  • They reported that they felt they had little or no control over their ejaculation time, also called intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT).
  • They felt distressed by their short ejaculation time.
  • They reported ejaculating most of the time in less than 2 minutes after penetration.

Fifteen of these men were given wipes with a 4 percent benzocaine solution to use before intravaginal sex, and the other six were given a placebo wipe.

After 2 months, the group using the 4 percent benzocaine wipes reported their IELTs increased by an average of 231.5 seconds, or 3 minutes and 51 seconds. Interestingly, the placebo group also reported an average IELT increase of 94.2 seconds.

The men who used the benzocaine wipes also reported:

  • feeling less distressed by their IELT
  • more in control over when they ejaculated
  • more satisfied with the sex overall

In a 2020 study, researchers from the Park Nicollet Sexual Medicine and Male Infertility Clinic in Minneapolis reviewed the current literature on several topical treatments for premature ejaculation.

There are some possible side effects to using these premature ejaculation wipes, such as:

  • erectile dysfunction from lack of sensation during intercourse
  • friction injuries or burns from thrusting and rubbing without being able to feel the friction

Benzocaine is also known to have some side effects of its own that can be very uncomfortable on your penis, including:

  • skin flaking
  • tenderness around the wiped area
  • itching
  • redness or warmth
  • burning
  • stinging

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a warning in 2018 that benzocaine use could be linked to a blood disorder called methemoglobinemia.

This condition results in too much of a substance called methemoglobin being released in your body.

Unlike hemoglobin, which helps your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, methemoglobin carries oxygen but doesn’t drop it off in cells that need it.

Possible symptoms of this condition include:

  • bluish or pale skin, lips, and nails
  • shortness of breath
  • exhaustion
  • confusion or disorientation
  • headaches
  • lightheadedness
  • abnormally rapid heart rate

While this warning mainly applies to the use of benzocaine for children under 2 years old who are teething, there’s still a risk for adults, too.

You may want to consider talking with your doctor if PE wipes don’t help increase your ejaculation time or if you’re still not satisfied with sexual intercourse after using these wipes.

Your doctor may recommend other possible methods and treatments for controlling premature ejaculation, including:

You may also want to ask your doctor about any new symptoms of erectile dysfunction that develop while you’re using the benzocaine wipes.