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

You’re not alone. Over 30 percent of people with penises might be having the same experience of premature ejaculation.

Many of these people may have tried a number of methods to help slow their progress towards 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 an innovative study 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.

Benzocaine is a local anesthetic substance that helps numb the nerve endings under the surface of your skin.

How they work

When nerves are stimulated, sodium activates the nerve endings and sends signals known as “action potential” to the central nervous system. You feel this as sensation.

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 nerves.

Benzocaine is pretty common. It’s used in topical treatments for cold sores and even tooth removal.

And benzocaine wipes may delay ejaculation as well.

The research

A 2017 study first brought them to the public eye. The study was funded by Veru Inc., who made the 4% benzocaine wipes used in the study. These were later sold as Roman Swipes.

The study looked at the effects of benzocaine wipes on 21 straight adult men in committed 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 inserting their penis in their partner’s vagina.

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

After 2 months, the researchers found that the men using the benzocaine wipes reported a much longer IELT than men who used the placebo wipes — well over the 2-minute mark typical of premature ejaculation.

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

The follow-up

The same authors conducted a follow-up 2019 study on PREBOOST benzocaine wipes, with similar findings.

The men who applied benzocaine to their penis head before sex reported that their average IELT time increased to 165 seconds (2.75 minutes) after 1 month of use and to 329 seconds (5.5 minutes) after 2 months of use.

The men who used the placebo wipes didn’t report an increase in their IELT at all.

Keep in mind that these studies aren’t perfect. Self-reported data isn’t always reliable, because it assumes that the men who used the wipes had perfect memories of how long they took to ejaculate.

And their improved sense of sexual satisfaction may just be a placebo effect. Their hopes that the wipes would work may have influenced how well they perceived the wipes to be working.

But the clear difference between the men in the two groups in the 2019 study suggests that premature ejaculation wipes seem to work well for increasing ejaculation timing.

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 2019 study, the men who used the wipes for 2 months increased the time it took for them to ejaculate to an average of 5 and a half minutes from under 2 minutes.

This number was an average. This means that not all of the men reached the 5-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 much more sexual satisfaction for you and your partner.

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 have reported the numbness being similar to wearing a thick condom that reduces sensation. You can still feel the pressures of being inside someone, 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.

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.

Here are some of the best and most trustworthy options for benzocaine premature ejaculation wipes:

You may want to consider talking to your doctor if benzocaine 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.

Premature ejaculation is more common than you might think.

Benzocaine premature ejaculation wipes are just one of many ways that you can help increase how long you last during sex.

Try some lifestyle and dietary changes along with benzocaine wipes, and talk to your doctor about other options for lasting longer in bed.