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If you experience premature ejaculation (PE) during sex, you’re not alone.

PE affects about a third of U.S. men between the ages of 18 to 59. While there are sometimes psychological reasons for PE, the issue can also happen for physical reasons.

If PE is impacting your sex life, therapy and medications may help. Still, you may want to start by trying something simpler, like PE wipes. PE wipes, also known as benzocaine wipes, help desensitize the penis, allowing you to last longer.

Roman Swipes are one brand of PE wipes on the market. In this article, we’ll look at these wipes, how they work, and more.

Roman Swipes are 4 percent benzocaine wipes designed to help with PE. They coat the penis in a numbing agent called benzocaine. Benzocaine desensitizes the penis, allowing you to last longer during sex.

Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of Roman Swipes.


  • fast results
  • improve PE over time
  • easy to use
  • available without a prescription
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  • can be messy
  • available only with a subscription
  • numbing doesn’t last long
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Anytime you feel something, sodium activates your nerve endings and sends signals, or “action potentials,” to your central nervous system (CNS).

By blocking the sodium from entering the cell, benzocaine limits your nerve endings from talking to your CNS, leaving you numb — or partially so — to touch sensations.

Because you feel less, you can last longer during sex, preventing PE.

But does it work?

Yes. Research suggests benzocaine products, like Roman Swipes, are effective in helping prevent PE.

A 2019 study showed that 4 percent benzocaine wipes effectively delay orgasm during penetrative sex. Study participants reported higher sexual satisfaction and no issues with desensitization of their partner’s genitals. Also, placebo participants saw no difference in their time to orgasm.

  1. Apply a wipe to the most sensitive parts of your penis when fully erect.
  2. Wait at least 5 minutes for the product to dry before engaging in sex.

According to Roman, if you wait the full 5 minutes and don’t have sex before the product is done drying, your partner should have no issues with desensitization.

Roman says the effect of the wipes should last about 20 to 30 minutes.

Roman Swipes are available via subscription. Pricing depends on the plan you choose.

  • Quarterly: $22 a month for three boxes every 3 months
  • Monthly: $27 a month for one box every month

Each box contains 8 wipes.

You also get $10 off your first delivery with Roman, and shipping is free.

You can buy Roman Swipes without a prescription directly through Roman on the company’s website.

To get them from Roman, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription, but shipping is free.

The wipes are also available at Walmart.

People don’t seem to have anything bad to say specifically about the effects of using Roman Swipes. In fact, one customer says they “almost work too well.”

Most of the complaints about this product have to do with pricing. People say they’re more expensive than competing products that advertise the same result.

One reviewer says it’s difficult to cancel the auto-renewal subscription for the wipes, and getting a response from the company isn’t easy.

PE wipes, like Roman Swipes, are pretty safe, but it’s possible to experience side effects, like:

Some people may also experience side effects from applying topical benzocaine to the penis. These side effects include:

  • burning
  • stinging
  • dry, flaking skin
  • itching
  • red, tender skin

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that benzocaine could be related to the blood disorder methemoglobinemia. This warning primarily applies to teething children under 2 years old, but adults can sometimes be at risk.

People with methemoglobinemia have too much methemoglobin, which impacts oxygen distribution in the body.

Some symptoms of this condition include:

  • bluish lips, skin, and nails
  • shortness of breath
  • extreme fatigue
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness
  • rapid heart rate
  • headaches

Roman offers other subscription-based products for:

Key ingredientAvailabilityPrice
Roman Swipesbenzocaineonly from the manufacturer$22 a box (8 wipes)
Promescent (spray)lidocaine from the manufacturer and large retailers$23 a bottle (20 sprays)
Promescent (wipes)benzocainefrom the manufacturer and large retailers$20 a box (5 wipes)
Hims (spray)lidocainefrom the manufacturer and large retailers$29 a bottle (40 sprays)
Hims (wipes)benzocainefrom the manufacturer and large retailers$19 a box (3 wipes)

PE is common and not usually something to worry about. But if benzocaine wipes don’t work for you, consider talking with a doctor.

They can look for underlying conditions or suggest alternative treatments, like prescription medication. In fact, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) can also treat PE. In some other cases, emotional or psychological issues may cause PE, and counseling may help.

Also, some prescription medications can cause PE. If you start a new medication and notice that you’re suddenly not lasting as long as you used to, you might need to change the dose or stop using the medication.

However, you shouldn’t stop taking medications without first talking with a doctor.

Do Roman Swipes require a prescription?

No. Roman Swipes are an over-the-counter (OTC) product and don’t require a doctor’s prescription.

However, other products sold by Roman require an online doctor’s visit to get a prescription. Roman offers these visits for free.

Do Roman Swipes numb your partner?

No. If you wait until the product dries, which should take about 5 minutes, it shouldn’t numb your partner.

How long do the effects of Roman Swipes last?

Roman says it depends on the person, but the effects usually last 20 to 30 minutes.

Do Roman Swipes have any side effects?

Some people react to topical benzocaine and may experience irritation, redness, or swelling.

Stop using the product if you notice any of these symptoms. And if they don’t go away, talk with a doctor.

How often should you use Roman Swipes?

Because Roman Swipes are topical wipes, they should be used only before sex as there is no benefit from using them outside of sexual encounters. Also, they should be used only when needed or when experiencing PE.

If you no longer need to reduce stimulation during sex, discontinue using Roman Swipes until they are needed again.

You should use only one wipe per sexual encounter and shouldn’t overuse Roman Swipes if you have sex many times in a 24-hour period.

Experiencing PE during sex is common, but some products can help.

Benzocaine wipes, like Roman Swipes, numb the penis, allowing you to last longer. While benzocaine products are safe for most people, perform a patch test to a larger area before applying the product.

Stop using the wipes if you experience any discomfort, redness, or swelling.

Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.