Desensitising sprays can be used to help you last longer in bed. They are sprays (or creams) that you apply directly to the penis with the aim of reducing sensitivity and preventing premature ejaculation. There’s lots of information out there, but what do you really need to know before using one?

What’s in a desensitising spray?

There are lots of desensitising sprays available online with different active ingredients including various herbal extracts. The most effective products will contain local anaesthetics such as lidocaine or prilocaine. Local anaesthetic sprays have been tested in clinical trials against placebo, so we know they work well to prevent premature ejaculation.

What does lidocaine do?

Lidocaine is the same anaesthetic that dentists inject into your gums before dental treatment. If you’ve ever had the injection, you’ll know it blocks pain sensations and makes your mouth numb for a while. But don’t worry, lidocaine spray won’t make you go completely numb like an injection would. When you use lidocaine spray on your penis it just reduces sensitivity which increases the time you can have sex for before you ejaculate.

How long will I last for?

Different clinical trials have shown that using lidocaine spray can significantly increase the time you can last before ejaculating. In one study the average time before ejaculation increased from one minute and 24 seconds to eleven minutes and 21 seconds. That’s about eight times longer! Another study found the average duration increased by more than six times. Before we get too carried away though, if you’re already lasting for several minutes, it’s unlikely to have the same multiplier effect. But if premature ejaculation is a worry for you, eleven minutes and 21 seconds might sound like a pretty good target.

How do I use the spray?

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the spray directly to the head and shaft of your penis and leave it for between five and fifteen minutes. This gives the anaesthetic time to fully absorb into your skin and start working. I’m sure your partner can think of something for you to do whilst waiting…

After this time, but before having sex, it’s a good idea to wipe off any excess spray. This is to minimise any transfer of the anaesthetic to your partner.

When shouldn’t I use the spray?

If you know that you or your partner are allergic to lidocaine then don’t use the spray. If you’re worried about allergies, do a ‘patch test’; use a couple of sprays on your wrist to see if any redness or irritation develops.

You shouldn’t use lidocaine spray if your partner is pregnant. Although contact with lidocaine will be low, and it’s unlikely to be harmful, it’s probably best avoided, just to be safe.

How long does it take to work?

It could take up to fifteen minutes for the full desensitising effect to develop, but usually five to ten minutes is enough. Working out exactly how much spray to use and how long to leave it for might take a bit of practice. Start at the lowest dose and leave it on for as long as you can, then tailor it to get the best results for you.

How long do the effects last for?

The desensitising effect of the spray should last for at least an hour, but it could work for up to three hours. You should wait at least four hours before using the spray again.

Will it affect my enjoyment of sex?

Provided you don’t exceed the recommended doses, lidocaine spray shouldn’t actually numb your penis completely. You will still be able to feel everything you need to, you just won’t be as sensitive. In clinical trials, most men reported that using the spray did not affect the quality or the intensity of their orgasm. Overall, sexual satisfaction for both partners was improved.

Does lidocaine spray have any side-effects?

The most likely side-effects are a stinging or burning sensation, temporary numbness and loss of erection, although this last one could be due to the time spent waiting for the anaesthetic to work. Less commonly you could experience redness, irritation or itching. If any of these become a problem, use less product or stop using it. If you are worried about any side-effects, speak with a pharmacist or your doctor.

Could the spray affect my partner?

Some side-effects have been reported by women when their partners used the spray, most commonly a stinging or burning sensation or reduced sensitivity.4 To reduce the risk of this happening, once you’ve allowed it to absorb, wipe off any excess spray. Hopefully the only other effects for your partner will be pleasurable ones.

Can I use the spray whilst wearing a condom?

Lidocaine spray is safe to use with latex condoms, but it could cause condoms made of polyurethane-based materials to deteriorate. If you’re using condoms, check they are made of latex. Wearing a condom and using lidocaine spray could make you more likely to lose your erection or experience numbness.

Where can I buy desensitising sprays?

You can buy lidocaine spray online or from a pharmacy. You can also get them on prescription from your doctor.

To see if lidocaine spray is right for you, click here for a free consultation.


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