All ejaculation delay products work the same. They contain an active ingredient that will desensitize some of your penis nerves.
The FDA, the governmental agency that regulates drugs in the USA, approved two different local anesthetics for orgasm delay: benzocaine and lidocaine.
If you suffer from premature ejaculation, or you want to last longer in bed, you might wonder which one between the two is the best choice for you.
With regards to ejaculation delay, lidocaine is considered the best option. However, even if it’s not as effective, benzocaine has some non-negligible benefits. For example, while lidocaine is only available in sprays, benzocaine can have many forms, from cream and gel to condoms or wipes. Also, lidocaine is corrosive to latex. Therefore, it has to be completely washed off if you want to use a condom. So, applying a lidocaine spray can be a bit more annoying when you have to use a condom.
How Can Benzocaine and Lidocaine Help with Premature Ejaculation?
Benzocaine and lidocaine share the same mechanism of action.
When someone, or something, touch your penis in a sexual context, your penis nerves send signals to your brain and spinal cord. Your brain also adds signals of its own based on your level of arousal. Regardless of the genital stimulation, your brain will also contribute to the triggering of the ejaculation.
When you meet a certain threshold of stimulation and arousal, the ejaculation reflex is triggered. Some men come faster than other because they reach this threshold sooner.
Benzocaine and lidocaine both work by blocking the pathways in which those signals are sent. To do so, they prevent the sodium from entering your penis nerve endings. Your nerves communicate with your brain with electricity, but without any sodium, the nerves fibers can’t transmit this electrical signal.
Benzocaine vs. Lidocaine Which One Is Stronger?
Concerning effectiveness, there is no debate. For the same concentration, lidocaine is a stronger anesthetic than benzocaine1.
The FDA only allows benzocaine products with a concentration level between 3% and 7.5%. As for lidocaine, the product has to be in an 11mg dose-metered bottle2.
Per the FDA safety notice, we can’t use more than ten sprays of lidocaine for premature ejaculation. That means you can have up to 110mg of lidocaine.
Since there is no limit to how much benzocaine you can apply, benzocaine effectiveness depends on how much product you use.
The FDA monography obliges the manufacturer to use this sentence on the packaging: “Apply a small amount to head and shaft of the penis before intercourse, or use as directed by a doctor…” Apart from the mention “small,” there is no precise indication about maximum quantity.
So, it’s hard to say which product type has the strongest delay effect if we can’t judge a specific benzocaine quantity.
From my experience, lidocaine sprays are more effective than benzocaine products. For example, I don’t have any difficulties to last with a training unit while I’m using a lidocaine spray. I can’t say the same for benzocaine creams.
Now, it’s important to note that it’s not because I find lidocaine more effective that it will be your case too. Each man’s reaction to an ingredient will be different. That’s why you should try both product type and see for yourself which one works the best for you.
Still, I asked different men that have tried both solutions to compare lidocaine to benzocaine solutions. So far, all of them said that lidocaine sprays have a stronger delay effect than benzocaine products.
Ejaculation Delay Product Formats
Now, even if Lidocaine is more potent than benzocaine, there are others considerations. One of them is the format available.
As we mentioned, lidocaine is only available in sprays. That’s an FDA requirement. Benzocaine is available in different formats, including, condoms, cream, gel, sprays, and wipes.
In some situations, even if they are less effective benzocaine products can be more convenient than lidocaine sprays.
You won’t find lidocaine condoms for premature ejaculation. Per the FDA requirement, it’s impossible to manufacture a premature ejaculation condom with a lidocaine solution.
But there is another reason why lidocaine condoms are impossible. Lidocaine is corrosive to latex. Coating a condom with lidocaine would increase the risk of breaking the condom.
So, if you’re looking for a delay condom, benzocaine is your only solution.
Lidocaine Cream and Gel
Although lidocaine cream and gel are available for different usage, they aren’t approved by the FDA as an over-the-counter solution for premature ejaculation.
For example, the Elma Cream, a mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine have been proved effective for the treatment of PE3. However, contrary to lidocaine sprays, it’s not available over-the-counter.
One of the reasons why lidocaine cream and gel aren’t allowed over-the-counter is that you can’t control the quantity of lidocaine that you apply.
At higher dose and in some conditions, lidocaine can be dangerous. Since everyone metabolizes the lidocaine at a different rate, the FDA had to make sure that an OTC product doesn’t pose a risk.
Their solution is a dose-metered bottle. Each lidocaine spray delivers approximately 10mg of lidocaine. Evey bottle explicitly says that you shouldn’t use more than ten sprays at a time. If you respect this direction, the quantity of lidocaine in your blood shouldn’t reach a potentially harmful concentration.
Personally, I find that lidocaine sprays are the best option for premature ejaculators.
First, lidocaine is more effective than benzocaine. Second, thanks to their dose-metered bottle, it’s easy to measure how much quantity you apply. Therefore, it’s easy to have the desired delaying effect. You just have to count the number of sprays that is best for you.
Again, because of the FDA requirement, lidocaine wipes aren’t possible. If a company want to develop a lidocaine wipe, it would have to convince the FDA to change its prerequisite.
Benzocaine condoms are easy to use. While other delay products application can be annoying, a benzocaine condom is as simple to use as a regular condom.
Indeed, if you’re using a lidocaine spray, you first need to apply the cream. Next, you have to rub it on your penis sensitive parts. After a couple of minutes, you need to wash off the substance. Then, if you need protection, you can put your condom on. With a benzocaine condom, it’s easy. Put it on, wait 5 minutes and you’re good to go.
The downside of benzocaine condoms is that they aren’t as effective as other options. Premature ejaculation condoms use a 4% to 5% benzocaine solution. Not only you can find more concentrated creams or gel, but you can also adjust the quantity that you use for a stronger delay effect.
Benzocaine Cream and Gel
Benzocaine cream and gel are good compromises between the lidocaine sprays and the benzocaine condoms. Since you can adjust the quantity that you use, it can have a stronger delay effect than benzocaine condoms.
Usually, benzocaine products are condom-safe. So it’s a good option if you’re annoyed by the fact that you have to wash off a product before putting on a condom. Unlike lidocaine sprays, you can simply apply, wait and put your condom on. There is no cleaning step.
Although some sprays use benzocaine instead of lidocaine, personally I don’t see any interest. If you want a spray, lidocaine sprays will be more effective. If you want a condom-safe product, a benzocaine cream will be more effective and easier to apply.
Benzocaine wipes can also be an alternative. It’s a relatively new product, so it can be hard to find. Preboost is the main brand of benzocaine wipe for premature ejaculation.
Preboost benzocaine concentration is 4%. That makes them as effective as a benzocaine condom. Obviously, it’s not a contraceptive, and it doesn’t offer STDs protection. So, if you have to wear a condom, you’re better with benzocaine condom. But if you want a mild delay effect, and you don’t want to use a condom, benzocaine wipes can be an option.
Benzocaine and Lidocaine Condom Safety
As we mentioned in the different format description, one important thing to consider is how the substance reacts in contact with latex.
Lidocaine can damage latex. So, if you use a lidocaine product, you have to make sure that there is no lidocaine left on your penis before you put a condom. That means you first need to use a damp cloth to wash off the product.
With a benzocaine product, you can avoid this step. All you need to do is to wait for the product to be absorbed. Then, you put the condom on top of the product.
Different types of lidocaine (eutectic lidocaine mixture)
Most lidocaine sprays use lidocaine in solid form. The lidocaine solution contains lidocaine crystals. The crystalized lidocaine isn’t completely absorbed by your skin. Since it can pass the epiderm barrier, some lidocaine will stay on your skin.
That’s why most lidocaine will make your penis feel numb. The lidocaine stays on the skin upper layer and completely desensitize your receptors.
Liquid lidocaine can be completely absorbed by the skin. Therefore, it can numb the inner nerves. This has two advantages. First, you benefit from the ejaculation delay effect, but you still have sensations in the penis. Second, you don’t have to wash off the product if you don’t use a condom. Since there is almost no lidocaine left on the skin, you can’t transfer the substance to your partner.
You can have more information on this form of lidocaine in our Promescent review page. Promescent is the only OTC brand that uses lidocaine in an aqueous form.
The problem is the lidocaine melting point is 68.5 °C. So, in natural conditions, it will always be solid. If you want liquid lidocaine, you need to mix the lidocaine with another element to decrease its melting point. That’s what we call a eutectic mixture.
Eutectic mixtures cost more to develop and manufacture. That’s why Promescent is the only spray that uses aqueous lidocaine. That’s also why Promescent is a bit more pricey than other brands.
Other than Promescent, the only place where you can find eutectic lidocaine mixture for premature ejaculation is with a doctor prescription. For example, in Europe, the TEMPE spray, commercialized under the brand name Fortacin or Recordati, is a prilocaine-lidocaine solution available on prescription.
- As a pain blocker, a 5% lidocaine solution is a bit more effective than a 20% benzocaine solution according to this comparative study, while this one suggests that a 2% lidocaine solution is equivalent to a 20% benzocaine one.
- Title 21–food and Drugs Chapter I–food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services EXTERNAL ANALGESIC DRUG PRODUCTS FOR OVER-THE-COUNTER HUMAN USE