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When it comes to sensitive body parts, it’s difficult to find a more receptive area than the penis. While penile sensitivity contributes to sexual pleasure, men often learn about their penis’s sensitivity long before sexual intimacy. Anyone who’s hurt their penis playing a sport, or caught it in a zipper knows exa0

However, sensitivity is vital for sexual function, allowing men to experience the stimulation that ultimately leads to orgasm and ejaculation. Unfortunately, not everyone can manage the sensitivity of their penis during sexual activity.

For some, the overwhelming sensations can lead to early ejaculation or even a condition known as premature ejaculation.

These instances can lead to reduced self-confidence, with men unable to participate in sexual activity for long enough to be able to enjoy it. Luckily, solutions for reducing penile sensitivity are readily available, with penis numbing sprays (delay sprays) being one of the most popular. This article explores what penis numbing spray is, how to use it safely, and some natural ways to improve your sexual stamina.

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What is Penis Numbing Spray?

Penis numbing sprays are designed to desensitize the penis prior to sexual activity. The spray is used by directly applying it to the penis, and is effective just 15 minutes after use. Penis numbing spray uses a local anesthetic to numb the penis and reduce the sensitivity experienced during sexual intimacy.

Why do People use Penis Numbing Spray?

Penis numbing spray is designed to reduce penile sensitivity, by helping individuals to sustain prolonged periods of stimulation. This makes penile numbing sprays an effective tool for people with early ejaculatory issues such as premature ejaculation (PE).

PE is a condition that may limit the enjoyment men experience during sex due to early ejaculation.

As one of the most common sexual disorders in men, the condition is estimated to affect up to 39% of men. After ejaculation men experience a refractory period. This period can inhibit them from being sexually aroused until they have recovered, and may last hours or even days.

After ejaculation, men are temporarily unable to achieve an erection and may become disinterested in sex after they climax. Men who have premature ejaculation often leave their partners feeling sexually frustrated. By using a penis numbing spray, men may increase the amount of time they take to ejaculate and ultimately last longer in bed.

Types of Premature Ejaculation

The two main types of premature ejaculation are lifelong (primary) and acquired (secondary). In recent years, a third type was identified which is known as subjective premature ejaculation. This section will break down the different types of premature ejaculation and their causes.

Lifelong PE
Lifelong premature ejaculation is when the condition has affected someone for their entire life.

This includes the first time they experienced a sexual interaction and ejaculated (including masturbation).
- Sexual experiences at a young age

- Sexual abuse

- Low self-esteem or body image issues

- Erectile dysfunction encouraging rushed ejaculation
    Acquired PE Acquired premature ejaculation affects individuals who have suddenly developed premature ejaculation, despite having had previous sexual experiences with no ejaculation problems. - Development of mental health conditions (e.g. depression)

    - Feelings of stress or guilt 

    - Relationship difficulties

    - Lifestyle habits (e.g. excessive alcohol consumption)
      Subjective PE The third type of premature ejaculation was identified by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in 2018. This is what’s known as “subjective premature ejaculation”

      This definition describes individuals who believe they suffer from premature ejaculation, despite having a completely normal IELT.

      Often these views are brought on by external influences, leading men to believe they have a problem and that they should last longer than they currently do.
      - Pressure or high expectations from a sexual partner

      - Unrealistic standards from external influences (e.g. media, pornography)


          Most common Ingredients in Penis Numbing Spray

          The ingredients used in penis-numbing sprays may vary between manufacturers. However, the most common ingredient in delay sprays is a local anesthetic such as Lidocaine. For many, Lidocaine is an ingredient that may be familiar as it’s the most used anesthetic in dentistry.

          Lidocaine is a local anesthetic, meaning it targets the application area and can be applied through cream, spray, or injection

          Aside from its pain relief properties, local anesthetics such as Lidocaine (as well as Prilocaine and Benzocaine) are the longest-known treatments for PE. The numbing properties make it an excellent way to reduce penile sensitivity after topical application.

          How to Use Delay Sprays: 4 tips to improve your experience with them

          Although the concept of delay sprays is a simple one, there are some considerations you should make before using the spray. We’ve highlighted some tips below to help you get the most out of using a penis-numbing spray.

          1. Practice using the spray when you masturbate

            Practice makes perfect and using the spray alone before using it with a partner can help the process go smoothly. By using the spray during masturbation, you will learn how much spray is needed for your desired level of sensitivity. It’s also a great chance to practice applying the spray, which will be a valuable experience when the time comes to use it for sex.

          2. Wait until it dries to have intercourse

            It’s important to let the spray dry before having sex. After using the spray, wait 15 minutes for it to dry before washing off any remaining residue. This will help to discourage the unwanted transfer of liquid to your partner's genitals. Make sure that you check your partner's allergies against the penis sprays ingredients. Although there should be little to no residue transfer, avoid using penis sprays that contain allergens.

          3. Don’t use desensitizing lubricants

            Many lubricants make use of numbing ingredients. Some even use Lidocaine, the same anesthetic featured in penis numbing sprays. It’s worth noting that if you use a numbing lubricant with a delay spray, there’s a good chance you will become over-desensitized. If you already have a lubricant, make sure it isn’t numbing. When the time comes for sex, a desensitizing lubricant combined with a delay spray could be a recipe for disappointment.

          4. Avoid using too much as it will make you over-desensitized

            When applying a penis-numbing spray, always follow the manufacturer's recommendations. They will generally offer a range such as “apply between 1 to 3 sprays”. Working from the lower end of the range will allow you to get a feel for the spray while reducing the risk of using too much. If you apply large amounts of the spray, you may find that your penis isn’t sensitive enough to maintain, or even get an erection.

          Safety considerations for the use of delay spray

          With the ease of delay sprays and the benefits on offer, it’s easy to forget about the potential dangers of using the products. Given the sensitive nature of the penis, you should take a cautious approach before applying the penile numbing spray. Here are a few safety considerations surrounding the use of delay sprays.

          • Make sure you read the instructions.

            Usage instructions tend to vary from one manufacturer to another. Whether you’re new to delay sprays or have used a different brand in the past, make sure you read the instructions carefully before you use the product. By doing so you can be confident that you’ve applied the spray correctly and focus on having fun.
          • Review the ingredients and make sure you’re not allergic to any.

            As with any new product, you should make sure that you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients used in the delay spray. Even if you have no known allergies to the ingredients of the spray, you should observe your body’s reaction after using the product. If you believe you have reacted badly or have an allergy, seek medical assistance immediately.

              Delay Spray VS Delay Cream: Which one is better?

              An alternative to delay sprays is using a numbing cream. Both products are similar; they require application in advance and reduce penile sensitivity during intercourse. However, there are some slight differences between the two which we’ve highlighted in the table below.

              Pros and Cons of Delay Spray

              The spray mechanism allows for a quick and easy application.
              Your hands remain clean after use
              Easy and mess-free application makes sprays a discreet option
              Less precision during application due to spray dispersion.
              Coverage consistency is harder to gauge than cream.

              Pros and Cons of Delay Cream

              Cream is applied with your hands which leads to a controlled application.
              Making sure the entire penis is covered can be done easily with your hands.
              Less discretion with cream
              Hand washing is required after use.

              The Best Alternatives to Penis Numbing Spray

              If you’re planning on using delay spray to combat ejaculatory issues, you may be interested to know there are some natural techniques that could increase your sexual stamina. We’ve explored some of the best alternatives to using a penis numbing spray below.

              Diagram of the Best Alternatives to Penis Numbing Spray


              Edging involves bringing yourself to the brink of climax before retracting your stimulation. This allows individuals to enjoy the pleasure of building up to orgasm repeatedly before experiencing climax. The technique can help men to familiarize themselves with the sensations prior to orgasm and learn to hold it off. This skill can be used with a partner during both foreplay and sex. 


              Kegel exercises involve strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. When an individual squeezes these muscles, they mimic the feeling of holding in urine. With enough repetition, individuals may be able to hold ejaculation in the way they would when preventing urination. The exercises can be done throughout the day in a variety of positions, including sitting and lying down. Kegels don’t require an individual to be sexually aroused. 


              Men who ejaculate early may find that using a condom helps improve their sexual stamina. Condoms place a thin layer of latex between the sexual organs during intimacy. Using condoms to decrease sensitivity also offers protection from infection. Condoms are available in different thicknesses so there’s scope to experiment with whatever you find comfortable. Always check that both partners are not allergic to your condom of choice. 

              Need help choosing the right condom?

              Masturbating a few hours before sex

              Masturbating prior to sex is one way of reducing the sensitivity you experience during sexual intimacy. Men who haven’t ejaculated for a number of days prior to sex will find that they are a lot more sensitive to touch and stimulation. Timing is crucial with this tip. If you masturbate too early in the day it might not be effective, while doing so too late may leave you unable to become aroused.

              Learn all the secrets of giving (and receiving) pleasure with your hands

              Undergoing Therapy 

              Although the exact cause of premature ejaculation is unknown, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety have been identified as risk factors. Therapy can help individuals understand why their mental health is affecting their sex life and how to identify steps to overcome it. If the condition is ruining sex or damaging your relationship with a partner, couples therapy may help both partners understand how one another is feeling.

              Delay Spray FAQs

              Are Penis Numbing Sprays Safe?

              Penis numbing sprays are considered safe to use and are FDA-approved (providing they meet certain criteria on Lidocaine and Benzocaine concentration). Lidocaine delay sprays use the same local anesthetic as the majority of dentists. To be safe it’s always worth checking the ingredients for any allergens and consulting your doctor before using a spray. 

              Do you need an erection to apply penile numbing spray?

              Whether your penis is flaccid or erect shouldn’t impact the effect the spray has on your penis. The spray is usually applied 15 minutes before use so even if you are erect at the time of application you may return to a flaccid state prior to sexual activity. 

              Are Delay Sprays Safe for Oral Sex?

              Many delay sprays advertise that they are safe for use during oral sex. Make sure you leave the spray on for 15 minutes and wipe off any excess before partaking in oral. If your partner has an allergy to Lidocaine or any other ingredient in your delay spray refrain from using it.

              How Long Does Penis Numbing Spray Last?

              The numbing effect will typically kick in around 15 minutes after application and lasts between 1 and 3 hours. The length of time may depend on the number of sprays you use and it’s worth experimenting during masturbation to gauge your tolerances.

              Can You Use a Lubricant with Delay Spray?

              Generally, using a lubricant is fine in combination with a penile numbing spray. However, some lubricants are desensitizing and you should avoid using lube with numbing properties when combined with a delay spray.


              Penis numbing sprays are effective in decreasing penile sensitivity experienced during sexual intimacy. They can be used by anyone wanting to last longer in bed but are especially useful for men with premature ejaculation.

              Application of the spray is simple and it typically takes up to 15 minutes before the numbness is in full effect.

              The appropriate safety considerations should be taken before using a delay spray and individuals may want to experiment with natural ways to improve sexual stamina (such as Kegels and edging) prior to using a spray. Although this article is designed to be informative it cannot be considered a substitute for medical advice. For any concerns surrounding sexual and general health be sure to consult a medical professional.

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