Using a delay spray just before sex is a simple and effective way to last longer. It’s especially useful if it’s mainly the physical aspect of sex that makes you come quickly.

The idea is to numb your penis just enough to make it easier to cope with the phycial pleasure, but not so much that you feel nothing and can’t get an erection. That can happen, which is why I suggest testing it on your own first to find out whether you need one, two or more sprays to get the balance right.

What I personally like about delay sprays is that you only need to use them when you actually have sex. You can apply it discreetly in the bathroom if you like, just 5 to 10 minutes before you think you might have sex. Or even 30 minutes before as most will last for an hour or longer. So it’s a convenient way to boost your staying power without needing to take pills long term or practice any techniques.

I still think it’s good to learn self-control naturally as well. But as an accompaniment, or for men who can’t be bothered with endless start and stop method training sessions, delay sprays are one of the best over the counter treatments for premature ejaculation at the moment.

1. Promescent

  • Ingredients: lidocaine 10%
  • Application: metered pump spray

photo of the standard size and trial size of promescent delay spray photo of the standard size and trial size of promescent delay spray

In my opinion, Promescent is the best of the many delay sprays I’ve tested over the years. It ticks the right boxes in terms of effectiveness, reliability, and lack of side effects.

At a time in my life when I was struggling with premature ejaculation, it helped me last between 10 and 20 minutes on average. This was a notable improvement from the usual 1 to 5 minutes.

It has a unique design in that the spray is absorbed quickly by the skin to numb the sensitivity and minimize the risk of it affecting erection strength.

The rapid absorption means you can apply it just 5 to 10 minutes before sex. It can also be used with oral sex, and with or without a condom.

The main downside is that it’s one of the most expensive delay sprays. So if you’re on a tight budget, you might prefer one of the options below. But if money isn’t an issue, I feel confident in recommending Promescent based on my personal experience.

2. Dynamo Delay

  • Ingredients: lidocaine 13%
  • Application: metered pump spray

dynamo delay package and one spray bottledynamo delay package and one spray bottle

Dynamo Delay is made by the adult toy company ‘Screaming O’, and has the most powerful numbing of the lower-priced sprays I’ve tried.

It has the highest lidocaine content I’ve seen, with 13% USP. That will be a good thing if you’ve found in the past that you need a large quantity to get the desired effect.

But if you’re new to desensitizing or have had erection problems in the past, I’d be cautious and start with just 1 spray. It has a useful metered pump like Promescent though, which will help you get the same dosage each time.

It takes action quickly, in just 5 to 10 minutes, and there’s only a light smell, which is to be expected. It’s fine to use it for both oral and intercourse. There was some tingling, but it wasn’t a serious issue as it is with some sprays.

My only criticism is that the strong numbing can be an issue if you get the dosage wrong. I found it numbed me way too much with 3 sprays, so try not to overdo it.

Overall, if you’re looking for a reasonably priced and strong spray, Dynamo is a good choice.

3. Stud 100

  • Ingredients: lidocaine 9.6%
  • Application: metered pump spray

photo of stud 100 spray bottle and packagephoto of stud 100 spray bottle and package

Stud 100 is another decent delay spray you can pick up for a relatively low price. The difference between the many lidocaine sprays isn’t always obvious; it often comes down to some small, but important details.

Like Promescent and Dynamo, Stud 100 has a metered pump so you can apply the same amount each time. It also takes action quickly and can be used with oral sex as long as you wipe off any excess first.

I found it helped me last several minutes longer during sex. And once I got the dosage right, I found it to be an effective spray that was easy to use.

The main potential downside to be aware of is the same as all sprays – it can take some experimenting to find the right dosage. Until then, they either don’t work, or work too well and affect your erection quality or pleasure.

On the plus side, there was only a mild tingling sensation, which was tolerable. And we didn’t have any problems with it transferring to my partner.

On balance, the difference between these first three brands boils down to the quantity of lidocaine and the way the spray is absorbed by the skin.

I personally use Promescent because it absorbs so well and it’s very effective. Dynamo is good if you need a stronger effect. But Stud 100 is also worth trying, especially at the low price.

4. K-Y Duration

  • Ingredients: spray: lidocaine 9.6%. Gel: benzocaine 7%
  • Application: spray or gel depending on which you use

K-Y duration is one of the very few desensitizing sprays that are made by an already well-known brand. They have a spray and a gel version, which is slightly confusing – both aim to do the same thing though.

I found the spray is basically the same as most of the other lidocaine sprays I’ve tried. It works well when you get the dosage right, but numbs too much with just 1 or 2 sprays too many.

I’m not sure why, but K-Y advises not to use a condom with the spray, despite having the same active ingredient as brands that don’t warn against using a condom. And that, for me, is a bit of a deal-breaker.

However, they do have a gel version, made with benzocaine instead, which is latex condom friendly. I didn’t find it nearly as strong though, and had to use many doses to get even a mild effect.

Despite that, I’ve included both in this review for two reasons. Some men are unable to use lidocaine, so this presents one of the very few benzocaine alternatives – even if it’s a mild effect.

And secondly, K-Y provide clear instructions and safety advice, which is useful when using a product on your delicate bits. Having good instructions is something that’s frustrated me in the past with less well-known companies, so I highlight this point when applicable.

A couple of final points for both versions is that they are fine to use with oral sex, and only have a faint smell. So with their relatively fast action, they are both worth trying if you’re experimenting with different sprays and gels.

5. Fortacin

  • Ingredients: lidocaine (7.5 mg per spray), prilocaine (2.5 mg per spray)
  • Application: metered pump spray

photo of fortacin sprayphoto of fortacin spray

Fortacin, also known as Tempe and PSD502, made headlines a few years ago when clinical trials showed it helped men last 6 times longer. An increase from 0.6 minutes to 3.6 minutes on average was widely reported in the news.

I found it worked fast – just 5 minutes is enough for it to take action. And it was definitely effective, helping me last several minutes longer.

Like the previous sprays in this review, it has a convenient metered pump to ensure similar dosage levels each time. It’s also fine to use with oral sex, and with or without a latex condom.

My main complaint is that it gives a hot tingling sensation, even with smaller doses. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I found it slightly more uncomfortable than those that only use lidocaine.

On the plus side, Fortacin has undergone more clinical trials than any other spray. It was approved as safe and effective by the European Medicines Agency, which is no easy feat.

One issue to be aware of is that it’s only available in the U.K. and some other European countries on prescription or online. You would have to check in your specific region. It’s not available in the US yet.

6. Edge Delay Gel

  • Ingredients: ginkgo biloba, ginseng, horny goat weed, velvet bean, and uncaria gambir.
  • Application: gel

photo of a tube of edge delay for menphoto of a tube of edge delay for men

Edge delay gel takes a somewhat different approach to the typical lidocaine delay sprays. It contains a wide range of ingredients used in different parts of the world for sexual problems like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and low libido.

It’s also different in that it takes a long time to work – around an hour for full effect – but then lasts considerably longer than lidocaine-based sprays. I found it was still working several hours after applying it.

Since it’s a gel rather than a spray, it’s a little trickier to apply the same amount every time. And I found that even with a little too much, there’s quite a strong tingling sensation. So it’s important to be careful with how you use this one.

The actual numbing wasn’t as powerful as lidocaine sprays for me, but that might be a good thing if you’ve had issues with getting an erection because of the numbing. But on the whole, it was good enough to take the edge off the sensitivity and help me last a little longer.

A final point in its favor is that my partner and I have had no problems using it with oral or unprotected – there was no transference, smell or greasy residue.

So on balance, I personally prefer lidocaine sprays, but if you prefer to avoid those, Edge is an interesting alternative.