Benzocaine and lidocaine are both topical anesthetics used by dentists (just like dental dams!) to numb the mouth during procedures. But they also have found a place in the sex industry as a way to numb certain parts of the body. But are they safe to use? Come on in and read The Spicy Gear Blog’s take on it.
Both benzocaine and lidocaine are the active ingredients in many lubricants, including Anal-Ese, which I recently reviewed, and the Durex Performax Intense condoms. But these two ingredients are different, and in some cases, they can even be harmful depending on the context you’re using them in.
- doesn’t last as long as lidocaine
- less soluble, so it works as a better lubricant
- can sometimes cause allergic reactions
You would want to choose benzocaine if you only need a gentle numbing and you want it to wear away quickly, but would still like the lubricant; or if you are allergic to lidocaine.
- has a different chemical structure than benzocaine, so if you have an allergy to one, you may not have an allergy to the other.
- absorbs more quickly than benzocaine
- numbing sensation lasts longer than benzocaine.
You would want to choose a product with lidocaine if you need a much stronger numbing and are using another lubricant alongside it to prevent friction or if you are allergic to benzocaine.
For Delaying Ejaculation
Lidocaine and benzocaine are sometimes put into condoms to delay climax for people who feel that they orgasm too early. These condoms are often called Climax Control condoms. This is an easy and safe way to deal with this form of erectile dysfunction.
The only real risk with this is that it can sometimes get into your partner’s genitals, which can numb them. Since the goal of using numbing cream on the penetrating partner is usually to prolong the feeling that the receptive partner gets, you can see how this might become a problem. Durex Performax Intense and LifeStyles Everlast condoms only have numbing cream on the inside of the condom. But other Climax Control condoms, like the Trojan Extended Pleasure, have that lubricant on the outside as well as the inside.
For Anal and Oral Sex
There are a number of oral and anal lubricants and creams that come with lidocaine or benzocaine in them to help make either type of sex easier. In fact, if you are in the market for a good anal lubricant, you may want to check your labels to make sure your chosen product does not.
Why? Sadly, citizens ‘caine are not recommended for your rosebud. Spicy Gear is not alone in not refusing to recommend lidocaine and benzocaine for oral and anal sex— plenty of healthcare officials warn against it too. The issue is in exactly what those active ingredients do: they cover up pain.
Here’s the thing about pain: it’s very important. When you are having pain, your body is telling you to stop before serious injury occurs. You may feel pain during anal sex because you’re about to experience a tear or even a rectal prolapse. And you need to be aware of that before it happens– you need to know when to say you’ve had enough, otherwise you’re putting yourself on a route to more pain, infection, and plenty of doctor’s bills. And no one likes that.
As for oral, your gag reflex might be a little unpleasant, but stopping it completely can be very dangerous. It’s there for a reason– to keep you from swallowing something that could hurt you. Suppressing it can be dangerous and needs to be done very carefully– see our article, “How To: (Safely) Suppress Your Gag Reflex,” for more information.
Aloe as an Alternative
If you’re in desperate need of something that will make oral or anal easier, aloe is a great alternative. Instead of desensitizing pain, it soothes it, making it still possible to feel it but it also provides soothing relief. This lets you know that you’re still in pain, so it’s time to stop, but comforts that pain once you’re done. Pjur’s Analyse Me! Relaxing Anal Glide has aloe in it and when combined with an excellent, silicone-based lubricant, like WET Naturals Silky Supreme, it’s a great addition to your anal menu.