Alex Goldberg

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Promescent vs Roman Swipes Reviews - Topical PE Treatments

About the Author

Alex Goldberg

Alex worked at three early-stage startups before starting Fin vs Fin. Covering the rise of direct-to-consumer health, his mission is to help patients access better treatments online. He's also a husband, father, and UC Berkeley grad who enjoys golf, podcasts, live music, cooking, and home improvement.

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Promescent vs Roman Swipes: What’s the Best PE Wipe?

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Steve Kim, MD

About Dr. Steve Kim, MD

Physician Advisor

Dr. Kim received his BA in Human Biology at Stanford University, before receiving his M.D. degree (Primary Care Track) from UC Davis School of Medicine. He completed his Internship & Residency in Family Practice from Glendale Adventist Hospital and is Board-Certified in Family Medicine via the American Board of Family Medicine.

Alex Goldberg

We’ve tried some of these PE products – see our photos of them below (product photos, not photos of us using them; it’s not that kind of a website!). Our take is that Roman Swipes are currently the easiest to use and work well. Read on to learn more. 


As anyone who’s experienced it knows, premature ejaculation (PE) isn’t fun. Finishing too quickly for either your or your partner’s liking? Yeah, no thanks. If it only happens once or twice, it’s really not a big deal. But if it’s happening regularly, that can mean continuously unsatisfying sex (or “sex” in cases where it ends even before it begins). And let’s face it, even once or twice can be alarming enough for a lot of men to begin researching solutions, especially if you have a new partner you’re hoping to impress.


So, what can you do if you’re faced with an inability to last as long as you want? Fortunately, PE is now one of those things that men no longer have to deal with alone. Up until recently, most men simply suffered in silence, too embarrassed to ask their doctors for help. But top direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies have begun advertising topical solutions for premature ejaculation. Simply apply a moist wipette or spray to your penis prior to sex to decrease sensitivity so you can improve endurance and offer your partner a more satisfying sexual experience.


Sounds easy enough, but do PE wipes work? Let’s take a closer look at two of the leading PE products on the market: Roman Swipes and Promescent Climax Control Spray. We’ll cover what topical solutions are involved, describe how they work, and allow you to decide which is best for you. Let’s dive in.

What treatments are available for men with PE?

Source: Promescent

There are a variety of medical therapies available to treat premature ejaculation including:


  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Centrally acting opiates
  • Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors
  • Topical Rx creams such as idocaine-prilocaine
  • Topical desensitizing sprays and wipes

Most of these are pills prescribed by a doctor to help with performance anxiety. Thanks to modern telemedicine companies, it’s easier than ever to get most PE treatment sent discreetly to your door without all the in-person embarrassment.


While all of these treatments have been shown to be safe and effective in randomized clinical trials, today we’ll focus only on topical desensitizing treatments for PE. These are the most accessible because, for the most part, they are sold over-the-counter, directly to consumers, rather than requiring a prescription from your primary care physician, or from a medical professional you see online.


Both Roman Swipes vs Promescent Climax Control Spray are topical treatments designed to help you improve sexual activity every time, whether with a new or longer-term partner. 


So while Roman’s Swipes and Promescent’s spray are ideal ways to start treating PE without a prescription, the important question remains: does either actually work to increase sexual endurance?  Let’s take a look at each individually.

What are Roman Swipes?

Swipes is a cute name for Roman’s desensitizing wipes you rub onto your penis. The Swipes contain 4% benzocaine, which limits overstimulation so you don’t come too quickly. Contrary to how it sounds, benzocaine doesn’t eliminate or numb your pleasure, and most men who use it still report loving sex.


Another important feature of benzocaine application is that your partner won’t feel any of the desensitization. After benzocaine dries, it has no odor and isn’t easily transferable (thank goodness). The Roman’s Swipes come in discreet, individually-wrapped packages that fit in your pocket — more or less the size of a condom.


Roman instructs customers to apply the Swipes to the most sensitive parts of the penis. Then, just wait five minutes to allow the solution to dry, and you can proceed confidently with your preferred sexual activity, including oral and anal. Although results vary, Roman claims the benzocaine’s desensitizing effects generally lasts for 20 to 30 minutes after swiping. ← not sure if that’s a verb yet, but we’re gonna roll with it…

What do Roman Swipes look like?

Obviously, we had to buy some to see what they looked like and confirm that the smell went away quickly. The good news is that they are super small and easy to safely carry in your pocket or wallet. They do have a smell when you first open them, but it goes away with just a few minutes of application – so yeah, the swipes seem pretty legit.

Overall, Roman swipes have worked well for me. I especially like how they fit into my wallet!

Now I just keep a Roman swipe in my desk drawer, ready for the moment the mood strikes 😉  As you can see, it’s about the size of a normal watch face. Maybe around 1/4 of a credit card.

Do Roman Swipes work for PE?

Not all studies share the same definition of “premature ejaculation”, which makes it difficult to compare Swipes’ efficacy overall. But there have been a few very promising experiments, including a randomized, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Men’s Health in which 82% of participants reported no PE symptoms after using benzocaine wipes for 2 months. 


Side effects are rare, but include redness and swelling, typically as an allergic reaction to benzocaine. I luckily didn’t experience any while trying them out first hand. Ultimately they reduced sensitivity just enough for me to focus on pleasing my partner, rather than fearing a too-quick ejaculation. My penis wasn’t completely numb. Still plenty of intense feelings (lol). Just a little less than normal as hoped.

What is Promescent Spray?

Promescent offers its Climax Control Spray (also referred to as “Delay Spray”) as a 10mg lidocaine solution. It’s basically like carrying around chapstick-sized spray bottle for your penis that you use before sexual activity, including oral. While a spray bottle may seem less controlled than a swipe, it’s designed to deliver the correct dose with each spray.


Nonetheless, you can use more than one spray if needed, and in fact Promescent says most men use three sprays to start and anything less than 10 is safe.


The product works by shaking the bottle, spraying it on the sensitive parts of the penis and rubbing it in. Then, you let it sit for 10 minutes for best results, which helps it work better and ensures that the solution doesn’t transfer to your partner. The company says it varies by dose but the spray will work its desensitizing magic for up to an hour. 


Like Roman Swipes, Promescent comes conveniently to your door in discreet packaging. With four bottle sizes to choose from, you can also subscribe to save money on regular shipments.


Another similarity to Swipes: Promescent’s Delay Spray  is designed to reduce overstimulation without getting rid of pleasure altogether, and it doesn’t make sex any fun for your partner either.

Does Promescent’s Delay Spray work for PE?

Promescent says that its lidocaine spray is proven with clinical results to help extend bedroom time, although I wasn’t able to find any research it was referring to on its website. I did manage to find this study from 2003 in which men with PE saw an increased average intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IVELT) from 84 seconds without the spray to 11 minutes and 21 seconds with. That seems almost a little too good to be true…


Lidocaine is one of the most popular local anesthetics in the world, applied either locally as a spray or cream, or by injection into specific parts of the body. You’ve probably had it at the dentist before to numb your gums, but who would have known it can also help reduce premature ejaculation?


Like Benzocaine, lidocaine works by reducing sensitivity in your skin tissue, which makes you less exciteable during foreplay and penetrative sex so you’re less likely to ejaculate too early.

How easy is it to apply Roman Swipes?

As mentioned before, both Roman swipes and Promescent spray are applied directly to your penis, although each requires slightly different application methods. Roman Swipes come as individually packaged swipes that fit comfortably in your wallet. Promescent, on the other hand, comes in a small spray bottle, which can be taken on the go, but is a little more bulky, say, during a night out. As a result, both topical PE treatments rely on different active ingredients to desensitize the penis just enough to help you extend the time to ejaculation WITHOUT robbing you of an orgasm. Sounds perfect, right?

Do Performance Swipes Work?

In our experience with them, Roman Swipes do work to delay ejaculation and increase the amount of time you can have sex by about two to ten minutes. While there isn’t a ton of clinical data on the active ingredients, the studies that do exist suggest that they can give men more time.

roman swipes package

Promescent Alternatives: What are the best topical treatments for PE?

Now that you know what the products are and how they work, let’s compare the two head on. The following is a chart so you can see the direct similarities and differences.

Promescent vs Roman Swipes: Topical Treatment for Premature Ejaculation

What you getBenzocaine wipes (4%)Bottles of lidocaine spray, which come in 4 sizes (10-spray, 20-spray, 40-spray or 60 spray)Bottle of lidocaine spray with 40 sprays
Prescription needed?
  • Quarterly subscription plan: $66/month for 24 wipes

  • Monthly subscription plan: $27/month for 8 wipes

    Price per dose: $2.75
  • 10-spray bottle: $19.95

  • 20-spray bottle: $22.95

  • 40-spray bottle: $41.95

  • 60-spray bottle: $59.95

  • Subscribe and save options

    Price per dose: $1
  • Monthly subscription of 40-spray bottle: $34.00

  • Price per dose: $.85
    Intro offer?$10 off first month

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    So you can see that topical PE treatments from Roman, Promescent and Hims come in different formats (swipes versus spray), and use different but similar numbing agents (benzocaine versus lidocaine). Which you prefer mostly comes down to personal preference. We included Hims in our chart because they offer an over-the-counter lidocaine spray that’s similar to Promescent Delay Spray, but 15% cheaper. So if you want a spray, Hims might be a good option to check out.

    Are there side effects to topical PE solutions?

    It’s natural (and smart) to wonder if you might experience some side effects from rubbing or spraying a topical solution onto your penis. After all, it’s a particularly sensitive area that shouldn’t be gambled on.


    Roman only lists a potential allergic reaction as a possible side effect. It notes that if you’re allergic to benzocaine, you could have an adverse skin reaction with symptoms like swelling or redness. It  goes without saying, but definitely talk to a doctor immediately if you have any reaction to the solution.


    Promescent doesn’t address the issue of side effects on its website, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t experience any. Some of the reviews on the company’s own website mentioned initial burning, less-fun sex, and too much lack of sensation. That’s not exactly a resounding endorsement.

  says that anesthetic PE solutions with a numbing agent (like these two products) could come with side effects, with most reporting:


    • decreased pleasure in sexual activity
    • temporary loss of sensitivity

    Nonetheless, PE swipes and sprays are generally regarded as safe topical options with many fewer unwanted side effects than oral prescription meds for premature ejaculation.

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    The Verdict: Which do we recommend, Roman Swipes or Promescent Delay Spray?

    Comparing Roman swipes vs Promescent Spray is a challenge because they come in different formats with different active ingredients. Thus one’s choice for one over the other may simply come down to personal preference. While I personally prefer Roman Swipes, they aren’t the cheapest, and I’d probably try Hims PEJ spray first over Promescent’s because it’s less expensive per dose for the same lidocaine spray experience. That said, many likely spring for Promescent because theirs is the only PE treatment you can buy a la carte without signing up for a monthly subscription plan.

    Before deciding which PE topical is best for you, make sure to consider the following:


    On-the-Go Use

    Roman Swipes are the most convenient option if you need the product on-the-go, as I imagine many men will. That’s because swipes come in packets similar to condoms that you can keep in your pocket or wallet for just the right moment. It’s more clunky, but not impossible to carry around a bottle of Promescent or Him PEJ spray in your pocket.



    On a similar note, you may not want to broadcast what you’re doing to your partner. Swipes make it easier to discreetly wipe yourself (with Roman) than to spray a solution from a noisier bottle (with Promescent) multiple times. And while both products are shipped in discreet packaging, the actual product packaging is much more discreet with Roman Swipes, whereas the Promescent spray bottle clearly spells out what it’s for, so there’s no hiding your PE problem if someone sees the packaging. This would be really embarrassing at work, I can only imagine…


    Subscription Plans

    The subscription plans of Roman Swipes, while convenient, are somewhat limiting. The company decides that you get 8 times a month for any type of sexual activity, but what if you decide to get frisky more or less than that? I guess if you have sexual encounters fewer than 8 times a month, you can cancel your subscription for a while as you use the extra. But what if you need the Swipes more than 8 times? The company doesn’t offer a la carte options, so maybe you’d have to order more than one subscription for yourself.


    This is an area where Promescent shines, as you have the control to order the size bottle you want and as many bottles as you want at a time, and to spray as much or as little as you want. That said, one of the customer reviews on the website points out that the size of the bottle is misleading:



    Drying – how long you have to wait

    A downside of Promescent’s product is that it takes longer to dry, so you have to wait 10 minutes compared to Roman’s 5 before getting hot and heavy. Those extra five minutes can make a big difference when you and your partner are ready to go, and God forbid it ruin the mood to wait that long.


    With a better sense of how Roman Swipes work and how they compare vs Promescent spray, the choice is now yours. Our top pick is Roman Swipes because they are more discrete and convenient to whip out when the time strikes, but if you’re frugal, opting for a lidocaine spray can definitely save you cash in the long run. Given some negative reviews online and a higher price point, I’d actually steer clear of Promescent’s Delay Spray and opt for Hims PEJ spray instead for 15% less per month.


    Keep in mind that both sprays and wipes provide similar desensitization in your penis to help you last longer, so it’s mostly a matter of deciding which application format you like better and how you prefer to buy. One final consideration is potentially access to a doctor. Many men want to talk to a doctor about their PE symptoms and devise a plan before starting any new treatments. Roman and Hims make it very easy to do this, but Promescent doesn’t.

    Have you tried any topical sprays for wipes for PE? What’s worked for you? Please share your experience in the comments below.

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    About the Author

    Alex Goldberg

    Alex worked at three early-stage startups before starting Fin vs Fin. Covering the rise of direct-to-consumer health, his mission is to help patients access better treatments online. He's also a husband, father, and UC Berkeley grad who enjoys golf, podcasts, live music, cooking, and home improvement.

    Learn more
    Alex Goldberg

    Alex Goldberg

    Alex worked at three early-stage startups before starting Fin vs Fin. Covering the rise of direct-to-consumer health, his mission is to help patients access better treatments online. He's also a husband, father, and UC Berkeley grad who enjoys golf, podcasts, live music, cooking, and home improvement.

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