How Long Do Delay Condoms Take to Work

How Long Do Delay Condoms Take to Work?

Delay condoms are one of the best ways to last longer in bed and manage premature ejaculation. All the best delay condoms use a desensitizing agent that reduces the sensitivity of your penis. But how long do delay condoms take to work?

We have covered everything about delay condoms timing in this article to help you make the right decision.

How Do Delay Condoms Work?

how do delay condoms work in 6 steps

Almost all the delay condoms use benzocaine or lidocaine that are approved by FDA for use in genital products as a numbing agent. Benzocaine is mild while lidocaine is stronger. Read more about benzocaine vs. lidocaine intensity here.

For example, Durex Performax Intense contains 5% benzocaine to numb your penis and Pasante Infinity contains 1% lidocaine.

The numbing agent is coated inside the condom, and it gets activated with your body heat.

Benzocaine activates when it is melted, and it usually melts as soon as you wear the condom. The heat from your penis melts the benzocaine and it numbs your penis.

Lidocaine, on the other hand, is coated inside the condom in liquid form. It doesn’t require melting, but heat improves its effectiveness. When you wear a lidocaine delay condom, the heat from your penis makes it easier for lidocaine to absorb in your penis and it works quickly.

The timing of a delay condom, therefore, depends on how quickly the numbing agent is absorbed in your penis. 

How Long Do Delay Condoms Take to Work

The delay condom timing depends on two things:

  1. How quickly the numbing agent melts, absorbs, and activates
  2. The concentration of the numbing agent.

How Long Do Benzocaine Delay Condoms Take to Work?

The benzocaine inside delay condoms usually melts instantly. With an erect penis (which is quite hot as compared to other body parts), you can melt benzocaine in a minute.

Once the benzocaine melts and starts its function, it takes time to numb or reduce the sensitivity of your penis.

Research shows that topical anesthetics like benzocaine produce an effect in 30 seconds but need 2-3 minutes to reach full depth and intensity. This is for anesthetics with 20% concentration, when the concentration is low, the agent needs more time to become effective.

Most benzocaine delay condoms have a 5% concentration, so they need more time to become effective. The initial numbing effect can be observed within the first minute of putting on the condom. However, you need to wait for a few more minutes to let it reach depth.

A normal condom with 5% benzocaine takes 3-5 minutes to work.

How Long Do Lidocaine Delay Condoms Take to Work?

Lidocaine delay condoms work in a similar way to benzocaine condoms.

The heat from your penis increases the absorption rate of the lidocaine and kicks its effect quickly. Research shows that the numbing effect of topical lidocaine starts in 3-5 minutes for 5% concentration.

Delay condoms have a much lesser concentration, so they need more than 5 minutes to work. For example, Pasante Infinity contains 1% lidocaine.

Generally, lidocaine delay condoms take 5-8 minutes to work. 

When to Start Sexual Intercourse After Wearing a Delay Condom?

It often gets tricky to choose the right time to have sex after wearing a delay condom.

Do it too quickly and you will reach orgasm before fully getting numbed.

Take too long and you might lose erection and won’t be able to have sex at all (due to reduced sensitivity).

It is, therefore, crucial to have sexual intercourse at the right time. What’s the right time?

You need to start sexual intercourse as soon as you start feeling numbness in your penis head. This usually happens 1-2 minutes after you wear your condom. Avoid waiting for an extended time as it might make your penis head completely numb leading to loss of erection.

Is Delay Condoms Timing Fixed?

The delay condoms timing remains the same because the topical anesthesia has to melt, and it melts with body heat. The effectiveness of the delay condoms, however, doesn’t remain the same.

Not all men feel the same numbing effect. If you have been using lidocaine delay condoms, benzocaine is less likely to work for you.


Because lidocaine is much stronger than benzocaine and if your penis is already used to a strong agent, a mild topical anesthetic won’t work.

This is a reason why benzocaine delay condoms don’t work for a lot of men as they don’t feel any reduction in sensitivity. It doesn’t mean that benzocaine didn’t work, it worked – but it failed to numb your penis as it is mild.

So, delay condoms timing is fixed. But their numbing intensity might vary.


Here are the most asked questions and their answers as provided by our research team:

Do All Delay Condoms Contain Benzocaine?

No, lidocaine is also used in delay condoms.

Both lidocaine and benzocaine are topical anesthetics used as numbing agents in condoms. These are approved by the FDA for use in male genital products. 

Do Delay Condoms Have Any Side Effects?

The numbing agent used in delay condoms might have side effects.

Benzocaine delay condoms might cause skin burning, itching, redness, or discomfort. Lidocaine delay condoms might cause blistering, redness, skin irritation, itching, skin rash, swelling, dryness, or skin discomfort.

How Long Does the Effect of a Delay Condom Last?

According to a review study, the effect of benzocaine and lidocaine lasts up to 1-2 hours. This, however, depends on the concentration and several other factors.

A numbing effect of a delay condom lasts at least an hour. This doesn’t mean it can delay ejaculation by an hour. The numbness effect is different from ejaculation time that varies from person to person.

Delay Condoms Are Great for Premature Ejaculation

Whether it is a benzocaine delay condom or a lidocaine delay condom, they work great for premature ejaculation. And it takes no more than 3-5 minutes to work. You can significantly increase your ejaculation time with a delay condom.

If you haven’t used any delay condom, it is recommended to start with a benzocaine delay condom (try: Durex Performax Intense). If you have already used a lidocaine delay condom, stick with the same as benzocaine condoms won’t work too well for you now.

Updated: August 13, 2023