Thursday, April 26, 2012
I thought Numb Nuts was a Bad Thing
Why are we so obsessed with numbing our naughty bits? Last blog post I wrote about why it's not a great idea to numb your butt before butt sex and then today I get a call from a customer alerting me to yet another numbing product. This one is not for your butt, it's for your penis. But wait, this one is FDA approved and both Dr. Oz and Dr. Laura Berman are promoting it. First of all, let's get this part out of the way. Dr. Berman will promote pretty much anything anyone pays her to promote. I know it sounds like she really knows what shes talking about - she throws in impressive words like 'clinically tested' and 'FDA approved' and 'studies show' but when it comes down to it, those things don't mean a thing. She doesn't back them up with real information about what the products are and what the studies, if they exist, actually studied and actually proved. Berman was promoting Viagra for women and saying that research supported the use of it long before and long after several studies had proven that it had no beneficial effect. Why? Because Pfizer paid her to do it. So we can't trust Berman. I doubt that Dr. Oz is a whole lot better but I don't know the extent to which products promoted on his show are actually paid promotion so we'll give him a pass on that one. What I won't give him a pass on is trying to appear to be an expert on every aspect of health. Every time I've heard him talk about sexual health, he fails miserably. He just doesn't know a lot about sex. Most doctors specialize and this is clearly not his specialty. So having said that, what is this stuff? It's called Promoscent (I still can't figure out the name). It's a spray that is supposed to delay ejaculation. I didn't see the segment on Dr. Oz but I'm really left wondering because the customer who alerted me to this product was under the impression that it was actually for creating and sustaining erections. So here is the first problem. Did they leave their viewers confused as to what this stuff actually is? There is a big difference between a product that makes you get hard and a product that makes you last longer - in actual fact a lot of the products that are designed to make you last longer can keep you from getting hard, but we'll get to that later. Most of the time, when they try to discuss these types of sexual products on day time shows, their attempts to be appropriate and inoffensive make the discussion so vague that it's confusing as to what they're actually talking about. Premature ejaculation is not an easy thing to talk about without using 'offensive' words. So to be clear, Promoscent is a spray that is applied topically to the penis to prevent men from ejaculating more quickly than they would like. Apparently the doctors were touting this as a brand new idea and so revolutionary because it's FDA approved and it does not cause numbing. It took me quite some time reading through the whole promoscent website to finally find the place where the active ingredient is listed. It's lidocaine. This is a lidocaine spray. Lidocaine creams and sprays have been used for this purpose for quite some time and lidocaine itself is an FDA approved drug so what is the big deal here? The website states that it's revolutionary because it does not numb the user or the user's partner. How that works and what their definition of numbing is is beyond me because this is exactly what lidocaine does. It dulls nerve response - it is used as a topical anesthetic. It works for delaying ejaculation because it makes the penis less sensitive. If you don't feel as much, you don't get excited as quickly and you don't come as quickly. This has never made sense to me. I know how it works and why it works but I've never understood why you would want to do it. Yes, you will last longer but you won't really feel a whole heck of a lot. Is it really worth it? Unfortunately, for a lot of men, it also has the effect making it hard to keep an erection exactly because they can't feel very much. This isn't dangerous, but it's certainly not new and revolutionary. These types of products have been around for a long time . In spite of the fact that it's really not dangerous, I do have some issues with this stuff being promoted as a great way to deal with premature ejaculation and a great way to improve your sex life. First of all, penetration and ejaculation are only two small parts of an entire universe of sexual expression. Why put so much focus on them? It is possible to have all kinds of sex, even penetrative sex with a flaccid or semi flaccid penis. Second, who's to say what's premature and what's not? The use of that term makes men think there is some sort of optimal time to be able to keep it up before coming and they are clearly not reaching it. I think it leads to even more pressure and anxiety which certainly doesn't help matters. All of this focus on just one way to have sex really ignores all of the other myriad lovely ways that sex can happen. There are a lot of men who don't get erections and men who come very quickly and men who don't even have penises who have great sex lives. Third, these stupid sprays contribute to the idea that every problem we have, including our health and sexual problems should be quickly and easily fixed with a pill or a cream or a spray. 'Premature ejaculation' is very rarely caused just by a physical issue - the brain and the emotions play a much bigger part in it than the body. A spray does not fix that. I think the best solution to 'premature ejaculation' is taking a lot of time to get to know your own body and sexual response. We can teach ourselves to understand our own cues before orgasm and to back off of stimulation that is too much for us when we get to that point. Actually, that type of play and exploration can be deliciously pleasurable. But it's not quick and easy. And it doesn't cost anything so Drs Berman and Oz and the makers of Promoscent don't want you to do that.
Posted by Brenda at 6:40 PM