Stephen De Pretre

“Premature ejaculation is a significant psychological burden on men, their partners, and their relationships.”

Roughly 20% of all men suffer from premature ejaculation. This can take a toll on people’s self-confidence and on the joy of sex, and of course, the partner also has to cope with the situation. Apart from psychological counsel, there are a number of pharmaceutical aids to help with this problem – including delay sprays. At first glance, Promescent falls into this category as well, but what sets it apart from other delay sprays is its effectiveness, which has been proven in medical studies. Stephen De Pretre, Vice President for International Sales and Distribution at Promescent, presents the product in our EAN interview and provides further information about the problem of premature ejaculation.


Promescent is a prenis spray used to improve climax control. How does it differ from other delay spays that are on the market right now?
Stephen De Pretre: Most delay sprays are either based on lidocaine or benzocaine and Promescent is a lidocaine based product. Lidocaine has been used since the 1940’s to treat Premature Ejaculation (PE) so it’s a very old and well-known active ingredient. However, existing lidocaine-based sprays have two common problems:

Skin Promescent
While regular delay sprays have a numbing effect on a larger area, Promescent can be used with much greater precision

The first problem is that they have weak skin penetration and short tissue retention. I’m explaining the mechanism with the picture on the left with the lidocaine being the coloured dots. Like the red dots in the picture, Lidocaine takes a long time to penetrate through the stratum corneum, which is the surface of our skin. This leads to two unpleasant consequences when used in sexual events. Firstly, weak skin penetration means that a longer waiting time is required after a product is applied. Secondly, the residual Lidocaine could be transferred to the partner, which results in the partner losing sensitivity as well as sexual pleasure.

The second problem of the existing spray products is short tissue retention. The way that local anaesthetics, such as lidocaine, work to improve climax control is to diminish the glans’ sensitivity. However, if lidocaine infiltrates the underlying tissue where it ends up in the bloodstream, it will move around with the blood (like the green dots in the picture). This creates an area with significant loss of sensitivity, much larger than the area where the product was applied and loss of sensitivity equals loss of sexual pleasure. This mechanism is very similar to how lidocaine behaves when it’s injected by a dentist. Give it 20 minutes and you lose sensitivity in a large area of your face.

Thus, the best location for lidocaine is in the dermis/skin where the nerve endings are located, so that it could reduce sensory stimulation to prolong ejaculation but maintain the sensitivity of the surrounding area to maintain sexual pleasure. There, the ideal product would allow the lidocaine to quickly go through the skin’s surface, accurately targeting the nerve endings, after which the lidocaine would very slowly be released and broken down by the body. This is exactly how Promescent works and how Promescent is different from other delay sprays on the market.

Promescent only needs to be applied to a coin-sized area and its patented technology allows the product to get rapidly absorbed through the skin, after which it then stops and stays in the skin for a longer period of time, before being broken down by the body. With Promescent (blue dots), only a small area is affected and as lidocaine in the skin doesn’t move laterally, Promescent ends up having a very local effect with the surrounding skin unaffected and thus with normal/unaltered sensitivity. It’s this normal skin sensitivity that allows people to use a delay spray without sacrificing their sexual enjoyment. Nerve proximity coupled with Promescent’s unique formulation helps users not only to improve their climax control but also to maintain sexual pleasure.

Promescent and its patented technology, is the only Delay Spray in the market, anywhere in the world, that provides such a user friendly experience, whilst maintaining the low side effects offered by using its only active ingredient, Lidoncaine.

Promescent is available in two sizes: the standard version with 60 sprays and a smaller travel version

Could you tell us a bit about the company behind the product? When was Promescent developed?
The product was developed by Dr. Ron Gilbert who was a well-respected urologist in California. In his clinic, he saw a lot of patients suffering from PE and there were no effective and user-friendly treatments available to help these people. Back then, the existing treatments normally either relied on serotonergic antidepressants, which come with a whole range of strong side effects typically seen in antidepressants, such as nausea, headache, decreased libido, etc. or Delay Sprays whose numbing effects come with significant loss of sensitivity and take away too much enjoyment of having sex.

Aiming to provide a better solution for his patients, Dr. Gilbert, together with a major US university, developed Promescent. Unfortunately, Dr Gilbert was murdered in a case of mistaken identity shortly after the product was launched in 2013. After a period of internal chaos and turmoil, the company started rapidly expanding in the U.S. and it has become one of the best selling PE products in the US with strong support from Urologists, Sexuologists and large Medical Institutions.

Currently, it is selling online from its website around the world, as well as in approximately 20,000 pharmacies and supermarkets in the US. Due to its low side effects, the product is not only being used by people who have PE, but also by other people who just want to last longer and who want a more successful and meaningful sexual experience. Whilst still growing rapidly in the US, the company also started registering internationally so that Dr. Gilbert’s dream of providing an effective and user friendly product is not just a US story but a global one.

If we look at the whole male population, how big is the problem of premature ejaculation? Which influence does this condition have on the lives of the affected persons?
The Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors (GSSAB), an international survey of over 13,000 men and women aged 40-80 years reported that early ejaculation was the most common complaint for men. In this survey, the prevalence of premature ejaculation is approximately 20-30% across all age groups and in most regions in the world. Due to the difficulties with definitions and sampling as well as factors such as cultural, religious, political influences, etc., the estimated prevalence of PE varies.

However, other large-scale surveys in different countries or regions also support the findings of GSSAB that a large percentage of men are suffering from premature/rapid ejaculation. The prevalence of premature ejaculation is believed to be greater then that off erectile dysfunction. PE is a significant psychological burden on men, their partners, and their relationships. A lot of psychological studies have shown that the negative impact on men with PE include high levels of personal distress, anxiety connected to sex, more intense feeling of embarrassment/guilt, fear of failure, depression, decreased self-esteem and self-confidence, interpersonal difficulties, low sexual satisfaction, etc.

Right now Promescent is only available in the US

PE is associated with higher marital discord and may also prevent single men from forming new sexual relationship. Men with PE are as psychologically distressed and affected as men with erectile dysfunction though the awareness of the latter is much higher. Moreover, not only men with PE are affected, their partners are also suffering. Studies have shown that the partners of men with PE tend to have high level of personal distress, low sexual satisfaction, lower male satisfaction as well as interpersonal difficulties.

Though PE has been recognised and recorded for over 1500 years and is troubling a large percentage of men, the awareness of PE and its associated negative impact on one’s quality of life are still very low. The ignorance makes people living with PE often feel very frustrated. As Dr. Gilbert said “I have seen a lot of patients who are very distressed and frustrated as they feel that nobody is recognising their problems because it is a sexual issue, but it is really affecting their quality of life.”

How many of those who suffer from PE are actually seeking help? Is there still a stigma surrounding this condition and do we need to create further awareness for PE?
There is still a very large stigma attached to PE as it really hurts men in their manhood as they struggle to sexually satisfy their partner. This is not something that is easily discussed with friends or family and so a lot of men suffer a lot before they seek medical help. Due to this taboo, many men chose to deal with this problem quietly and discreetly, which leads them to various non-clinically-proven “solutions” with little or zero effectiveness or strong side effects and this dashes their hopes to find a solution even further, creating a vicious cycle of despair.

On the other hand, a large-scale survey of over 12,000 subjects shows that 67% of the men with PE would seek treatment if their partners suggested it or if they knew of a product to treat it. In the battle with PE, the support from partners is very important as well as the knowledge of treatment. I would stress to anybody who is troubled with PE that though its not always an easy topic to discuss with your partner, you are not the only one with this issue.

“In the battle with PE, the support from partners is very important as well as the knowledge of treatment.”

Rapid/premature ejaculation is a common problem and it is a medically treatable condition in most instances. As PE is such a common problem, the market is full of various solutions. Many men who are drowning in frustration caused by PE are catching at straws as the taboo of PE muddles their sight in the pool of overwhelming information. Due to the current stigma surrounding men with premature ejaculation, it is challenging for people to obtain accurate information as people are trying to do their research quietly and discreetly.

In our customer service emails, we get a lot of people who share their frustrating experience with bogus solutions and exercises before they found Promescent. Promisingly, we have noticed that the awareness of premature ejaculation is increasing. We hope that people could start to see premature ejaculation as a medical problem instead of a sign of lack of manhood and the stigma attached to premature ejaculation could ease.

The more openly people could talk about it, the more accurate information people could have for the treatment. And the more and better knowledge people have, the less frustration and risk people have to take. Hence, we definitely need to continue increasing the social awareness for premature ejaculation.

Last summer, a study by Dr. Kristen Mark and Dr. Ian Kerner that looked into the effectiveness of Promescent was published in Nature Magazine. What did they find out about your product?
The study made by Dr. Kristen and Dr. Kerner aimed to evaluate the effect of Promescent on the experience of orgasm, ejaculatory latency time and quality of sexual experience. Moreover, the study has also assessed the ease of application of Promescent and the extent to which Promescent impacted the sexual experience.

After a study involving almost 200 participants, the study concluded that the use of Promescent has significant positive effects on estimated ejaculatory latency time, self and perceived partner experience of orgasm and quality of sexual experience. With the help of Promescent, the average ejaculatory latency was increased from 6.8 minutes to 11.2 minutes. The percentage of both members of the couple having orgasm was increased by 50% with Promescent.

Also, the product was reported as easy to use and did not interrupt the sexual experience. More interestingly, the study has found that not only was the quality of sexual experience much better on days when Promescent was used but also, the sexual experience got better when Promescent was used over a longer period of time. This is believed because a personalised, optimised solution such as applying area, waiting time, number of sprays, etc. is developed as men become more familiar with using the product.

Therefore, Dr. Kristen and Dr. Kerner concluded in this study that Promescent is effective in increasing the time to ejaculation and the overall quality of the sexual experience.

There are many products and also other techniques for lasting longer in bed. Do you recommend Promescent as a product for every man or is there a more specific target audience?
Promescent targets the general population not only men with a premature ejaculation problem but also anyone who wants to prolong the time to ejaculation. Premature ejaculation is a very complex issue and the etiology that causes premature ejaculation remains unknown up to now. For many years, premature ejaculation was believed to be a psychological or personal issue, treated with psychotherapy and/or behavioural modification. Only more recently, drug therapy has become the initial treatment modality by clinicians.

“Promescent targets the general population not only for men with a premature ejaculation problems but also for anyone who wants to prolong the time to ejaculation.”

As the reason why premature ejaculation occurs remains unclear, current drug therapies for treatment for premature ejaculation, including both antidepressant and local anaesthetics were “discovered by accident”, same as with the development of Viagra. Though a medicine discovered through serendipity is not necessarily less effective than the one developed by careful design. Lack of knowledge over the etiology makes it impossible to identify which group response better to the product.

Moreover, though the initial treatment for premature ejaculation has been changed to drug therapy, psychological issue plays an important role in some cases. For some people, neither the drug therapy nor the psychological treatment could do the magic alone but it requires the combination. Therefore, as we state on our packaging “if this product used as directed does not provide relief, discontinue use and consult a doctor” but the cases where modern treatment is ineffective are rare.

Is Promescent free to be sold in the EU? Is a doctor’s prescription needed?
Lidocaine-based delay sprays are not allowed to be sold outside pharmacies in Europe. The classification can change a bit from country to country in Europe, but in most countries Promescent is expected to be an over-the-counter product.

Right now, Promescent can’t be bought in Europe. Are you planning on expanding your network here?
At this stage, we are not selling Promescent in Europe as we are still in the process of obtaining the approval from the European Medicines Agency. However, if people wish to try this product now, they could buy the product from our US website It normally takes 4-6 working days for the product to arrive.

Even though Promescent is a pharmaceutical product, are you working with adult retailers? What would such a cooperation look like?
As mentioned before, Promescent is not only to help people who have premature ejaculation but also for anyone who wants a more successful and meaningful sexual experience. This is to say that Promescent, though with the nature of being a medicine, has another aspect as a lifestyle product.

Naturally, a so called “orgasm gap” exists, which is the time difference to reach orgasm between men and women. So apart from bringing relief for people who are struggling with rapid ejaculation, Promescent can also be used to bridge the orgasm gap so that the percentage of orgasm for women could be increased. So even though mainly men buy the product, the key beneficiaries are women.

“Promescent can also be used to bridge the orgasm gap so that the percentage of orgasm for women could be increased. So even though mainly men buy the product, the key beneficiaries are women.”

In the US, the product is classified as a GSL product, meaning it can be sold everywhere and in any point of sales going from convenience stores to supermarkets and of course pharmacies, we are working a lot with erotic retailers, focusing on the lifestyle impact of this product.

But in Europe, we will only be allowed to sell in Pharmacies and so our cooperation with erotic retailers in Europe will be limited to affiliate programmes where the product is legally sold in the US and shipped to Europe for personal use, as a lidocaine based delay spray is not allowed to be sold on the shelves of an erotic retailer in Europe.

Are there different versions or sizes of Promescent and how expensive are they?
We have two different versions, a trial/travel bottle with ten sprays, which we sell for USD 19.95 and a Standard bottle with 60 sprays which we sell for USD 79.95. The average person requires around 2-4 sprays, so the per session cost for Promescent is lower than the cost of a cup of Starbucks.

Most men will spend a lot more money on their partner before they get themselves in a position where they can use Promescent. We also sell a number of bundles where people can buy a package of products so the per session cost goes down even further. Promescent is a lot more expensive compared to other delay spray in the market but whilst these other sprays are cheaper to buy, the price you pay in loss of feeling and sensitive is quite high.