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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SL Letter of the Day: Desensitizing or Damaging?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Originally published on February 5, 2009:

My girlfriend and I are into male-orgasm denial. We've recently tried putting Orajel on my cock and then covering it with two condoms so she can use me as a dildo without me getting off or even feeling anything. It works great. Is there any chance of long-term health issues if we do this once a week or so?

Numb-Dicked Dude

My response after the jump...

You didn't say which kind of Orajel you are using, but I hope it's not Orajel Advanced Tooth Desensitizer. Its active ingredient—created to treat sensitive teeth, not desensitize cock—is something called "2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate," which sounds like something you might find in baby formula that was made in China. The stuff works, according to Orajel's website, "by blocking dentinal tubules, preventing excitation of the tooth nerve." And, hey, if it's safe enough for your mouth, it's probably safe enough for your cock and for newborns, right? Well, maybe not. A very quick search of the interwebs using that Googlemajob turns up a paper in the Journal of Dental Research with this rather alarming title: "2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate (HEMA) Is a Potent Inducer of Apoptotic Cell Death in Human and Mouse Cells."

Any responsible sex-advice professional would read the paper in its entirety and inform you about the likelihood that you're killing off cock cells when you smear them with Orajel Advanced Tooth Desensitizer. But I'm an alarmist sex-advice professional, not a responsible one, so I'm just going to lay that title on you one more time: "2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate (HEMA) Is a Potent Inducer of Apoptotic Cell Death in Human and Mouse Cells." I don't know about you, NDD, but I've always erred on the side of not smearing my dick with shit that kills mice. (Not all brands of Orajel contain this ingredient, but a boy can't be too careful.)

It seems particularly foolish to smear any kind of Orajel on your cock when there are products on the market specifically designed for desensitizing cocks, things like Mandelay gel and Proloonging's "penis desensitizing aid delay spray." These products are marketed to men who suffer from premature ejaculation, even though numbing the dick doesn't really cure premature ejaculation. They sound perfect for you and your orgasm-denying girlfriend.


Comments (31) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
@29 Yes, but if it has a numbing effect, then something is getting through. And perhaps the risk of damage is low, but I'd put protecting sexual organs from nerve damage as pretty high on the ol' list of sexual priorities. Asking LW to read the ingredients on the label isn't too extravagant.
Posted by DRF on February 7, 2013 at 9:01 PM · Report this
@26 After several weeks without orgasm 2 condoms is nothing. I find I am much more sensitive once frequent masterbation is no longer part of the equation. And a vibrator goes stright through two condoms.

@24 Sorry I am not crazy, though some of the commenters might disagree.
Posted by Spike1382 on February 7, 2013 at 7:29 PM · Report this
You know, a LOT of things cause apoptosis when dumped directly on a dish of cells grown in culture. (For example; caffeine, which is a potent cell cycle arrest compound, will KILL THE SHIT out of a dish of cells). This doesn't mean those same compounds will cause apoptosis when smeared on the outside of your skin, regardless of whether it's sensitive dick skin or not. Our skin is actually a pretty effective barrier for most compounds.
Posted by jeccat on February 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
@16 ever had a really bad tootache? You'd kill off a few mouth cells for a few days until you can get to the dentist rather than deal with the pain.
Posted by cpt. tim on February 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
debug 27
Seems like there are cock-sleeves out there that are thick enough they'd do the same thing.
Posted by debug on February 7, 2013 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Westlake, son! 26
I deny anyone can feel enough to orgasm through two latex condoms.

If anyone out there hasn't tried a polyisoprene based condom yet, you're missing out.
Posted by Westlake, son! on February 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM · Report this
You should consult to your doctor or to the psychologies, because it is a very dangerous doing.

rosaceabehandelen rose
Posted by rosaceabehandelen rose on February 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM · Report this
@12 @15 Spike
OMG an actual letter writer! Finally someone who wrote one of these classic letters weighs in! coool. I'm glad you sound normal, though I can't help wishing one of the crazier OP'rs would write in the comments.

Also, @22 made me go back and lol at @11!
Posted by dccc on February 7, 2013 at 7:06 AM · Report this
xjuan 23
Not my cup o'tea, thanks.
Posted by xjuan on February 7, 2013 at 3:45 AM · Report this
@11 "crippled zombie dick cells" hahahahahaha

@ Spike1382 no offense...
Posted by EricaP on February 6, 2013 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 21
Gold Bond Medical?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on February 6, 2013 at 9:46 PM · Report this
Sorry, for #17, not #11.
Posted by ML48 on February 6, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
Also for @11, your link is for a crosslinked gel, but in either case the monomer is usually cleared out before general use by some purification method (washing for the gel, dialysis among many others would work for the polymer).

As for the catalyst, these polymerizations use radical initiators that don't contain heavy metals and are either bound to the chain or removed during purification.

Lastly, it's worth noting that if this gel did have a toxicity issue, it wouldn't be approved for use in someone's mouth, as ingestion is generally riskier than surface contact.
Posted by ML48 on February 6, 2013 at 7:41 PM · Report this
#8 is right on. The gel is almost certainly poly(HEMA), which is largely harmless. In fact, the chemically cross-linked version is widely used in contact lenses and medical implants.
Posted by ML48 on February 6, 2013 at 7:30 PM · Report this
rob! 17
What 11 said.

Also, re: 8, virtually any polymerization reaction still leaves some monomer lying around. Possibly related, possibly not: scientists often use polyACRYLamide gels to analyze and separate mixtures of proteins. They make these gels by mixing a monomer solution with a catalyst. People who handled the polymerized gels regularly without wearing disposable gloves often developed numbness in their fingertips, because acrylamide monomer is a neurotoxin. It kills nerve cells.
Posted by rob! on February 6, 2013 at 7:22 PM · Report this
That shit you should not put on your dick....why would I want to put it in my mouth? just asking.
Posted by Tor on February 6, 2013 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Dan and I did some follow up emails after publication where I told him it was just a higher concentration of the same stuff they sell at lovers and he said it would probably be fine.
Posted by Spike1382 on February 6, 2013 at 6:52 PM · Report this
@13, Nope, just kinky.
Posted by Spike1382 on February 6, 2013 at 6:50 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 13
2 condoms, too? rrrright. fake.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 6, 2013 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Hey, this was mine! Still fine, never caused any issues. Also, single... Ladies. :p
Posted by Spike1382 on February 6, 2013 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Like most things, @5, apoptosis, AKA programmed cell death, is normal and healthy until it isn't.

Cells are programmed to undergo apoptosis when they are damaged, cancerous or infected with certain viruses. In the case of damage, this is so their component parts can be cannibalized by the new cells that will, if possible be grown to take their place. If the cells are undergoing abnormal apoptosis, it is because this gel is damaging them, and not all tissue damage can be repaired.

So in this case, apoptosis is only healthy in that it's healthier to have dead cells with their parts neatly stacked in the basement than having crippled zombie dick cells shambling around in this guy's equipment going nucleeiiiiiiii.
Posted by DRF on February 6, 2013 at 6:35 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 10
Does my interest in male orgasm non-denying count as a fetish? People are weird.
Posted by mikethehammer on February 6, 2013 at 6:06 PM · Report this
@4 you should spend more time doing things you think are hot, less time listing them, and no time at all worrying about spelling mistakes in rather fun comments.
Posted by beccoid on February 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Dan, you should suggest that he talks to someone who actually has the relevant medical and chemical knowledge to answer his question, perhaps a doctor... To hazard a guess, he is likely using one of the benzocaine containing Orajel products, and if so, he's fine. If he were using the product containing HEMA, he would get no benefit. It works by blocking those tubules with a polymer that swells by absorbing water. Furthermore, it is a polymer, and the paper you refer to deals with the monomer. You certainly are an alarmist, but in this case only futilely.
Posted by AlchemistAmoebia on February 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM · Report this
seandr 7
@4: OK, if you say so. I guess the answer lies at Walgreens then.
Posted by seandr on February 6, 2013 at 4:57 PM · Report this
@4 Where's the "Like" button? Totally agree.
Posted by Maryse42 on February 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Dan, you are an alarmist. And kind of a moron. Apoptotic cell death in mice is not the same thing as dead mice. In fact, apoptosis is a normal biological mechanism. Humans lose billions of cells each day because of apoptosis. You should have thrown this question to an actual medical professional.
Posted by If it's good enough for teeth ... on February 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM · Report this
@2: They're not using Orajel to make his erection last longer. They're using it to desensitize his cock so she feels pleasure and he is denied sensation. And it's "minx".

By the way, this scenario sounds exceptionally hot. Putting it on my list of things to try.
Posted by dchari on February 6, 2013 at 4:36 PM · Report this
Rotten666 3
somewhere across the pond Sting is laughing.
Posted by Rotten666 on February 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM · Report this
seandr 2
The power to outlast your orgasm-denying little mynx lies within your mind, not Walgreens.
Posted by seandr on February 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
Yes, but do Mandelay gel and Proloong have labels on them that say "for novelty use only?"

Because that's the kind of boilerplate you put on a product that causes cancer if you put even 1% of a dose on your dick. You know, kind of like the pthalates they use in jelly sex toys and then say "oh, this product has in no way been approved by the FDA (not that such an endorsement means much anyway), so you know, you're not supposed to actually put it *inside* you in any way!"
Posted by gromm on February 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this

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