22 August 2014

Fun Factory Cobra Libre II


In late June Fun Factory quietly put out a press release announcing a new updated model of their vibrating male masturbator, the Cobra Libre II, and it finally found its way into this month's edition of ETO magazine where I read all about it. Amidst all my eagerness to find out how they'd improved it I was lucky enough to be sent a unit by Fun Factory to review.

I reviewed the original Cobra Libre back at the start of 2013, and my views on it were largely positive, but I did have a few niggling complaints about things such as the temperamental touch-sensitive buttons, and it appears that these have been addressed in the new version, so it should be interesting to put it to the test.

Last year also saw the release of the Pulse by Hot Octopus, the first direct rival to the Cobra Libre, so it looks like we're in for a three-way comparison, with the old, the new, and the competitor all being weighed against each other.

As always, check out the review below.

On the surface the Cobra Libre II has changed very little from its predecessor, still sporting that iconic design based loosely on the 1960s British car the AC Cobra. In fact the only noticeable change is the addition of three shiny new buttons on the top, which replace the old touchpad controls, and I rather prefer this tweak to the appearance. Aside from this the outer shell remains largely identical, both in style and proportion, leading one to believe that the real changes lie under the bonnet, so to speak.

The Cobra Libre is the most "gadgety" of male sex toys that I've encountered. Not only does it look sleek and stylish, designed specifically to resemble a piece of technology that wouldn't look out of place on a desk, rather than a crude facsimile of an orifice, but it also devotes its energy to bringing the user to climax in an entirely unconventional manner. The Cobra Libre was the original vibrating toy for men, back when all the alternatives involved thrusting, and it stimulates the penis exclusively through the use of two powerful motors mounted within it.

The Cobra Libre II is made largely from a solid ABS plastic, while the area at the front into which the penis is inserted is made from a soft pliable silicone, which is great for both comfort and hygiene purposes. The toy comes in a choice of two different colour combinations, down from the four variants which existed of the original model. There's an entirely black version, or a red and black version, and luckily I received that latter so it matches my older version.

The opening of the Cobra Libre II is roughly 1 1/2" in diameter, which isn't huge but should be sufficient to accommodate most men when inserting the tip of their penis, and the pliableness in the top portion of the silicone aids with this. The inner channel of the Cobra Libre II has the strange oddly-shaped configuration that I struggled to understand in the original model, and the initial diameter of 1 1/2" only extends to a depth of around 3/4" before the material at the bottom takes on a stepped-shape which reduces the height of the opening by over half, and then the rest of the cavity continues at this size. The explanation according to the Fun Factory website is that the interior shape of the toy is designed to expose the glans "through the so-called 'crowding out' effect." Perhaps something is lost in translation but this description doesn't really mean anything to me, so I feel none the wiser. It also states that the silicone is intended to snugly hug the glans of the penis, which is something I can't deny. Because of the unusual shape of the cavity it's difficult to get much more than the head of the penis inside it, despite it having a total depth of around 3", and in the process the snug fit tends to squeeze all of the blood out of the spongy glans, leaving it rather shrunken and deflated. I included a few photos on my previous review of me demonstrating this with a with a modestly-sized dildo, and I may recreate them again here at some point.

In order to use the Cobra Libre II you'll require some water-based lubricant to eliminate any friction between the silicone and the delicate skin of the penis. I found that it's easier to apply the lube directly to the inside of the toy rather than to the penis itself, to avoid unnecessarily lubing too much of the shaft. Once the penis is inside the toy as far as you can get it it feels like a reasonably tight fit, with the head being squashed between the firmer bottom half and the thin silicone flap at the top. There are two ways you can have your penis inserted into it, either by using the toy in a seated position with the penis pointing forwards, or when lying on your back with the penis pointing towards you and the Cobra Libre resting on your stomach. Of the two options the former seems like the one which was intended primarily, as in that configuration the frenulum rests on a slightly raised point inside, thus applying additional pressure there.

The Cobra Libre II is operated by 3 all new buttons on the top of the device. The "Fun" button turns the toy on when pressed for half a second, and turns the toy off once more when held again for the same length of time. The toy starts up not at the lowest setting but at a medium vibration, but this can be quickly reduced by pressing the '-' button once or twice to take the device into one of two slower training modes. To increase the power of the Cobra Libre the '+' button is pressed, and by using these two buttons it's incredibly simple to cycle up and down through all the different modes. In total the Cobra Libre II has 11 different modes: 2 slow training modes, 3 constant modes of incrementally increasing strength, 3 vibrating patterns of gradual increasing and decreasing intensity known as the slalom modes, and 3 free form patterns known as the rock 'n' roll modes.

The buttons are a vast improvement over the touchpad on the original Cobre Libre model. They give you tactical feedback when you push them, so you know that you've actually selected a change in mode, the device automatically responds when you use them, and you can't accidentally hit one by mistake and ruin what you were doing. I can't tell you how many times I accidentally turned on my old Cobra Libre when I had it out to compare with the new. It makes me so glad that they decided to make the change. It's also incredibly easy to use the button locking feature on the new device. You hold down "Fun" and '-' for half a second and it locks the buttons, perfect for travelling when you don't want anything starting to rumble unexpectedly in your luggage, and you hold down "Fun" and '+' for another half a second to reactivate the buttons once you're ready to use it again.

Once you've got to grips with the basics of the toy, and are ready to use it, the Cobra Libre II is actually a very impressive piece of equipment. It's powered by two strong motors which sit within the body of the toy, one at the rear and one in the middle. These are both intense rumbly motors, but one seemingly more so than the other, causing them to vibrate at different frequencies and slightly out of rhythm. The motors have been significantly upgraded since the original Cobre Libre, and when you have them side by side it's immediately apparent how much stronger the new ones are. It's a little like comparing the purring of a pussycat to the growl of a tiger.

When you first turn the device on it immediately throws you in at the deep end with quite a strong rumbling sensation working away at the underside of the penis. If you're already quite aroused then it's a bit like "whoa!" and it can take you by surprise, so it's good that you can quickly switch down into the training mode and give yourself a chance to become accustomed to the sensation before you explode ahead of schedule. It's a stark contrast to how the old model starts with a very low and mellow vibration, but it's evidence of how far they're gone in overhauling the motors.

At the lowest level of the training mode you get quite a light and pleasant sensation, and the vibrations focus along the underside of the penis all around the sensitive frenulum, giving a gentle tickling and titillating feeling, which could probably be sustained indefinitely without ever inducing climax. As you get more and more used to it you can start to crank up the power to the higher settings, and this increased intensity brings with it a more and more pleasurable feeling which you can gradually sustain for longer and enjoy whilst still not having an orgasm. The highest power level of the constant vibrations is really quite strong, and easily enough to make you climax by itself, so if you want to get the full enjoyment out of the toy then it's best to skip over it at the beginning to allow an opportunity to play around with some of the patterns. I did a little experiment with the two Cobra Libres to determine just how effective this new increase in power actually was. One of the things I found about the original device was that I couldn't always orgasm from it, especially if I'd been engaging in traditional masturbation beforehand. On those occasions there just wasn't enough power to send me over the edge, so I engineered a situation like that, and sat there using the original for a good 20 minutes on the highest setting to see if it could make me cum. When it failed I switched to the Cobra Libre II, and I'm happy to report that in 5 minutes or so the new motors had got the job done.

In contrast to this I must say that the Cobra Libre II still doesn't feel quite as powerful to me as the Pulse by Hot Octopus, but they do employ quite different technology. The Pulse's oscillating "Pulse Plate" sits right up at the surface of the toy, pressed against the frenulum, and delivers all its power directly into it with great intensity. The motors of the Cobra Libre II on the other hand are buried deeper within the device, rumbling powerfully like the focus of an earthquake, while the vibrations have to travel up to the surface to find the penis lying over the epicentre. Both are strong and effective, but you experience them rather differently, and of the two the Pulse is the one which feels more full on.

As well as the increasing power of the constant vibrations, the Cobra Libre II does of course have the 6 different patterned modes to offer. Unlike with the original Cobra Libre the patterns are all quite distinctive and much easier to differentiate from one another, but they're still not particularly easy to explain so again I'll include a scan of the pamphlet.


I must say that I like the patterns on the Cobra Libre II a whole lot more than those of its predecessor, in fact I was pretty "blah" about the patterns altogether on the old model, but I actually enjoy using these ones. The sensations from each are actually different enough that it's worth trying them out, and exploring with them. I can even say definitively that I have a favourite one. There's a pattern which gives the sensation of a massaging kneading action being applied to the head of the penis. The two motors work in such a way that it feels as though something is rolling over the underside of the glans, starting at the tip and working its way down. It's really rather nice. The only downside is that during the patterns the vibrations aren't actually strong enough to make me climax, no matter how long I use them for, so I tend to think of them as like a little playground to mess around in for a while. It can be useful whilst watching porn, so you get this constant level of pleasurable stimulation throughout the 20 minute scene, and then you can switch to the full power of the constant mode at the end when you're ready to finish up. It's all about how you want to use it really, the patterns are a bit like foreplay with your sex toy, slowly drawing out the experience over a greater length of time.

One of the positive changes about the Cobra Libre II is that I get a much more consistent experience with it than I did with the original. Over the two weeks I've been testing it it's never failed to make me climax, and that's not something I could say about the first model. It used to be a bit touch and go whether the toy would be able to give enough to just push me over the edge, but the Cobra Libre II works every time, and I think that's an important feature of a sex toy, especially one in this price range.

Once you've mastered your preferred technique for using the toy then you'll be very happy with the result, because the vibrating stimulation can produce some very strong orgasms, especially if you edge with it by continually adjusting the power to prolong the experience. The way the Cobra Libre operates allows you to be stimulated without clenching the PC muscle in the process, so it seems to build up much more tension in that area, and when it's finally released the muscle will spasm giving a powerful orgasmic sensation. Climaxing in this manner feels quite different, and is definitely worth experiencing first hand.

When you're done with the Cobra Libre for the day, clean up is made so much easier by the fact that the toy is waterproof. You just need to be careful not to spill anything on your way to the sink, because fluid is rather prone to drip out the front of the mouth. Some sort of reservoir in the back might have helped. You can just wash it with antibacterial soap and some hot water, but you can also sterilise the silicone part by wiping out the inside with a mild 10% bleach solution. As well as the toy being completely waterproof, thanks to improvements with the button design the Cobra Libre II can actually be used underwater now, in a way which the old model could not.

The only real downside to the Cobra Libre II is that it's now much more noisy than it used to be. Where the old model used the hum quite softly, the new one really kicks out a good old roar and rattle. It's clearly a consequence of the new motors, but it's also a little unfortunate if you're looking for something exceptionally discreet, but still I doubt it could be heard through a door or partition wall, and it's a little less noisy than the Pulse too.

The Cobra Libre is a rechargeable toy, and it comes supplied with a "Click 'n' Charge" magnetic adaptor. The end of the cable clips onto the two little metal electrodes protruding from back of the toy, and it stays in place quite securely. The new charging cables have a USB connector, so you'll need to plug it into a PC unless you have an adaptor, or alternatively you can use one of the older "Click 'n' Charge" connectors if you own one. The buttons on the toy light up and flash in a different sequence to indicate how charged the battery is, so you can track its progress, and all the lights go out when it's full.

Overall I'd have to say that I'm really impressed by all the improvements made to the Cobra Libre II. It's a far better toy now then the original, and well deserving of its price tag. The buttons are fantastically easy to use, the vibrations are truly powerful and consistently satisfying, and the patterns are now a joy to use. The only real drawback is that extra noise, but honestly it's liveable. Vibrating toys such as the Cobra Libre II offer an entirely new type of masturbation for men; something which feels pleasurable, intense, and which delivers great orgasms. I'm so happy that Fun Factory decided to update this toy, and I'd recommend that any man tries it out.

The Cobra Libre II is currently available from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: Lovehoney UK

North America: Lovehoney USA

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