23 January 2013

Fun Factory Cobra Libre


This following review is for a discontinued product, and remains for reference only.

Please read my review of the NEW Fun Factory Cobra Libre II


The old review continues below.


It's been a long time coming but my review of the Fun Factory Cobra Libre is finally here. I've wanted one of these unique masturbators for a while now and I finally acquired one last year, but unfortunately it was faulty so I waited a little while before replacing it. Now that I have one in fully working order you can read my verdict after the jump!

The Cobra Libre is a masturbator unlike any other because it relies solely on vibrations to stimulate the penis. Like many men I'm a fan of using standard vibrators on my penis, such as my beloved We-Vibe Salsa and the wonderful Rocks Off RO-140mm Soft Tip, so I was really intrigued by the idea of a handsfree vibrating device designed specifically for men.

I've heard several people say that the design of the Cobra Libre reminds them of a race car, but to my eye it bears more resemblance to a small whale, though you need to flip it upside down to get the full benefit of this. You can just make out the wide mouth at the front with the narrow throat, the bulbous main part of the body, and the stubby T-shaped section at the rear which looks like a tail.

The Cobra Libre is made largely from a solid ABS plastic, while the area into which the penis is inserted is made from a soft silicone. The toy comes in a variety of colour combinations, and I picked the option of black plastic and red silicone. The opening of the Cobra Libre is roughly 1 1/2" in diameter, which isn't a huge but should be sufficient to accommodate most men inserting the tip of their penis, and the pliableness in the top part of the silicone aids this. Inside the opening the Cobra Libre has a rather odd shape, 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 step-shape which reduces the height of the opening by over half, and then the rest of the cavity continues at this size. The internal shape doesn't make a great deal of sense, and makes it quite awkward to get the penis inside it properly, as I've tried demonstrate with a modestly-sized dildo below. Despite the interior having a total depth of around 3" it's actually almost impossible to get much more than the head of the penis inside, and in order to do even this you'll find that all of the blood will be forced out of the spongy glans in the process, leaving it shrunken and deflated.


In order to use the Cobra Libre you'll require some water-based lubricant, else the skin will catch on the silicone and you won't be able to get inside it. It's easier to apply some to the inside of the toy rather than to the penis, otherwise you'll just end up unnecessarily lubing the entire 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, as in that configuration the frenulum rests on a slightly raised point inside, thus applying additional pressure there.

The Cobra Libre is operated by 3 buttons on the top of the device. The bottom button turns the toy on when pressed for a couple of seconds, instantly reduces the toy to its lowest setting when tapped briefly, and turns the toy off once more when again pressed for a couple of seconds. This button contains a blue light which illuminates when the toy is on, and flashes when the settings are changed. The upper right button is used to increase the strength of the vibrations, and it does so incrementally each time it's pressed. Once the maximum intensity is reached further pressing of the button will begin to cycle through the vibration patterns. The upper left button is used to decrease the strength of vibrations, but the strength cannot be altered whilst the toy is running a pattern, so as soon as you press the left button the pattern ends and it returns to constant vibration mode. The buttons themselves are some of the most unusual I've encountered in a sex toy, and unfortunately I don't mean that in a good way. They use a touch-pad design which is very unpredictable and not always as responsive as you'd like it to be. There have been multiple occasions where I've been tapping away at the buttons, trying to get something to change, and the toy has acknowledged none of it, and other occasions where I've accidentally brushed one of the buttons very lightly and it's completely wrecked the setting that I had it tuned to. What I really dislike about the buttons is the lack of feedback; there's nothing to depress, and no click to confirm that you've actually interacted with something. This was especially frustrating with my first model which arrived broken, as I had no idea why nothing was happening due to the lack of feedback from the buttons. The buttons really aren't great, but after a while of using it you do start to learn little habits and get a knack for making it respond correctly in the majority of circumstances, so it's not all bad.

When it actually comes to using the toy - once you've inserted yourself successfully and figured out the controls - the Cobra Libre is actually quite an impressive piece of equipment. I'd read quite a few mixed reviews before I decided to take the plunge and order one; some were singing its praises from the rafters, while others were saying that it really did nothing for them, and I've actually had both experiences. It took me quite a few sessions of testing it to get to the bottom of this, but I think I've figured out why. Before we go into all that it's worth a basic run down of how it works first. The Cobra Libre is 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 quite intense rumbly motors, but one more so than the other, causing them to vibrate at different frequencies and slightly out of rhythm. When you first turn the device on it starts at the lowest level with only one motor operating, and this feels like quite a light sensation and a pleasant introduction. It's also quite quiet at this point. The vibrations seem largely to be focussed along the underside of the penis, so you feel them all along the sensitive frenulum, though some also travel through the silicone across the top to fully envelop the head. As you start to crank up the power the other motor kicks in, and they both begin to vibrate more strongly in unison. The highest power level is really quite strong, and enough to make you climax by itself, but it's great just to play around with the strengths and ramp it up and down for a while, especially while you're watching porn or something. Towards the top end of the power scale it does get quite noisy, and someone may hear it through a closed door. After you've played with the power you have the patterns to choose from, and these are quite interesting. Each motor vibrates independently, so the patterns involve them simultaneously following different sequences. There really seems to be a lot going on at once with the patterns, to the point that I can't really differentiate them. They don't seem vastly asimilar from one another, none stands out as the one that I like the most, nor could I really attempt to accurately count them. I'm not great at trying to describe patters, but luckily the enclosed information pamphlet has diagrams, so I've included a scanned copy below. The patterns can be fun to sample, but they're not really my favourite thing; I expected to like them a whole lot more, but most of the time I find myself sticking with the constant vibrations.


What I discovered about the Cobra Libre is that what you get out of it depends greatly on how you use it. The first time I ever tried it I warmed up first with a little regular masturbation, then I put my penis inside it and began to try out all the various settings. The vibrations seemed nice to me, but try as I might I just couldn't orgasm with it. I almost ran down the battery in the process and I ended up feeling gravely disappointed. For a brief moment I felt that I could fully relate to women who buy vibrators that don't do anything for them, and that sense of frustration they must feel after all that build up and no release. The very least you expect from a toy, especially an expensive one, is that it will get you off, so I wasn't too happy, but at least I had my hand to fall back on. The next time I used the Cobra Libre was a completely difference experience altogether; as soon as I had an erection I popped it straight into the toy with no prior touching and it made an amazing difference. On this occasion the vibrations felt as though they were having a far greater impact. Rather than merely being a tingling sensation which felt enjoyable over the head of my penis, this sensation was enough to steadily build me upwards orgasm, and I even had to turn the power down at some points in order to forestall that event. The contrast between that and sitting there prior with it turned to max and getting nowhere is quite stark. It would seem that the body almost learns from whatever stimulation you start with, and when you switch to something else the body can't adapt to it immediately, and suddenly that alternate method is no longer effective. Because of this you get a variety of options regarding how and when you decide to use the Cobra Libre during your play, either alone or with a partner, and all to different effects. Use it at the start, in the middle, or at the end, and the resulting experience won't be the same.

Once you've mastered your preferred technique for using the toy I can safely say that it produces some of the strongest orgasms I've ever experienced. If you edge with the Cobra Libre, continually adjusting the power to prolong the experience, then by the time you finally do allow yourself to climax it will be intense and explosive. Some of my orgasms came with such force that I thought I might have strained something. 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 it's like opening the floodgates. It's one of those sensations that every man needs to experience for himself 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. Even though the toy is waterproof it can't actually be used in water because of those pesky buttons again. They're not designed to function when wet, so unfortunately bath time fun isn't on the cards.

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 "Fun" part of the company logo which is formed out of metal on the back of the toy, and it stays in place quite securely. I found it best to put the toy on the edge of a table whilst charging, to allow the cable to hang downwards completely, else it sits at a weird angle and can interfere with the connexion. The blue operations light on the power button illuminates during charging, letting you know that everything's working.

Overall I'd have to say that despite the flaws with the Cobra Libre, including the buttons and the weird shape of the interior, it's actually a really great toy. Using the Cobra Libre introduces an entirely new type of masturbation for men; something which feels truly pleasurable, intense, and which delivers great orgasms. I'd love to see Fun Factory come up with an updated version, but until then I'd still be happy to recommend the Cobra Libre to anyone.

The Cobra Libre is available from these fine retailers:

UK & Europe: Simply Pleasure.

North America: NiteTimeToys.

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