Sex Toys

Penis Vibrators Are Here And They Will Change Your Life

This isn’t primarily a sex toy blog, but every once in a while I stumble across toys that completely challenge my way of thinking about sex. Penis vibrators are a genre of toy that I’ve been curious about for a while, but mostly I was skeptical – after all, my right hand has gotten the job done admirably for my entire life – but when I was offered the chance to take two vibrators for a test-drive, I figured I’d see what all the hubbub was about.

As it turns out, they’re revolutionary – and not for the reasons I expected.

I tried out the Hot Octopuss Pulse II SOLO and the Fun Factory Cobra Libre II, and as far as I know those are the only vibrators designed specifically for penises. Though they’re actually quite different technologically, both operate under the same general premise: deep vibrations against the frenulum of the penis lead to orgasm – crazy-powerful, taint-shaking orgasms.

The Hot Octopuss Pulse II SOLO

The Fun Factory Cobra Libre II

The Fun Factory Cobra Libre II









So, do they work? Yes… and no.

The first time I used the Cobra Libre, it took me over forty-five minutes (!!) to orgasm. For reference, when I use my hands it can take as little as thirty seconds. And it wasn’t even particularly enjoyable at first. In fact, it wasn’t much of anything. It was just vibration. Basically, if you’ve got a penis and you’re used to masturbating with your hands, these toys might feel pretty boring at first, especially the Cobra Libre, which produces a much more subtle sensation than the Hot Octopuss.

After about twenty minutes with the Cobra Libre, I began to think that I simply wasn’t aroused enough, so I found some porn to watch in the hopes that it would make things feel better. Since I was nowhere near orgasming, I didn’t scrub through to the hottest scenes or the sexiest position (which is what I usually do when I’m masturbating) – I just positioned the toy on my penis and watched the porn from the beginning, waiting to see if anything would happen.

Still nothing. And then, just as I was about to shut my computer and deem the toy useless, one of the porn actors moaned, “I’m going to cum!”

And then I came. No warning except a few peremptory pulses, and then unexpected ejaculation.

I was confused. Usually, set the pace of my sexual experiences by touching myself in different ways. If I want something to last for half an hour, I masturbate slowly and take lots of pauses. If I want it to last for five minutes, I masturbate rapidly. Either way, I’d never been in a situation where I had such little physical control over what would make me orgasm and when. 

Even stranger was the fact that it was apparently the porn which had caused me to orgasm, not the toy. Obviously the Cobra Libre had contributed, since watching porn with no physical stimulation doesn’t tend to induce spontaneous ejaculation, but my orgasm fell at the exact moment that the actors in the porn were orgasming. Surely that wasn’t a coincidence?

[GIF: An old white guy from the movie "Airplane" saying, "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."]

It wasn’t a coincidence. And don’t call me Shirley.

I decided to test it out again. This time, I didn’t watch a full scene of porn. Instead, I started a few minutes away from the actors’ orgasms and relaxed into the vibrations. Sure enough, as soon as the actors ejaculated, so did I. Like clockwork.

To say that this felt like a revelation was an understatement. I’ve been telling my students, “The brain is your largest sexual organ,” since I started teaching, but a part of me never really registered what that meant. See, people with penises generally associate orgasming with two motions: stroking or humping. These are both really big, energetic movements, at least compared with the vibrations of the Hot Octopuss and the Cobra Libre, so it’s easy to make the connection between those motions and orgasming without realizing that sex is equal parts mental and physical. In other words, stroking and humping are the motions that usually tell our brains, “Time to ejaculate!” We’re not primed to orgasm from vibration – at least, not yet.

After using the Hot Octopuss and the Cobra Libre for a couple of months, I’ve come to love them both – and both of them love to make me come. But it took a concerted effort to train my brain into believing that “vibration” meant “sexy time.” In fact, I decided to stop masturbating with my hands for two weeks and only used the vibrators in order to speed the process along. During that week, I found that I had to focus intensely on relaxing my body and pay close attention to what was going on in my genitals. If I tried too hard to orgasm or simply “checked out” and waited for something to happen, I would inevitably get frustrated and lose my erection. But if I let myself roll with the vibrations and experience them as pleasurable on their own, I would have no trouble reaching climax.

[Animation: Jake the Dog from Aventuretime with his arms moving in a wave motion]

Ride the waves, man.

Essentially, your ability to orgasm from penis vibration depends entirely on your willingness to change how you experience pleasure. Penis vibrators create a more passive, context-dependent erotic experience – something that penis owners have never had access to. And that’s amazing, because it brings us a teeny, tiny bit closer to understanding the sexual experiences of people with clits! It forces us to move our concept of sex away from a series of big, mechanical movements and towards more subtle, internal sensations.

So – which should you buy: The Cobra Libre II or the Hot Octopuss Pulse II SOLO? The answer depends. Both are extremely high-quality toys that are made of premium silicone and are waterproof for easy cleaning. Both of them benefit from a little bit of lube to avoid unpleasant pulling and tugging sensations, but be sure to use oil or water-based lube, since silicone-based lube will damage these toys.

If you want to orgasm more quickly and powerfully, the Hot Octopuss is your toy. It’s actually not technically a vibrator – it’s an oscillator, which essentially means that it produces a much more intense sensation than normal vibrations. This is medical-grade technology that, when used correctly, can make you orgasm even if you’re physically unable to get erections. Once I got used to it, the Hot Octopuss was so good at what it did that it consistently made me orgasm in less than a minute. Actually, it’s almost comical how easily I orgasm with this toy – often I’m not expecting it at all when I come. The toy has multiple vibration patterns, but I almost always find that the normal, consistent vibration is what works for me.

In general, the Hot Octopuss is a little annoying for me to handle – the buttons are hard to press and I sometimes struggle to position the toy correctly. I’ve heard people say that you can just slide the toy into position and let it run, but I had to press my penis down onto the vibrating disc in order to feel anything exciting. This is tricky, because if you press too hard, the toy can’t function and the vibrations will stop altogether.

If you want to buy the Hot Octopuss, it retails for $99 here.

If you want a slower, more erotic experience, the Cobra Libre II is for you. The Cobra Libre is interesting because it envelops the head of the penis rather than sliding along the shaft. This creates a strange, hybrid feeling of insertion and vibration, which I really liked. The vibrations are much, much subtler than the Hot Octopuss, though, so it takes longer to really warm up to this toy. It has about a billion vibration settings, though, each of which evokes a distinctly different sensation. I actually enjoy cycling through them and seeing what feels good on a given day.

Like the Hot Octopuss, the Cobra Libre II is a little unwieldy. The buttons are actually really easy to use, but it’s hard to figure out the best way to position it, and you definitely can’t just put it in place and let it go.

If you want to by the Cobra Libre II, it retails for $129.99 here.


  1. Kiwi

    Really awesome article! Just as I was wondering the same things about your descriptions, you came to the conclusion yourself: one step closer to clit orgasms. Love the combination of physical review and the conclusions you draw across the board. You’ve got a unique writing voice and your review is excellent!

    1. Noah Post author

      Thank you so much! Yeah, I think it’s really fascinating to look at the assumptions we make about what sex IS based on the physical actions we’re used to using during sex. I kind of wish I’d drawn more of a connection to clitoral orgasms, especially because these toys might be important for trans folk with penises.

  2. Pingback: Everybody’s Doing It | Vulva, Ink.

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