Isabel brings her unique blend of humour, curiosity and honesty to the still-taboo subject of sexuality. This is a brave, funny and often vulnerable quest to find out how we can make our sex life blissful.
On behalf of all women, slightly terrified, beginning with a women’s workshop where she has to get naked; Isabel journeys through the first international conference of clitoral stroking, is informed of eleven different forms of orgasm - ten of which she hasn’t had, endures NHS Kegel exercises and mystical sensations with tantric masters.
Irreverent yet open minded, ‘Sensation’ is both moving and challenging. For anyone who has ever been tempted to dip their toes in the the deep waters of sexual exploration, Isabel Losada plunges you straight in.
Under The Skin with Russell Brand
Author Isabel Losada joins Russell Brand to discuss the importance of making our sex life blissful, as well as her experiences at the international conference of clitoral stroking, and learning mystical sensations with tantric masters. Listen here
Read below for the full length reviews
Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
Let’s talk about sex. No, not that kind of sex. Not the kind of Christian Grey, multi-positioning screaming sex with props that ‘everyone else’ is apparently having. Let’s talk instead about the much more important, deeply nourishing, ‘normal’ sex we could ALL be having if we brought more honesty to the bedside table.
This kind of sex talk is the point of Isabel Losada’s nakedly frank and frankly nakedly necessary new book, “Sensation: Adventures With Life, Love and Pleasure”. The subjects which really matter – birth, sex and death – she rightly points out, “all happen behind closed doors”. And when it comes to sex, the letters she receives tell her that behind so many closed bedroom doors, there is untold misery and unhappiness. So many of us, she says, have somehow got into a state of estrangement from our natural selves, “our connection with all that lives and breathes” broken. In the face of so much of the wrong kind of sex talk, feelings of bodily inadequacy are now rife too (vaginal surgery is the fastest growing area of cosmetic surgery, FFS). Is it any wonder then that so many couples are sexually estranged, failing even to be affectionate with one another?
Having written about happiness – a subject about which she is “passionately inquisitive” - for ten years, Losada realised that sexual happiness has been a glaring omission from her work. And so, in the entertaining vein of her previous books such as “The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment” and “ForTibet, With Love”, she once again puts herself in the frontline on our behalf, and sets out to investigate ways in which we might both enhance our sexual pleasure, and draw closer in intimacy to our chosen partners.
She leaves no stone unturned… or should I say, unturned-on. She attends Tantric Sex Workshops, both solo and with her willing accomplice male partner, P. She delves into Orgasmic Meditation and explores the potential of clitoral stroking and ‘yoni’ massage and healing to enhance sexual awareness between partners. She discovers that there are 11 types of orgasm (10 of which she hasn’t had), but also that sex is about so much more than orgasm. The mind might boggle and the jaw might drop, but it’s all in the vital cause of challenging what we really want and need to be happy. What is the difference between attraction and desire? Why are women so often so passive when it comes to creating the right kind of sex lives for themselves? How would it be if we lived in a world where being appropriate is not considered better than being honest?
This is an honest book, with the honest word “clitoris” in the first line. If you shy away from that, maybe you need to ask yourself why. It always amazes me that people seem quite comfortable reading the graphic descriptions of brutal murder and horrific torture that are now commonplace in crime novels, but try and get people to read candidly about sex and you’ll find yourself needing to mount (ahem) a “Lady Chatterley” scale defence of your motives every time.
If Losada’s quest takes you out of your comfort zone, you can of course look away now. But what none of us can afford to look away from is what current divorce rates, the prevalence of infidelity and widespread relationship discontent are telling us about the difficulties we so often seem to have in maintaining high quality loving relationships, with a happy level of humanly necessary intimacy. As Losada puts it, “Good sex is something that brings beauty, positive energy and love into your life”.
Celia Morris, Erotic Review Magazine
Searching for sexual pleasure...
I wouldn’t call myself sexually illiterate, but I would say that, over the past year, my view of sex has been on a one-track journey. For me, love doesn’t necessarily come into it. Trust does, kink does, pleasure does. But not love. I knew, then, that reading Sensation would challenge me – this is not a book that was going to tell me what’s hot about being whipped, and why it’s fine to have one night stands with people you feel little to no connection with. For me, those are safe topics. Isabel Losada’s delving into the relation between sex and spirituality, her focus on slow, purposeful exploration, and her self-professed, charming fascination with human happiness, all have me holding Sensation as if it’s a bomb about to go off.
And indeed, there are moments throughout where I feel my hackles rising. How can Losada claim she is ‘going to find out every single thing I can about sexuality’, and then immediately dismiss any sex that isn’t vanilla – the flavour she says to be ‘the best’? How is this book supposed to enlighten me about my sexuality, or help me have better sex, when it seems to have so little interest in the things I consider to be basic requirements? I.e, the things that turn me on.
But I am so taken in by Losada’s voice – her honesty, her humour, and her bravery in writing something so removed from her comfort zone – that I shove my doubts aside. I want, despite initial misgivings, to hear what she has to say. And, in the end, Sensation is one of the few non-fiction books I have ever found absolutely compulsive reading. For one thing, Losada turns out to be just as sceptical as I am. For almost every twinge of ‘Really though?’ that I experience, she is revealed to be one step ahead, answering my questions before I even have them fully formed.
As she dives into the world of orgasmic meditation, or OM – a practice that stems from Buddhism and involves 15 intense minutes between one person’s clit and another’s finger – I begin to feel as if I’m witnessing Losada’s accidental initiation into a cult. She stays in an ‘OM house’ and attends lectures full of ecstatic, orgasmic people with hearts in their eyes, and I wonder whether this is less a book generally about sex, than a tribute to the single practice that is OM. But then, characteristically, she anticipates me: ‘before you decide that it really is a cult and I’ve been totally brainwashed…’
Losada’s writing makes you feel that she is standing right over your shoulder. Never once in this book does she abandon you, but carries you securely with her on a journey that she has undertaken with admirable objectivity. It might be hard for me to relate to the things she enjoys during and about sex, but the ultimate message of Sensation is universal, and so, so invigorating: pleasure is for everyone. No one is too damaged and it is never too late.
If you find yourself eyeing a copy of Sensation as if it’s going to jump off the shelf and bite you: take it home. You are more like its author than you think, and this is exactly what you should be reading.