Episode 3: First tase of OneTaste™: Meet Nicole Halpern

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In this episode, Nicole Halpern, a well known personality in the OneTaste community, relates the story of how she first came to the urban retreat center dedicated to sensuality. In 2004, on the way to a political meeting, Nicole spotted OneTaste’s corner building on Folsom Street and decided to go in, not having any idea what she was walking into. Soon after, she took her first sensuality workshop. Her experience was so powerful that a short time later, she moved in to become the organization’s course enrollment manager. Halpern tells her story in such a way that listeners will be taken by her honesty, her willingness to step into the unknown and the sense of humor with which she did it.


First taste of OneTaste™: Meet Nicole Halpern

Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.


Bob G.: Hello and welcome to a Taste of Sex, a reality audio show on life in an orgasm based community. This series is peek into the private lives of orgasmic practitioners at One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco, California.

One Taste is a business founded with the intention to bring conscious sensuality into the mainstream. It’s also a growing community, currently of about 50 people, all of whom pursue the practice of orgasmic meditation.

In this episode, we will hear about the sensual journey of Nicole Halpern, One Taste’s enrollment manager. Tune in and turn on.


Bob G.: In this episode we will hear from Nicole Halpern, a well known personality at One Taste. She speaks about her first sensual experiences at the urban retreat center and her sex life before she arrived. We’ll also hear from two people who were there when she first walked through the doors, Robert Kandall and Joshua.


Nicole Halpern: It’s 2004. I’m totally swept up in the election fever. I had flown to Arizona some time in September to do campaign work for Howard Dean. I wound up creating a political organization for women to really stand up and learn more about how they can get involved in the process.

I remember going to see Hillary Clinton. I was involved. And at the time, I was also producing an environmental radio show. Here I was doing my political work, doing my environmental work, living in San Francisco at the time.

One day I’m off to my political meeting. And instead of walking down 7th Street, I start walking down 6th Street. I don’t know why. I just did. I’ve always walked down 7th Street going to this political meeting.

I turn. I’m on Folsom, and I pass this purple building. I remember walking past the door and thinking, oh, it looks like it’s a hair salon. I remember walking past what I thought was the hair salon, and in this moment thinking I should go in there. I don’t know where it came from. It was just like, I should go in there.

Robert Kandall: She walked in the door, and we didn’t have a lot of visitors at that time. So we were always happy to see someone new, especially someone as pretty and bright and energized as she was when she first walked in.

She walked in in this inquisitive manner that also seemed like she owned the place. She walked in and she just looked at all of us, and she actually recognized one of the women at the table. There was that lock of acknowledgement and knowing who they were.

And she said, what is this place? Or something in that manner. Is this a hair studio? And we’re like, well, not exactly.

Nicole Halpern: And they’re telling me how there’s a yoga class coming up, and I’m like, I have some time. I don’t have any yoga clothes. They offer their yoga clothes. They have extra yoga clothes around and they offer them to me.

And I remember this feeling. The energy was beautiful. Just in the way the people were friendly, but not in some, I’m going to say dorky, way. Just friendly and open and I felt like, yeah, these are my people. I actually had that feeling.

So I wound up taking a yoga class. There were about four of us in it. In the middle of the yoga class, I got really hot. I decided I was going to take off my shirt and just go in my bra.

Robert Kandall: She took off her shirt and did the yoga class in her bra only, which was pretty fun. We thought, oh, maybe we’ve found one of ours.

Nicole Halpern: And no one had a problem with it. So there I was, doing this yoga class in my bra. Soon after, the yoga class ended, and I had to fill out an intake form. And on the intake form it was like, check here if you’re interested in massage, check here if you’re interested in yoga. And I remember checking them all, and then stating, I want it all.

I moved when I was in eighth grade. When I went to another school, I felt really shy. Everyone had known each other their whole lives, and I was the new kid. So I especially felt shy around men. I hadn’t had a lot of sexual experiences.

Then I went to college and I had more sexual experiences. But I always remember feeling. I would make out with someone. I would make out with a guy, and I wouldn’t know him before I made out with him. So I would see him the next day and totally ignore him, because it felt so intimate. Then I would pull back.

Then there was some other guy I dated for a few months who I liked. But we never had sex. So I graduated from college and I still had never had sex. I just didn’t feel like I was ready for it.

Then, when I was 24 years old, I took the Landmark Forum, and I saw how there was this ongoing conversation in my head. That I don’t feel like my parents have a good relationship, and I’ll never be able to have a good relationship with a man. That was running every relationship that I had.

There was this moment when I was in this course and I saw that conversation. And I said, that’s not the case. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. And Monday, after the course, I was a different person. About two months later, I finally had sex.

After that I had sex with probably seven or eight different men. But I always did feel like I wanted more. I wanted more in my sex life. I remember always feeling this energy inside of me.

I remember masturbating a lot. Just all this energy. I remember being a little kid and masturbating. Being a three year old and bouncing on a lunchbox so that I could get off. And I did. I went over.

And there’s always this feeling. I want more. I want more. I want more from the men I was dating. I want more. But how do I tap into that? That’s why I’m here.

Bob G.: You’re listening to a Taste of Sex, a reality show on life in an orgasm based community. We’ll be back after a short break to hear Nicole Halpern speak more about her first experiences at One Taste.


Announcer: Listen to a Taste of Sex guest speaker interviews. A companion program to the weekly audio show Life in an Orgasm Based Community, on personallifemedia.com. Push into the unknown with visiting sexperts at One Taste San Francisco, on personallifemedia.com.


Nicole Halpern: I wound up taking the opening course, which is our Introduction to Sensuality, our introduction to our practice of orgasmic meditation. The class where you start really looking at your desires. I was in this all day course, and I remember not understanding a word of what was said half the time.

I remember seeing a demonstration of a woman in orgasm for 15 minutes and having so many things come up. I didn’t want to do the lab part at the end of the day. We actually do the practice. And so I told my partner, who was Josh, who is still here. I told him, I don’t really want to do this with you. I don’t really know you.

Up until that point, having someone stroke my pussy, someone who I wasn’t dating or wasn’t attracted to, touch me, felt very off. I remember telling him I didn’t want to do it. And he just replied, you know what? If you want, I could just give you a massage.

So I remember him starting to give me a massage. Then in the background I heard this woman, Kristin. I could hear her getting off. I could hear her moaning. And I remember thinking, oh, the person she’s with isn’t her boyfriend.

And in that moment, I thought, I want that. I want to get off. There’s all this built up energy inside me and I want that. And I remember Josh asking me….

Joshua: Are you worried about what people will think of you? And she said yes. And it was very soon after that that she said, OK. I don’t remember the exact words, but to paraphrase it in my own language, all right, fuck this. Let’s do this. And she took off her pants and we had our first om.

Nicole Halpern: And suddenly, it was like, do you care what people think? Or are you going to experience pleasure? So I decided to go for it. Since I had started later than everyone else, here I was being stroked, and a few seconds or a minute later, Nicole called everyone to stop what they were doing and get back in the circle. And I was still being stroked and I was totally getting off.

And there was this guy I knew from before when I lived in New York. I knew him from Brooklyn. And he happened to be in the class that day and had commented earlier that he was surprised that I was even there. And everyone’s starting to gather back into the circle, and I’m in the middle of it being stroked. And I cared a little bit, but I didn’t care that much.

So that part ended and I toweled off. And I got back into the circle and Nicole’s wrapping up the course. And I got really sad. And I either raised my hand or I visibly started crying. And she asked me why I was upset. And I said, because I don’t want this to end. And she said, it doesn’t have to.

She said, Josh, what are you doing when this is done? He said, nothing. She asked me, do you have any plans? And I said, no. And she said OK. We got a game.

Joshua: Nicole came up to me before we were about to leave the center and go out. She said, so how does this work? I’m like, what do you mean, how does this work? She’s like, I mean….

Nicole Halpern: Do I have to pay you for this?

Joshua: Do I have to pay you? [laughs] And I said, are you kidding me? She’s like, no. And I actually considered saying yes, just because the offer was so crazy. I had never ever had an experience like that. No one had ever offered anything like that to me.

Nicole Halpern: It’s so funny now. We’ve laughed about this a lot. And that was the start of my stepping into my sensuality. And I’ve lived within this community for two and a half years, and I’ve experienced so much. It is so rich. It is the way I want it, when I want it. I remember my first two weeks being here, and I had sex with four different men in one and a half weeks. And up until that point, I had never had a one-night stand with anyone.

And no one judged me. That was the unique thing about it. I made out with four different men, and no one said I was too promiscuous. No one said anything. So I suddenly felt like, wow, I can be free in my sex.

Since then, I’ve had threesomes. I’ve made out with women. I’ve been in orgasm while I’m having sex for about a minute or two. Someone could touch my arm now and I can go into orgasm. Or someone could just move their finger up my pussy and the energy is so intense. And I feel satiated. And I never felt satiated before. It feels great.

And sometimes I forget. If I want to have sex tonight, I can have sex tonight. And if I don’t want to have sex tonight, I don’t have to. And I forget what it was like to always be wanting. But my bones are gratified.


Announcer: Find more great shows like this at personallifemedia.com.