Episode 17: Friendship: The "J" and Nicole Halpern Show Part 2 of 2

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What is the true nature of friendship? Is a friend someone who supports and accepts you? What about a friend who constantly pushes your buttons? On this episode Nicole Halpern tells her side of the "J" and Nicole drama, a three-year on-again, off-again friendship that changes faster than most people at OneTaste can - or care - to keep up. A show that could redefine your ideas about friendship.


Part Two of Friendship: The “J” and Nicole Halpern Show

Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.

Nicole Halpern: I don’t think I’ve ever liked you as much as I first had. But I think we’ve done real time relating. I just coined that expression, “real time relating.” Actually no, it’s not, it’s just that we’ve, we’ve really related to each other. Like, I just think it’s so easy for two people to be friends, for women to be friends, but add one challenging thing to it and that’s what really tests your friendship.

“J”: That was Nicole Halpern and she’s talking about me. We’ve had a very intense, very dramatic on again, off again friendship for three years. We live together, we work pretty closely together and we’ve liked and dated the same men. You can only imagine. For a while we assumed it was the men who stood between us, but we’ve since learned that pretty much anything can get in the way. We go in and out of friendship faster than most people can or care to keep up. In the last episode I told my side of the story and okay, so I’ll admit it, I didn’t tell Nicole about the episode until the day I turned it in. Luckily, even though we were barely speaking, she wasn’t too mad. She even laughed while listening. And then she said she wanted to tell her side. I was curious. I’ve always wondered what she really thinks, and I knew that if recorded she’d tell the truth.
From One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco, we bring you A Taste of Sex: Reality Audio About Life in an Orgasm based community. This week, part two of Friendship: The “J” and Nicole Halpern Show. I’m “J”. Tune in and turn on.

So the pattern is you’ll start off and there’s like this tenuousness in a way, and both of you are like mildly shocked that you’re getting along, and we’re going along and we’re going along and then we get to that lift-off point where people start going at their normal frequencies. And Halpern will speed up and she’ll start like pointing at people and she’ll start having ideas and, “Oh, can I just say one thing?” and she’ll go off on that track and then you’ll want to catch up with her and it’s like energetically people can feel you screaming without words, like, “You’re leaving me behind!” And Halpern’s just like off at the races and she has her ideas and she doesn’t see anyone else around her, she’s just like talking and she’s just like in flow and there you are to be like, “No! I don’t agree, I don’t think so!” And you’ll try it once and I’ve noticed that your first try has softened recently, but it doesn’t work, it doesn’t ever work, it doesn’t ever slow her down. She either completely shuts off and doesn’t want to fight with you or she just keeps going and ignores you, which drives you insane. So then you amp up, like, “No, I really don’t think such and such! I really think we ought to…you’re not listening to me!” And then she’ll like take a breath and she’ll get impatient and she’ll be like, she’ll try and pretend like she’s listening to you but she’s so pissed at you and she won’t let it out, so then you’ve got this disconnect that’s even further from each other. So then, you’re usually down, but still kind of open and still kind of simmering, and she’s either kind of checked out and looks like she’s fine but she’s actually not, or she’s still in it and her face gets really red. And then there’s oft in the moment where I’m like checked out, ‘cause I can’t take the intensity anymore, and then the two of you find some way to either amp up the sensation and like keep going at it until you get to a certain level, or you actually find a way to be friends again and I’m totally amazed.

Nicole Halpern: When I’m relating to “J”, when I’m in conversation with her, a lot of our relating is actually based on the relationship that I have with my brother, that “J” plays kind of like the bad child and I’m like the good child, like I’m the one who’s always to be like sweet and nice, and she’s kind of like the reb, what is it, like the rebel rouser, like she’s the one at meetings like, “No!”, she doesn’t like the way that, that came out or what someone’s talking about or our decisions going into the future and I’m the one who’s like, “Okay, how can I surrender? How can I get into agreement with what’s going on here?” And so a lot of what I’ve actually learned through “J”, and this was one of the things I learned when we were dating the same man was that the part of me that always wanted to keep down the angry side and the fighting side and kind of like the messy side, that I could be loved there. That’s been really valuable to me, like that someone, whether it’s a man or maybe it’s the people around me, that I could still be loved even when I’m not trying to be like the perfect person, child, woman, etcetera.

“J”: Do you think that our relationship though is, it’s more intense even than a lot of the other, for me it’s more intense than the other relationships I have.

Nicole Halpern: Right. I think it’s more intense than the other relationships I have here because we both started coming to one taste around the same time, although you came first, I moved in first and I took the opening course first. Did I tell you I was first at probably something else too? I love it when my competitive side comes out. So, so I think I’m curious about for other men and women here who have came in at the same time, came to the center around the same time, if they also have similar relationships too. Maybe, maybe not. And we are both sagists. I do always have special relationships with sagists, I’m wondering if that’s part of it. And “J” and I are actually one of the two women who’ve been here the longest, although I moved in first, which means I’ve been here the longest, although Katrina’s been here longer than me. And so what you’re probably catching onto is my desire to always be the first and the best, and “J”’s often telling me that I’m, what is it the word that you use? You always say that I’m, not snobby, it’s condescending towards you or, it’s something about condescending and, so truth be told I am condescending and I do have judgments.

Nicole Halpern: So, two women can be the best of friends and have a great relationship and have a lot of fun with one another, and then put a man in the middle of it that both women like and that’s when you’ll see the true colors of two women relating to each other. And that’s what happened with “J” and I. We were friends and we would share with each other a lot of what was going on in our lives, and then suddenly I wound up sharing a room with a man that she had a crush on and, actually someone that I had a crush on for a while, but was too scared to admit it, and she suddenly wound up sharing a room with my ex-boyfriend, and suddenly the four of us are living in a community house and we have to be friends or enemies, and that actually was when “J” and I really started relating to each other.

“J”: Like I’ve always been really curious like how you saw things, ‘cause, you know ‘cause like I had my story going on, and then I wanted to know like what was your story in terms of like why we stopped talking?

Nicole Halpern: So, okay I think the reason we stopped talking was because I knew your were jealous of me sharing a room with Rob and I didn’t know, I didn’t know what to do about that. It was really uncomfortable for me, ‘cause I knew you had a crush on him. Unfortunately I had a crush on him too, so suddenly it’s two people who have a crush on the same man and they’re both living in the same house with him, and I just didn’t know what to do. I remember one morning being in the kitchen and just feeling awkward, like it was just so awkward, and I knew how much you liked him and I always felt, I always actually felt that you were a little, okay I always felt that you were a little selfish because it was almost like, well since you liked him you had the rights to him and, and there were various points where I had actually liked him too and you never really, but I, but I didn’t communicate it because it was so hard for me to communicate my desires for a man back then ‘cause I was so scared to be hurt, to be that vulnerable, and so I wish that you has also seen that I had liked him too.

“J”: You’ve been listening to A Taste of Sex. We’ll be back after this short break.

“J”: This is A Taste of Sex, reality audio about life in an orgasm-based community.

“J”: What about like with Rob, like how did you see that whole scenario, like when we were both with Rob? Like, like I had my motivations for staying in it and I wondered what yours were.

Nicole Halpern: So is interesting ‘cause with Rob, Rob and I had dated before and then we broke up and then suddenly, suddenly he started being the person who I’d always wanted him to be and it felt really good because we had gone through a long period of time where he wasn’t the person I wanted him to be. And, I mean, I remember like I would just come home at the end of the day and he would just be mean, and now suddenly it was like he was so sweet to me and, and it felt like he was saying all the things that I wanted him to say, but then of course he was saying all the things that I wanted him to say, but was also saying similar things to you. So, it was just so fucked up, like it was so messed up. I mean, I didn’t know if so confronting for my ego, like I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand it because up until that time I had, so much of how I’d valued myself was on how others perceived me and how men liked me and then suddenly there’s this man who’s liking two women at the same time, and so, it just totally pissed me off. Oh God, I hated you. I should get out some of my journals. I hated you. I hated you. I hated you ‘cause it was so crushing to my ego that someone could like two people at the same time. It was so, oh and then you know, you’d be angry and upset and moody and emotional and, that’s not to say that I wasn’t too. There’s just a certain way that you were that I just didn’t understand how anyone could like you during that time and he did, and so it’s just like that’s so fucked up. I mean, you could only imagine like, you can only imagine when we’re dating the same man and this is how crazy it would get is I would have judgments about her hands and that they were too small. And I might add that “J” is actually the only woman who I’ve ever hit. I don’t know if this is going to have to be edited out, but I actually one night, I was sitting on a bed with her and our, this man Rob, who we both liked, and I actually hit her in the stomach. That’s right, I hit her in the stomach. I’ve never hit someone before and I do not suggest that people hit other people. I strongly condone that, and I hit her in the stomach.

“J”: So when have you liked me?

Nicole Halpern: Yeah, there’s sometimes when I still don’t like you there’s sometimes that I like you, and I think that if anyone chose to live and work with any one person or group of people in their lives, I think that they would have similar experiences as well of liking and hating people. I mean, I don’t think there’s anyone who I just always like, who, or don’t like, who I am around so often. I think it’s just the nature of relating. You know, it’d be, it really would be fun for people to experiment with this in their own lives, you know? You know, have one of your good friends stay over for a week and just agree to talk through everything, to fight through everything, to not run away from it, and then see, see how it changes your life.

“J”: How do you feel when people say that we’re like a married couple?

Nicole Halpern: Oh God, I mean in some ways we are the way we fight, like, like “J” can say, she can just say one thing and I just start hating her for it and I don’t even understand what happens. I’ll have a suggestion about something, she’ll have a suggestion about something that’s different and we’ll just start fighting, whereas I’ll have a suggestion with someone about another, about something else, with some, I’ll have a suggestion about something and I’ll voice it to another person and they’re like, “Oh yeah, okay”, or they’re like, “No, I don’t think so.” But there’s this way that she gets all tight wound and stuff, that I’m just, like, “Why can’t you just listen to a suggestion and if it doesn’t come through, it doesn’t come through.” But there’s this way that it’s like, “No!” I’ve never heard someone who’s as big as a no as “J” is.

“J”n: What do you like about me?

Nicole Halpern: No, I don’t feel like answering that question. No! I think the most fun we’ve ever had is when I, I’ve, Oh, this is actually really fun, it was one night where I decided to dress up as “J”, so I became “J” Two, and she then decided to dress up as me and I kept on saying no to her and it was so fun to, to play her back to her. Like, for anyone out there who wants to totally mess with, can I say fuck, fuck with the people in their lives, give them exactly what they give to you which is up, but I will say I was really impressed, she did a really good job of, of playing me, of imitating me, and she did a really good job, like she’s holding my phone all the time and just the way, there’s a certain way that she, she was like playing someone who’s like turned on, that was really funny in her imitating me.

“J”n: So what do you like about me?

Nicole Halpern: No! Oh, I’ll tell you what I, what do I like about you? Well I do think that you have more of a, you have a developed slow practice, like there’s a way that you can pay attention to really minute details that’s really impressive. What else do I like about you? I’m sorry, I’ve spent so much time hating you, it’s kind of hard in this moment to come up with things I like about you. So hold on a second. Hold on. It’s still taking longer than one would think it should. Oh, well you really care about this work, that’s evident. You really care about the work that we do at One Taste and, wow I’m really having a resistance to this question ‘cause I’m yawning right now. I’m, okay, I need, I’m going to need another minute to think so you can come back to me with another question.

Nicole Halpern: I used to have relationships with people that they would do something what I deemed as wrong and then I would just cut them off from my life, and so there’s this string of people that I’ve cut off from my life and it’s really because I was always afraid to fight with someone, to really fight with someone, that had me just want to run away from them, and so with “J” I now know what it’s like to fight with someone and then be friends with them afterwards, and I never had that experience to really be friends with them afterwards, and I never had that experience before I met “J” and came to One Taste. And now when I have friendships with people and I start not getting along with them round something, instead of starting to back away I know now that there is another side to it, and because of it I’m not as scared in my relationships with people as I once was. I know that there’ll be different twists and turns and ups and downs and it’s almost like a game of Chutes and Ladder, but that it is possible to still be friends with them even when you disagree about different principles, perspectives, etcetera. And so, it’s because of “J” that I feel more free and don’t feel scared in my relationships with other people, whether it is someone who I’m dating or it is someone who’s a friend of mine as well. And that’s really a valuable piece to have, to just know, there’s like a knowingness now that I can have friendships however I want them, but I have to be willing to do the work, and I think both of us have really done the work in this relationship. And so I’m deeply, deeply appreciative to “J” for, to be the first person who really partnered with me, you could say, in how to have relationships in this way. How to have true friendships in this way.

“J”: Thank you for listening to A Taste of Sex. For a transcript of this show, you can find us on the web at personallifemedia.com. For more information about One Taste, including lectures and workshops in San Francisco and New York, check us out at onetaste.us. Music on this episode was composed and performed by Aherim Balsta. I’m “J”. Tune in and turn on!

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