Over the years, our group has been the subject of lots of media coverage — the New York Times came out with us to Prospect Park once to shoot a terrific video story; Salon did so twice, once reporting on our ordinary activities and once about our all-female, all-nude production of Shakespeare in Central Park (though the actual videos seem to have gone missing); NBC News has a video still up about our Tempest; and 60 Second Docs ran a minute-long tribute to our events and their raison d’etre.

To this august company you can now add our friends at Naked News. Naked News is a Canadian outfit that began years ago just by reporting everyday news events but having the anchors and reporters doing so be unclothed. But over the years they’ve expanded their coverage to include stories that are about social nudity and the body-freedom movement. (Yes, we know a lot of their subscribers are probably male and are watching out of a motive that has less to do with liberation and equal rights than Ooh, boobies! But even the ‘ooh, boobies’ crowd can learn something about freedom and equality if they’re exposed to the message often enough and persuasively enough.)

Anyway: we’ve known Naked News for years and years now, but somehow never managed to get together with them in the flesh (ha ha), until NN news anchor and all-around fabulous human being Laura Desiree told us she was going to be in NYC for other reasons anyway, and could we finally do this thing?

And our answer was yes. Yes, we could finally do this thing. And we did. You can see the result here.

To shoot a pair of live interviews, we met on our favorite rooftop sundeck, where we could be fully naked if we wanted rather than only topless. (Also, we could count on it being quiet, which is handy when you’re recording audio.) Two of our eloquent members came out to talk about our history and goals, offer testimonials about what it feels like to go shirtless in public, and explain why the freedom to do so matters.

While we were there, we even got some reading done, thanks to a selection of delicious pulp goodness from our friends at Hard Case Crime. (Yes, we have a lot of friends. Life is better that way.)

And Laura filled us in about some of her upcoming projects, including a clothes-free cruise up the Danube. The woman travels a lot! Though she once called New York her home, she’s here only rarely these days.

But she promised to join us again the next time she’s back — not for another news story, just for the pleasure of being naked with other smart, interesting, like-minded women. And if that idea appeals to you too…well, you’re welcome to join us as well. Just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter. We’re getting naked all winter long (though mostly indoors!). And when the summer comes — well, just you wait.

Our tour at summer’s end of the city’s parks, celebrating our warmer-than-normal September and October, culminated on an October day when it hit 90 degrees. Yes, you read that right: 90. So we decided to make that day a twofer and also pay a last visit for the season to our favorite rooftop sundeck.

What’s the difference between meeting in Union Square Park and meeting on the roof? In the park it’s legal for women to go topless — but on the roof we can dispense with clothing altogether.

Not everyone does, of course — everyone does whatever she wants. But it’s nice to have the option.

We can also be ourselves, let our hair down in ways we probably wouldn’t in a public place.

But most of what we do on the roof is the same as in the park: we chat–

We laugh–

We read–

We play with our food–

Even this late in the season, we got to welcome several first-timers who finally got around to coming to an event.

Along with some old friends.

What’s next for us? Well, as the weather has finally turned colder, our next 6 months or so are likely to be spent mostly meeting indoors. But you never know — there have been warm days in November some years. It could happen again. And if not, our indoor events are a lot of fun too! If you have any appetite for the sorts of things we do and would like the chance to try them for yourself, get in touch: our email is toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or you can DM us on Insta or Twitter. And don’t forget — another summer is only 6 months away…

For the last leg of our end-of-season visit to our favorite NYC parks, we paid our first visit of the year to Union Square.

Why Union Square? Well, to start with, it’s home to the city’s biggest farmer’s market, which means fresh-picked fruit to feast on — or to wear as impromptu pasties.

It’s also quiet, in spite of being home to a subway station and a never-ending stream of pedestrians (and chess hustlers, and street vendors, and, and, and…). The lawns on the east side of Union Square are set off by fencing and shrubbery and statues and just generally feel like an oasis amid all the midtown tumult.

It’s near the New School and some other schools where members of our group are enrolled, making it a perfect spot for a quick topless break between classes.

It’s far enough downtown that no one bats an eye if you walk from the subway to the park in a stylish leather top that lets you enjoy the breeze almost as thoroughly as if you had no top on at all.

Nor does anyone remark on it when you switch to actually having no top on at all.

But there was another reason for our choice when we went there on an unseasonably warm day earlier this month: Union Square is within walking distance of our favorite rooftop sundeck, and we wanted to pay a last visit there as well. So we had a rather full day: topless in the park at noon, nude sunbathing on the roof at 3.

Was that too much naked fun for one day? Sure — for a day in July, with the summer stretched out before us, feeling endless. But for a day in October?

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, the poet tells us, and so we did.

Would you like to gather some rosebuds with us when next spring rolls around? Or perhaps discover what indoor fun we’ve cooked up for the fall and winter? Drop us a note at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter. You’ll find that when you’re with us, naked is always in season. 🙂

For the third leg of our valedictory tour, we returned to Central Park, but the southern end this time, where all the tourists do go. This being one of the very last days of summer, there weren’t all that many tourists around — or all that many of us, for that matter. (School had started, summer Fridays were over at work, iffy weather made people hesitant. And so on.) But those of us who came enjoyed a truly lovely afternoon.

It was overcast, so no need for sunscreen (although the sun did peek out once or twice!), and there’s really no better spot for a mid-afternoon picnic on the grass than the lawn at Columbus Circle.

If it was too chilly at first to go fully topless, it wasn’t too cold to unbutton–

–or to find other ways of setting our nipples free.

And it did warm up! After a bit of brisk weather at the start we found ourselves bathed by gentle breezes and warmed lightly by the sun.

We weren’t super-energetic this time (for the most part). It was a snoozy afternoon, but that’s fine. Nothing nicer than lying in the grass with friends.

No one bothered us, our bare-chestedness notwithstanding. Which is proof yet again that a) New York is the coolest place on earth, and b) people here have finally figured out that a woman going topless isn’t grounds for ogling or catcalls or complaints or even paying attention especially. Yes, one teenage boy came over on the obviously concocted grounds of asking where the nearest bathroom was, but eh. A boy’s got to see his first boobs sometime. What do you want to bet he’ll treat the sight as more of an ordinary one now that he’s seen women simply relaxing without shirts on, just like he and his friends do all the time, rather than only ever having seen a woman’s chest in the context of porn or some sexualized videogame?

This was one of our last park outings for the year — but not the very last (yes, there’s a Part IV still to come). And we’re still holding out hope for a warm November! But if we don’t get that, we’ll have indoor events to tide us over until the thaw in the spring. Want to join us, indoors or out? We’d love to hear from you. Just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter.

For the second leg of our valedictory tour (which began in the secluded northern reaches of Central Park), we went back to the place we began this summer: Washington Square Park.

Now, Washington Square is about as different from upper Manhattan as you can get, and not just because it’s on the opposite end of the island. Where the meadow in Central Park is pretty empty even on warm summer days, Washington Square Park is busy and crowded even when it’s cold out — and the day we returned was far from cold. So the lawns were full of NYU students (and professors, and random other people) taking a last bit of sun for the season.

That didn’t stop us from doing the same. And happily, the results weren’t so very different from what we experienced up north. Far more people saw, but they ignored us (not counting the one wild-eyed fellow in an ill-fitting suit who stopped by to tell us about his role in the development of the anarchist movement — and we have a feeling he would’ve buttonholed us no matter what we’d been wearing). We felt comfortable and safe, two things you might not expect to feel out in public without a shirt on, surrounded by a hundred strangers.

New York seems to have accepted the fact that women have the same freedom of choice that men have when it comes to how much or how little to wear. When we first visited this park eight years ago, we certainly got more questioning looks than we got this time. It’s real progress, and we’re so pleased to have had a role, however small, in bringing it about.

What did we spend our time doing? Not all that much reading, although three books by Stephen King made an appearance. (The Shining, Joyland, and The Colorado Kid, if you’re wondering.) An adorable puppy also made an appearance, briefly, and got lots of attention.

Mostly we spent the time getting to know each other, since there were a number of first timers in the group. According to time-honored tradition we said hello by comparing ink.

We also shared some ingestible treats, most of them 100% legal.

And we just lay back and recharged our batteries.

How will we recharge when it’s too cold out for sunning in the park? We have no shortage of plans: there will be a topless karaoke night in November and our annual spa visit in December, among other well-heated delights. But we do miss being outdoors and warmed by the late summer sun.

Might November contain a day warm enough for us to do it again? It might — we’ll see. If you’d like to join us if it does, email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter. Same thing if you’re in the mood for singing along to Madonna’s greatest hits. We’d love to make your acquaintance — indoors or out.

The temperature is in the 50s and dropping — next Sunday, the low is supposed to be 40. On top of that, it’s raining, the Duane Reade down the block is advertising Halloween specials, and all in all it just feels like summer ended a million years ago.

But it didn’t. Less than 3 weeks ago it was 90 degrees in New York City — only for one afternoon, true, but it was in the 80s for longer, and even when it dropped into the 70s it was still quite comfortable to be topless outdoors. So for the past several weeks we’ve been enjoying a valedictory lap around the parks of Manhattan, conscious that it was our last chance to enjoy them before the cold properly set in and the only thing getting denuded in the park would be the trees.

We started up at the north end of Central Park, which is like the upper reaches of the Himalayas in the sense that tourists never go that high, so you’ve basically got the place to yourself. There’s a meadow we like to use, which is secluded enough even at the height of summer and basically empty when fall rolls around. You can stand on your head with nothing on but a thong and no one sees, no one cares, no one says a word.

You can also gather with twenty of your closest friends and enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin,

…secure in the knowledge not only that what you’re doing is completely legal (it’s been legal for 27 years for women to go topless anywhere in New York a man can) but also that, even if someone does pass by and see, it won’t raise any eyebrows. This is New York. Upper Manhattan. People see stranger things in this neighborhood than a girl with her titties out.

So we got our titties out.

And lo and behold, no one cared. Why can’t everywhere be like this? We had a few boys in the group this time, and our barechestedness drew as little attention as theirs — including from them.

We were able to read in peace,

and even get some schoolwork done.

Practice some asanas,

and our sk8r grl moves.

Show off ink and body jewelry,

and our selective adoption of undergarments.

Have a nosh al fresco,

and just lie back and daydream.

Even when we left the park, a few of us kept up the spirit of liberty that had animated our afternoon.

And why not? Why shouldn’t women be as free to walk down the street shirtless as men?

Nothing but cold weather should make us put more clothes on. And even then, we find all sorts of fun things to do naked indoors! But that’s a subject for another post — a whole winter’s worth of posts, in fact. For now, we’re going to remember the summer as it was at the very end: sweet and warm and free and fabulous.

There are so many things we treasure about our get-togethers: the physical pleasure of being bare under the sun on a warm day; the confidence that comes from taking ownership of your body and being proud rather than ashamed of it, strong rather than timid; the knowledge that we’re taking a stand for freedom and equal rights and educating both women and men about what equality means and why it matters. But it’s also just really nice to meet other open-minded, non-judgmental women with whom we can really let our hair down, talk openly, and be ourselves.

What does it mean to be ourselves? It means reading what we want, without having to explain or apologize for our choices.

It means wearing what we want — and as little or as much as we want, for any reason or no reason at all.

It means making our bodies look the way we like — whether that means hair the color of a tropical sunset or a moonlit sky or ink placed wherever the mood strikes us.

It means eating what we like, whether that’s healthy or unhealthy, vegan or omnivore, knowing that our friends may not share our every appetite but will respect our choices.

It also means knowing our choices will be respected in other areas of self expression and personal pleasure.

We strive to live by that most useful kindergarten maxim, “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.” Even when someone else’s yum looks like it must be uncomfortable–

–or involves stealing our food.

As we approach the season of family-themed holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — we want to say that this is our family, and we’re proud of every one of them.

Except maybe the squirrel.