Archives for category: 2014

IMG_5086So our last post highlighted the photos we took over the past year that you all clicked on the most. But there are others that are particular favorites of ours, either for purely aesthetic reasons or because of the event they recorded or for mysterious reasons all our own. Call it “Editor’s Choice.”

Herewith, then, our Editor’s Choice photos, two dozen hand-picked images, presented with love.

It’ll be warm again soon. But not soon enough.


IMG_5605Happy holidays, all. We’re between events currently, all in sugar comas (or ham comas, or champagne comas, or what-have-you), girding ourselves for the polar vortices to come. At least, we tell ourselves, the days are getting longer.

In the meantime, we thought we’d do our annual round-up of the images from the year just past that you lot seemed to like the most, based on how many times you clicked on them. Now, this could be misleading: sometimes a given post got an abnormal number of clicks because it happened to coincide with a spurt of attention we got, due to coverage in a newspaper or magazine, for instance, or on Reddit. But overall we think clicks are at least a halfway decent proxy for interest.

So without further ado, the most popular images of  2014, divided into Public (i.e., out in the park, or the rooftop pool of a popular hotel, or a wine bar with huge plate glass windows exposing us to the world) and Private (i.e., a private roof, a private room in a restaurant, a private spa).





IMG_9397For most of the year, each person at one of our events reads whatever she wants, and though we share recommendations, we don’t generally swap books with one another. But once a year we do, at our annual Secret Santa book exchange. Last year, we held it at a science-fiction bookstore in Brooklyn (an excuse to get naked amid row upon row of wonderful, lurid covers); this year, we chose a spa in Koreatown called Juvenex. Which meant that in addition to a wildly eclectic and intriguing selection of books (see photo, below) we also got to enjoy soaking tubs filled with floating lemons, a sauna shaped like an igloo, a steam room so powerful none of us could take it for more than 5 minutes (but what minutes they were while they lasted!), and a variety of scrubs, massages, and facials. Oh, and tea and melon and pineapple. Yum.

We were joined by a journalist from who steadfastly remained clothed even in the steamy spa environs, despite being surrounded by 17 naked women (and one equally naked man). We felt bad for her! But who knows? Maybe next time she’ll feel confident enough to join in.

And now: on to the real Santa! Just a week away. We’ve been good, sir, we promise! In any event, we’re confident we won’t get lumps of coal in our stockings. Because, well, no stockings.

Merry and Happy, to all our fans and followers, and may 2015 be a glorious one, with nudity and justice for all. 🙂


IMG_9306Thanksgiving is about family, not just genetic but spiritual. Kurt Vonnegut called the people who don’t happen to be related to you but who belong together with you in some more meaningful and fundamental sense your “karass.”

Well, we spent the day before Thanksgiving celebrating the holiday with our karass, the group of smart, confident, body-positive women (and two or three supportive men) who populate New York’s most unusual book club. There were books on hand, ranging from The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin to Stop This Man! by Peter Rabe, but we didn’t get much reading done, not when there was wine to drink and truffle-laced pizza to nibble and chocolate fondue to finish things off; not when there were old friends and new to catch up with, some having come from as far away as Texas and California to be with us; not when there was the joy of lounging about in the warm environment provided by Ayza down on Carmine Street, while outside the giant plate-glass windows freezing sleet was coming down hard. (Ah, the looks we got from some of the startled passers-by! What must they have thought? An oasis in the desert couldn’t look more mirage-like than we must have on this cold, cold, wet day.)

It is a wonderful feeling to share the holiday with people you care about. Getting to share it naked in the heart of Manhattan makes it even better. We wish all of you could have the same opportunity, wherever you might be — if not this time around, then sometime in the not-too-distant future.

And to all the members of our karass, in diaspora around the world, we wish a very happy holiday season. Remember, if you ever find yourself in NYC, you’ve got friends who’d love to meet you.

(How? Simple. Just drop a note to


IMG_9120For several years now, we’ve talked about visiting Manhattan’s Museum of Sex, but somehow it never happened, mostly because the folks who ran the place didn’t answer our tweets and emails. But a few weeks back we finally resorted to the old-fashioned approach and showed up in person to demonstrate how well-behaved and urbane we are. It must’ve worked, since they allowed us to come as a group to experience their FUNLAND exhibit, which puts a sexual spin on carnival attractions.

The thing kicks off with a caped barker ushering you into a hall of mirrors, a tricky, pitch-black area of dead ends and (consequently) fleshy collisions among participants.


Then on to a booth where you toss balls to make mechanical penises race across a field, then a climbing wall where the hand- and footholds are sculpted body parts.


But the centerpiece (and the reason we really wanted to come) is a bouncy castle made of giant inflated breasts. Points to the designers for diversity: the place has a variety of shades and colors. But it’s the size of the things that really impresses — you instantly feel dwarfed, returned to infancy or, to be more bookish about it, like Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels, straddling the Brobdingnagian girls’ gargantuan nipples. (What, you don’t remember that scene from the cartoon version? It’s in the book, trust us.)


We also checked out an odd exhibit of gyrating mechanical puppets and one exploring the life of porn superstar Linda Lovelace (of Deep Throat fame, and sure enough you enter to a wall-sized projection of LL deep-throating some fortunate fellow).


Was it worth a visit? Oh, yes — it’s not every day that you get to bounce like a little kid again, or hang from a wall-mounted cock, or watch an act of fellatio blown (you’ll pardon the expression) up to King Kong proportions.


It ain’t the Metropolitan. But on a rain-swept autumn afternoon, there are worse ways to kill an afternoon. And a bouncy castle made of giant bare breasts has to be one place in the city where no one could possibly complain about our ordinary person-sized ones going uncovered.



IMG_9013Yesterday, on a brisk and blustery November afternoon, 21 of us gathered for a lesson — our first! — in acroyoga. A combination of acrobatics and yoga, it proved the perfect antidote to the pre-winter blahs, teaching us the rudiments of Bird Pose and Throne and other suchlike, following a warm-up of stretches, planks, and Downward Dog.


Leading us in our adventure was yogini extraordinaire Lotsie Cash, who instructed us not only in the physical skills necessary to suspend each other’s bodies upside down in mid-air but also the self-confidence, trust, and wisdom embodied in the practice. She was a pleasure to work with and, though conspicuous in these photos as the one person wearing clothes above the waist, totally non-judgmental about our enjoying the session either topless or fully nude.


Our thanks also to Dunkin’ Donuts, for filling their signature Box O’ Joe with hot chocolate instead; to Tate’s for making a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that totally doesn’t suck; to Pearl Studios for not minding a dozen-and-a-half naked women in their midst (and three naked boys); and for rushing us a pile of yoga mats on ridiculously short notice.


Fun was had. We did things we didn’t know we had in us. And once you start down that path, who knows where it might end?

Suddenly winter doesn’t seem so bad…


IMG_8745Ever since Athena closed over the summer, we’ve lacked for a spot to visit to warm up on cold days and dry off on rainy ones, a spa where management understands that saunas are best enjoyed in the nude and that women and men can share such facilities without there necessarily being anything sexual about it.

But today, at last, we christened a new favorite spa. We’re going to keep its identity to ourselves for the time being, but it’s lovely and well run, and if not quite as large as Athena or as roomily arranged, it has a charm all its own. As usual, a spa environment is not the very best for taking photos, so forgive, please, the grainy/fuzzy quality. But we wanted to share with you some of the joy of this oh-so-joyful afternoon.



IMG_8579Showing uncommon tenacity, the temperature hit a summery 82 degrees over the weekend. So we chased the mercury up and out onto the sun-dappled terrain of Sheep Meadow — the very spot where we first welcomed the advent of spring not so very long ago. It was a lovely chance to gather in one of New York’s most crowded and yet most serene spots, where as one of our number commented, “No matter how strange you are, you’re never the strangest person in sight.” We certainly weren’t — that honor goes to the couple performing acrobatic maneuvers, perched on one another’s knees, arms and shoulders, or possibly to the several people standing on their heads. (Their own heads, not the couple’s.) Hell, we weren’t even the only women enjoying the sun topless, which was a true pleasure to see. Four summers ago, when we first formed our group, we would have been.


As for us, we can very happily report that no one interfered with our exercise of our freedoms, or said anything to us, or even bothered us non-verbally unless you count one verging-on-elderly man who knelt a couple of feet away, staring, until we told him that this was rude, at which point he picked up and knelt next to another topless woman elsewhere on the lawn. (We sent an emissary to point out to him that this was not an improvement. He finally left her alone too.)

One of our newest members, possessed of an artistic bent, brought body paints and, using another member’s torso as her canvas, improvised in color and line.


All in all, a terrific, chill, laid-back moment in the sun. At one point, someone spotted a plane in the sky, leaving behind it a trail of skywriting:


“GOD…BLESS…AMERICA…,” we read, as the message emerged letter by letter. Unironically written, we assume, and taken in the same spirit. Pick your god, or cherish your lack of same — it’s as fine a way as any of expressing thanks for living in a time and place where we can all bare our bodies equally and face no scrutiny or disapprobation for this innocent act.

And with that we bid the summer of 2014 farewell. We’ll have events in the fall and winter as well — but there’s nothing quite like summer.

We leave you with one more pic, sent in by a friend who couldn’t make it to Central Park but joined with us in solidarity from her Brooklyn backyard.


If you want to join us sometime — either in person or in sprit, via selfie — just drop us a note at We welcome all women bold and body-positive and wise to the fact that a nipple is a nipple is a nipple. (Gertrude Stein said that, didn’t she?)

Just grab your favorite book and set your breasts free.

IMG_8353A few weeks back, we put up a blog post lamenting that no hotel with a rooftop pool had the courage (or the brains, or the heart, to get all Wizard of Oz about it) to let us use their pool topless, even though it’s legal for women to go topless anywhere in New York a man can, and all these hotels of course let men use their pools topless.

Well, we had one last hotel to try, the Dream Downtown, and god bless them, they said yes without the slightest hesitation. We asked several times, to make sure we’d heard correctly. Topless sunbathing is allowed? Yes. By women? Yes. We won’t get there and mortifyingly be told to put our tops back on my some staffer who hadn’t read the memo…? No.

So we went. Rented one of their two poolside cabanas, laid out our favorite reading material, dispensed with our tops, and…nothing. Better than that, actually: the staff all made us feel at home and welcome, interacted with us warmly and supportively, and assured us that we weren’t the first to enjoy this liberty there (though we may have been the biggest group to do so at one time). Other patrons using the pool or the adjacent restaurant seemed either oblivious or amused. No one seemed the slightest bit troubled, much less offended. The afternoon passed blissfully; we can’t remember a happier one. We only wished, as we emerged from the heated pool into air the temperature of autumn, that we’d discovered this grand hotel sooner.

You better believe we’ll be back next summer.

IMG_8409IMG_8341IMG_8223IMG_8204IMG_8199IMG_8267IMG_8303IMG_8333IMG_8473IMG_8325IMG_8359IMG_8242IMG_8137091814-MRK4091814-MRK3091814-MRK2IMG_8299IMG_8288IMG_8431IMG_8148IMG_8548IMG_8370IMG_8489IMG_8517IMG_8270IMG_8115And for those of you who believe a video is worth a thousand pictures (and thus 10,000 words?), we offer this moving tribute to the pleasures of the pool:


IMG_7868Quick, we thought…before it gets too cold out…to the park!

Believe it or not, in four summers we’d never previously met in Union Square Park. Why not? No idea. But we hadn’t, so that’s where we went, bringing books with us that ranged from Naomi Novik’s upcoming UPROOTED to Michael Lewis’s Wall Street expose, FLASH BOYS. (No, we didn’t mistake Lewis’ title for an imperative…)

IMG_7789IMG_7828OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_7855Joining us was a journalist from France interested in writing about New York’s attitudes toward toplessness…


She seemed entertained by the particular set of passers-by who stopped to say hello, ranging from a painter who’d previously happened upon us in Bryant Park to a fire alarm system technician on his lunch break to this fellow…


…who announced that he’d just taken an Adderall, didn’t know whether we were a hallucination or not, and that he’d recently been named “the illest homeless man in New York City.” Hm.

He also called one of us “a genetic miracle.” Adderall makes you say the sweetest things.

The sun had a strong showing, almost making it feel like summer again. Its days are numbered and we know it, but while there’s life in it yet, we’ll soak up every ray.


By afternoon’s end we were still full of pep and yearning, so after making like amazons…


…and 1950s housewives…


…we took a topless stroll out of the park, culminating in a stop at a Mr. Softee ice cream truck.


Did that finally cool our fires? For a time. But there’s never enough Mr. Softee to quench us for long.

More! we call. More! And again: More!

More soon.