Archives for category: 2020

For a group that’s all about public activities, we’re fairly private. We don’t do interviews much, we don’t generally accept invitations to go on podcasts. People don’t seek us out. We like to think we’ve had some influence on social norms around toplessness, but we’re not “influencers” in the Instagram sense. People rarely send us swag and ask us to promote it. And we like it that way.

Which made it all the more unusual that in the past few weeks we got approached by two total strangers asking if we’d tell the world about their cool thing.

One was a fellow in Berlin who wrote to say he’d spent the past three years creating an app called NATURISM that “lists nudist beaches, resorts, hotels and spas in 68 countries.” Would our members and readers of our blog be interested?

Well, not all our members consider themselves naturists; enjoying an afternoon in the park without a shirt on doesn’t necessarily mean going clothes-less all or most of the time. But many of us do like nude beaches, and though this isn’t the time to travel the world, eventually it will be again (one hopes). So, sure, why not, we downloaded his app and took a look.

It’s a handsome-looking app, but a little underpopulated. You can learn that there’s a beach near Berlin called “Badestelle Krumme Lanke,” where we guess you can swim naked, but aside from the name and “Category: Beach” there’s almost no information, no photos, no reviews. The place gets a rating of 3 stars (out of 5) for “Nature,” 2 for “People,” and just 1 for “Cleanliness.” Okay. And…? There’s a map so you can find it, and in the corner of the screen it shows the temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius. That’s about it. Same for Belgium’s “Thermen Dilbeek” hotel, same for “Gunnison Beach” in New Jersey. Only Gunnison gets just 1 star for everything. Is that fair? Maybe it’s no Krumme Lanke, but the people have always seemed nice to us. Who’s assigning these stars anyway?

We know it’s hard to get a new service like this off the ground; probably TripAdvisor also looked empty before anyone was using it. But will people ever fill this thing up? Who knows. For now it’s a nicely built edifice with no one inside. A quick Google search will probably find you lists of all the same beaches, resorts, hotels and spas. We’re not saying you shouldn’t download the app — we did, after all — but don’t expect too much.


The second inquiry we got was from a very nice woman from a marketing company (Siege Media, “a team of clever creatives, sharp marketers and savvy SEOs”) hired by the mattress company Casper. “With summer finally here,” she wrote, “I thought your audience would enjoy this visual on the benefits of sleeping naked.”

Well, we do like to sleep naked sometimes, especially when it’s 90 degrees and the AC isn’t working, so…sure, why not, we figured we’d take a look at what Casper had to say about it. You can see their “5 Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked” below. Presumably they hope you’ll take all the money you save by not buying nightgowns and PJs and spend it on buying a nice new mattress. But hats off to them for not actually suggesting as much. This is subtle marketing indeed. Or maybe it’s just clever, sharp and savvy.

So, we guess, sleep naked? You can even do so while visiting the Thermen Dilbeek. Maybe they have Casper mattresses in the rooms there. It’s called synergy, people.


5 Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked

We all know that living life au naturel is the way to go, but did you know that sleeping naked can improve your health? From female reproductive health to boosted self-esteem, we dive into the top benefits of sleeping in the nude. 

  1. You’ll Sleep Better

If you’re someone who gets super hot in their sleep, sleeping naked can lower your body temperature and help you fall asleep faster.

  1. Higher Self-Esteem

A study by the Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who spent more time naked were more likely to have a positive body image and higher self-esteem. Going to bed naked can boost your confidence so you wake up ready to take on the day. 

  1. Better Female Reproductive Health

Wearing tight-fitting underwear to bed can increase your chances of getting a yeast infection. If you are prone to yeast infections, going commando to bed can decrease your chances of getting them.

  1. Supports Male Fertility 

Believe it or not, the type of underwear men wear can have a large impact on their sperm count. According to this study, tight-fitting underwear can increase the temperature in that area and damage sperm. Sleeping in the nude is recommended for sperm count and fertility. 

  1. Boosts Intimacy 

It’s no secret that skin-on-skin contact can be a huge turn-on for adults. If you are looking to spice up your love life, consider sleeping in the nude. One study even found that skin-on-skin contact can increase the release of oxytocin. A hormone that is also known as the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone.”

* You’ve got to love a marketing piece that links to an academic publication titled “Influence of genital heat stress on semen quality in humans.” That’s how you sell mattresses, ladies. Or, you know, blowtorches.

Between March and May, we didn’t once meet as a group. Not indoors, not outdoors. We quarantined, like the rest of the world.

And we still are. But very cautiously, with care to stay safe and healthy, we’ve gently begun poking our heads outside and gathering again — in very small groups, seated at least 6 feet apart, only outdoors (where virus transmission rates appear to be vastly lower), and with masks on hand…but gathering again, finally, to sit in the sun and talk to other human beings through a medium other than Zoom or Facetime.

Half a dozen of us met, on separate towels except where two were from the same household and could safely have closer contact.

We chose one of the quietest lawns we know, in the northern reaches of Central Park — the part of the park where the street numbers reach triple digits and the tourists (are there still any in New York?) never go.

All the same, we were happened upon by various solitary walkers and small family groups; one even picnicked within sight of us (though a Covid-appropriate distance away). And we’re pleased to say that our toplessness excited exactly zero interest or comment.

We thought our cautious removal of our masks might call down more opprobrium these days than our baring our breasts — but neither did. Kudos to our fellow New Yorkers for forbearance, tolerance, patience. The classic NYC live-and-let-live attitude is even more to everyone’s credit now when infractions genuinely can be a matter of life and death. We owe it to each other to safeguard each other’s wellbeing — no breathing on your fellow citizens! But the sight of our breasts does not have any infectious quality, unless it might infect someone with a taste for freedom, for equal rights, for physical comfort. And those are the sort of viral qualities you don’t want to obstruct.

Two weeks have passed since this day in the park, and we can report that everyone is still healthy (ink notwithstanding!).

And so we’re planning our next couple of events. If you’d like to join us, please email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. Space is limited, obviously, but we welcome all women to get in touch, and if you want to join us sometime — to come out with a towel and a book and just, for once in so many difficult months, relax — we’ll find a way.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll take advantage of any opportunities you might have for solo adventures — on your roof, on the fire escape, in the yard, in the park. Stay safe and stay smart, but we hope you do find your way out and uncover.

We formed this group a decade ago to fight the injustice of being treated differently because of an accident of birth — specifically, being born female in a world constructed by and for men. But as we’re constantly, cruelly, and painfully being reminded, gender is not the only axis along which injustice and inequality are dealt out. Race is another, and the events of recent months have been shocking, horrifying, heartbreaking. They have also been galvanizing, with thousands — tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands — rising up to say, “We will tolerate no more.”

We want to express our solidarity with the goals of the Black Lives Matter movement, and with anyone anywhere who fights for the right to live their life free from oppression, from violence, from cruelty, from fear.

(Our own encounters with the police have been few and in the end have all worked out okay — but that doesn’t change the gut-wrenching fear when you see armed men walking toward you with looks of impatience and intolerance on their faces, especially given the very real danger that you might one day encounter the “bad” cop who doesn’t know or disregards the law in his zeal to punish you for something that is no crime.)

As a group of readers, one small way we feel we can contribute is by directing people toward books that might help open eyes and minds and educate all of us about the issues surrounding race and racism in America. With that in mind, we are glad to share two recommended reading lists of books on these topics: one from The Book Table and one from Refinery29.

While we’re at it, another bookstore you should know about is Elizabeth’s in Akron. Not only do they offer a wide selection of relevant books, a portion of every sale goes to the Loveland Foundation to support their mission of making mental healthcare accessible for black women and girls.

Educating ourselves is only one small step — but it’s an important one, and we hope you’ll join us in taking it.

We look forward to the day when no person will be denied their innate human dignity or their fundamental equal rights because of the color of their skin or the conformation of their anatomy. The fight will not be easy or short — it already hasn’t been. But it is worth fighting.

Three months into quarantine — lockdown — shelter-at-home — whatever you call it — and we’re still not able to meet as a group. No one in NYC is. But somehow life is still going on. Yesterday was Memorial Day, and Central Park was full of families sharing a picnic blanket at least six feet away from the next family or walking the paths, masked. And people who love to be topless are finding ways to be topless, whether that means finding a quiet clearing in the park–

Or leaving the city for a wilder terrain–

Or getting rid of their shirt while driving–

Or on the roof–

Or the back porch–

Or an empty stretch of beach —

Or just in the privacy of their own home.

Meanwhile, some of our members embrace online challenges like reproducing famous works of art, or invent provocative new images of their own.

It passes the time. But we hope it’s not too much longer before the situation improves and we can meet with our friends again! Safely, carefully, but together rather than alone. June may not be the month for it, we realize. Nobody knows what month it’ll be. But it’ll be some month, and hopefully some month soon, while the temperature is warm enough to pull down our swimsuits and wear nothing but sunscreen.

It’ll come. We promise: we’ll be back.

As we write this, on May 1, 2020, we’re 7 weeks into a global lockdown. Quarantine. Call it what you will. This wasn’t the way the year was supposed to go. It was supposed to get warmer, winter was supposed to give way to spring, buds were going to start peeking out from tree branches and nipples from under shirts. Life was going to start again.

We got a little foretaste of it on March 9 — a preview of the spring on a day when, improbably, the sun came out and the temperature soared into the 70s.

It seemed like all of New York City came out into the streets and parks to breathe deep of the suddenly temperate air. There must have been a few thousand people in Washington Square Park, seated side by side on the grass, still damp and slightly muddy from the previous night’s rain.

The feeling in the air was one of amity and comity, of tolerance and openness, of warmth of every kind.

So when our group’s eager members gathered on the lawn, first in a tight little group–

–and then in a sprawling one numbering 20 or more, no one gave us a second look (much less a hostile one). No one told us to put our tops back on or bothered us in any way.

And we in turn were tolerant when approached by neighborhood characters like the Free Hugs man.

Who doesn’t want a hug sometimes?

Some of our long-time members showed up, eager to throw off the shackles of winter hibernation.

And some first-timers joined us too, taking a long, late lunch from office jobs or playing hooky from their last classes of the day.

How could office work or homework compete with a chance to feel the sun on your skin?

We took these photos 54 days ago and have been holding onto them ever since. When we took them, we had no idea that this would be our one and only event for the next two months — or three months or six months or maybe all year. Who could possibly have imagined what was coming just a few days later?

We almost didn’t want to post them — as if by holding them back, we were keeping a little bit of that day alive, as if we could avoid facing the fact that our larder is now empty: no more photos waiting to be posted, no more events to tell you about.

Oh, we’re still optimistic that things will get better before the summer comes and goes. But even if they do — even if a small set of us cautiously decides to gather in the warmth of June or July or August, sitting 6 feet apart from one another in some quiet corner of Central Park — it won’t be the same. Not thousands of people sharing a lawn and a beautiful day, careless and free, without masks, without fear, without the specter of sickness and death. Freedom is still important, and so is equality, and we’ll continue to fight for both. But it’ll be a while before anyone will feel easy and comfortable again.

It’s a new world, and we will learn how to navigate it. But for now, we share with you this moment of bliss, this moment Before.

We’re glad so many of you were able to share it with us in person, and we’re glad so many more of you will share it with us now in memory.

As quarantine conditions stretch on into their second month — and surely not their last — we continue to find new ways to spend our time indoors, and the limited amount of time we get to spend outdoors.

In NYC, orders say you must cover your face before you go out if you can’t be sure social distancing — a 6-foot separation between people — will be possible.

But a few of us (not the ones in NYC!) are fortunate enough to be near a beach where a private spot by the water can be found.

And some are sheltering in other remote locations, where the biggest worry isn’t encountering another human being, it’s getting mowed down by the 6:43 Acela.

Some of us live in neighborhoods where a fenced yard provides a bit of fresh air, and enough privacy to dress the way we want without passersby sharing their opinions.

And some of us are maintaining our workout regimens, even if spotters at the gym are a thing of the past.

But for many of us, our lives have moved indoors for the foreseeable future.

We enjoy our morning coffee without worrying about getting dressed.

We savor the sunlight through our double-pane window glass.

We get halfway ready to go out, and then don’t.

And we kill time. We kill it honing our Photoshop skillz —

–or practicing with the timer on our camera–

–or, you know, just get back into bed and make the world go away for a little bit.

And we think about other people, the ones whose lives have been upended completely, who’ve lost loved ones or livelihoods. One of our friends posted this image on Instagram–

–with links to a whole bunch of fellow Instagrammers she asked her followers to support: @whoregasmic, @devorahreine, @brittaxgraves, @thee.mystic.alien, @missgigirope, @luxefatale, @mxmayaodelle, @ten.against, @notcamdamage, @stripperfolkart, @_bigbootysadgirl, @mistress_ashleypaige, @aubreerene_, @ prom__queef, @switchavanyc, @koi_erotica, @fern_fatale, @whoisbobbylabottom, @kaijafaerie, @thepainproofpriestess.

You have your own list, surely, not just of online acquaintances but friends and family; and we hope everyone on it is getting the love and attention and care they deserve. We hope you are too. Take care of yourself. Stay healthy — or get healthy. And please join us in wishing for the soonest and safest end to this terrible situation.

We’ll see you out in the sun again soon. (Even if not soon enough.)

Life in New York has changed — life everywhere has changed.

The rules have changed: no gatherings of more than 10 people; no “non-essential” gatherings of more than 2 people; no gatherings, period. No going outside for anything but buying food or medicine or to see a doctor or for a bit of daily exercise. No going within six feet of another human being.

But the people of New York haven’t changed, the people in our group haven’t changed, and the laws that state that women in New York have all the same freedoms as men haven’t changed — meaning that whatever limited freedom we are allowed, we can use it topless if we want. And we do want. Every little taste of freedom matters, even more so at a time like this.

So we asked our members to share selfies with us, showing how they’re spending their quarantine hours, whether that’s the limited time we’re allowed out or the endless hours we’re spending in — and whether they’re in New York or not. Our members are spread all over the world at this point, and for once this is an event everyone can take part in.

So where do we go when we need to feel the touch of sun and air on our skin? In the limited time we’re allowed, we go out to the park or the forest or the riverbank.

Or just the nearest grassy lawn, together with our canine companion and the most unsentimental book ever written.

We get topless on the deck outside our house, if there is one,

Or up on the roof,

Or out on the fire escape.

Or, if we must, we get our sun through our windows.

What, you thought we’d wear tops when we’re stuck at home? Whether it’s “remote learning” or “working from home,” the only thing we need to have on is our MacBook.

Or not even. We just get some traditional books, and a nice glass of something to go with them, and we’re good for hours.

It does make us appreciate the pleasures of reading even more than we already did.

And that’s just the first 10 people we heard from! We’d love to hear from you too. Show us how you’re spending your quarantine time, whether it’s sheltering at home or seizing the chance to be naked outdoors in some quiet, unpopulated spot.

Email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta.

We can’t be together — but you can join us all the same.

March 9, 2020.

With social distancing being enforced all over the U.S. — nowhere more so than in New York City — group events aren’t possible, and even just walking on the street is complicated.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t go outside, or enjoy the newly mild spring weather — or get out of our clothes, for that matter. It just means we need to be a little more inventive, and a little more careful.

Rooftops have always been a New Yorker’s best friend when it comes to outdoor nudity, and they’re your friend now. Go up on the roof and you’re in your own little world — quiet, private, secluded. Take off as little or as much as you want. Get the Vitamin D your body craves. Fight the stir-crazy that gets to all of us when we’re stuck inside for too long.

And sure, why not, get a photo or two to remember it by. Just ask your friend with the camera to stand at least 6 feet away.

One day this will all just be a memory. Our rooftop events will look this again, we promise:

And when that time comes, we hope you’ll join us.

But until then? We hope you find some comfort, some freedom, and some naked time out under the sun, even if it has to be all by yourself.

Who knew that, just a month later, Valentine’s Day would feel so far away? On February 14, none of us had heard of “social distancing.” Certainly no one was practicing it. And yet here we are, on March 16, and the world has changed.

Let’s take a look back at that lost world of a month ago. One of our members who is in training to become a licensed massage therapist had the lovely idea of celebrating Valentine’s Day by leading a session where she’d share her knowledge and we’d all get the chance to try out a variety of massage techniques.

Some folks came in pairs–

–while others paired up once they arrived.

And still others found their ways into trios.

We began with some demonstrations on eager volunteers…

…and then split up into our pairs and trios to try the moves out on each other. (Even a foursome or two.)

We worked on individual body parts: feet, glutes, pecs.

Were we masterful masseuses? Not after a single demonstration. What we were was game and open-minded and eager to learn.

And learn we did. We all emerged from this session better at massage and more appreciative of its benefits than we went in.

But what we didn’t appreciate then, and are only starting to now, is just how wonderful a thing simple human contact is. The contact of a group of warm, kind, like-minded individuals coming together for a common purpose. And also the very simple physical contact of your hands on another person’s body, her hands on yours.

That was February. Now it’s March, and we’re all trying hard not to breathe on each other. To stay 6 feet apart. To “hunker down” at home, alone.

But touch is so very precious.

So profoundly, deeply intimate.

We will all come to crave it over the coming months.

We are very grateful that we got to have such a lot of it on Valentine’s Day.

And we hope you will join us when it’s possible to have it again.