Archives for category: beach

Okay, okay — pandemic, yeah, we know. But it was still summer, and we still did things.

And being who we are, we did them topless every chance we got.

Mostly we did them right here in Manhattan…

…or near enough to be a short bike or car ride away, but we did them, and we posted about them on Instagram and other social media, and we thought we’d share them here too, as a sort of memory book of the lighter side of the Corona Summer of 2020.

There weren’t any flights to the Caribbean or Europe — or even to other states, sometimes — but we still made it to the beach.

We’re especially proud to say that some of our newer members who hadn’t gone topless on a U.S. beach before…

…made their topless-beach debut this year. “I just want you to know,” one member wrote to us, “that I’ve been so much more comfortable getting topless and it’s because of your page and going to the nude drawing event that inspired me, and seeing the things you post make it so much more normal. Thanks so much for being amazing!”

We also had our first ever mother-child check-in from the beach!

Of course, the beaches weren’t always open, so sometimes we only made it to a pool–

Or to the forest, or the woods, or the nearest river or stream —

or the nearest cornfield —

or our own back yard —

–or the roof.

In urban areas, we sometimes took 90-degree weather as an excuse to go topless in the street.

And with outdoor dining on the menu, we sometimes dined outdoors without tops too. (Which in at least one case led a passing pedestrian to stop and tell us how pleased she was to see us exercising this freedom and how she wished she’d had it when she was our age.)

We did other things too — like get tattoos and piercings once parlors reopened.

And create art, whether on canvas–

— or in the air.

We had fun. But through it all we remembered summers past, when no one had heard of “social distancing” and masks were only for doctors and trick-or-treaters. We were reminded by looking over photos like these from last summer’s visit to Coney Island, which only surfaced this summer (they were taken with an old-fashioned film camera, and the photographer didn’t get around to developing them until now).

This year we spent more time indoors, more time in masks, more time alone.

But we also found ways to get out under the sun, ways to get together with the people we love, and ways to enjoy breaths of fresh air.

Even in hard times, life finds a way. And we are so grateful to have found not just one but so many ways to make even this difficult year a source of naked joy.

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.)

The last time we visited Coney Island — three summers ago — we saw no one else going topless. Correction: no other women going topless. And the reception we got, while not unfriendly, was a bit…uncertain. We got looks, for sure. People didn’t know what to make of us, and didn’t seem entirely at ease with us doing what we were doing.

What a difference three years makes! While the beach still wasn’t filled with topless women the way a beach in Europe might be, we were not the only ones there by any means, and several others followed our lead when they saw us doing it.

In fact, shortly after we got there, a total stranger walked up to our group, asked if she could sit with us, remarked that she hated having to wear a top and promptly took hers off. Then she pulled a copy of Sappho from her bag and read us one of her favorite fragments. Thus are new friends made.

And we got no particular looks, from women or from men, even when we went onto the boardwalk to score a corn dog and a Pepsi. (Indeed, we saw another topless woman calmly eating her own unhealthy but delicious lunch at a nearby picnic table.)

How was it walking down to the water? Unremarkable — which is maybe the most remarkable thing of all. No double-takes, no second glances. At one point one of the beach’s lifeguards blew a whistle, but when our members went over to ask why, she just wanted to let them know that some stranger seemed to be taking photos of them. (“That’s not a stranger,” they reassured her. “We’re all together. We’re part of a group.”)

When we weren’t swimming we spent our time relaxing on the sand, in sight of the giant Ferris wheel and the parachute drop and the century-old Cyclone rollercoaster.

We were reminded that Coney Island and nudity are old friends — even setting aside the burlesque dancers and sideshow performers, back in the days before WWII there were baths with nude sunbathing on the roof (separate sections for women and men, though bold voyeurs going up in the parachute drop could apparently catch a glimpse of both).

But that establishment closed ages ago, and for decades after men won the right to go topless on the beach, women were denied the equal right to do the same thing. That changed as a matter of law 27 years ago…but it has taken longer to change people’s hearts and minds. Clearly that change is finally happening.

And it feels so good. It feels wonderful to be able to relax on a beach with no more on than all the men in sight are wearing — a bottom — and to not feel you’re disrupting the social fabric by doing so. To pull off your top without fear or shame.

And getting to do it with other fun, interesting, smart, well-read women is best of all.

Members in attendance this time included students and teachers, women in art and fashion and theater, a photographer, a neuroscientist, a sex worker. We came from all over America and all over the world — Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Sweden. We’re queer, we’re straight. We’re vegan, we’re carnivores. In other words, we’re everyone. And this Saturday afternoon, everyone was happily going topless.

Would you like to join us next time? We’re getting to the end of summer, so we may not have another beach trip in us this season, but we’ll keep holding outdoor events in the city as long as the weather holds up (in some years that’s even meant events in October and November!). And when it gets too cold out to do that, we find fun things to do naked indoors. 🙂 If you’re curious or intrigued…whether you know for sure you want to do it or are still a little nervous…we’d love to hear from you. Email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or find us on Insta at @Topless.Pulp. (On Twitter it’s @ToplessPulp without the underscore.) We’ll supply everything you need. Even the books!

And if you do find yourself on the beach in New York before the winter winds begin to blow, we hope you’ll try going topless too. Yes, it’s easier with a group of other women — but it’s fine doing it solo too. The law is the law. And for once, we’re the beneficiaries of it.

We’re still waiting for properly warm weather to land in New York for more than an hour or two at a time — it will, we know it will, but it hasn’t, and we’re getting tired of waiting for it.

One of our members got so tired of waiting she flew off to the Riviera Maya, from whose sunlit shores she sent these two photos, just to make the rest of us jealous.

It worked.

But next week it’s supposed to get up into the high 70s here! So hope is not the only thing springing eternal — spring should finally be springing too.

Want to join us in turning New York City into, if not a tropical paradise, at least a topless one? Email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. All body-positive women welcome. Let’s show the world you don’t have to fly thousands of miles from home to enjoy freedom under the sun. 🙂

This time of year, we often hear from friends in other parts of the world and sometimes we envy them their warm weather. For instance, our favorite Aussies sent this photo from their most recent beach trip:

You can’t see much of the sea and sky (and even less of the sand), but you do get the sense that the temperature there is well north of freezing. Which is more than we can say of New York City.

Closer to home, we corresponded with a friend in Florida — but where she lives in Florida it’s both warmer and colder than here in NYC. How’s that possible? Well, the literal climate is warmer, but the climate for women exercising their equal rights is colder, meaning that if our friend wants to read without a shirt on, she’s got to do it in the privacy of her own home.

In Florida! Land of warmth and sun! Millions of men walk around in the Florida sun with no clothing on above the waist. Why in the world should it be forbidden for the women of Florida to do the same thing? (ETA: #NotALLFlorida, as some of our readers have pointed out. You can go topless on Miami Beach; South Beach is famous for it. And of course Haulover Beach is fully nude. But try it in some other counties and you’re in for a chillier reception.)

Now there’s nothing wrong with reading in your own home, or being naked at home — those are both wonderful things to do, and believe us, we’re doing plenty of both these days.

But that shouldn’t be any woman’s only option. Not when men can do it on any beach, in any marina, the deck of their yacht, the cockpit of their kayak, the seat of their bicycle, etc., etc., etc.

Here’s to more options for women — and to warmer weather returning to NYC, where there are more options.

Maybe when it does our friend will pack her shades and her read and come for a visit.

IMG_6455For years, people — including our own members — have been telling us we needed to go to Gunnison, the nude beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. But it was in New Jersey! Even getting out members out to the beach in Brooklyn (Coney Island) or Queens (Riis) was hard. Gunnison is an hour and a half drive from the city, and almost none of our members have cars, for one thing. And yeah, there’s a ferry that can take you part of the way by water, but only part of the way, and then you have to get a bus, and the line can be long, and…

And we never went. For seven years.

But this year we finally did, and as everyone predicted, it was pretty wonderful.

IMG_6481IMG_6803IMG_6546IMG_6549Gunnison is a weird place. It’s in New Jersey but on federal land (a former military base, it seems), which is why even though New Jersey is more restrictive about nudity than New York is, you can actually go fully nude at Gunnison but only topless at New York beaches.

IMG_6791And it’s absolutely packed on a sunny weekend day — easily a thousand people. Not all aging hippies, not all leathery sun worshippers or hipsters with lumberjack beards and body modifications; you’ll find those types, but really you’ll find every type. There were a lot of couples just spending the day together, work buddies hanging out, recent immigrants from two dozen countries…it was like the crowd you might see on the subway at rush hour, only a) friendly and b) not wearing any clothes. This isn’t Burning Man, where you hang out naked with tripping artists and free spirits and Silicon Valley billionaires and their aspiring model friends. This is hanging out naked with random regular people — your dental hygienist is there in the crowd somewhere, and the guy who stocks supplies in your office’s mail room, and the girls who work the registers at the supermarket where you bought the strawberries and pita chips and guac you brought with you to the beach so you wouldn’t starve. Your bus driver is there (literally: we booked a bus to take us there and back, and in between the driver hit the sand himself, and he couldn’t get enough of it: “Oh man,” he texted us, “it’s my first time here. I love that beach!”). Your high school math teacher is probably there somewhere, or maybe your elementary school principal. And no one’s embarrassed or ashamed. Everyone’s just chilling.

IMG_6569One of the reasons is that there are no cameras, or almost none — the culture there is very much a no-photos culture, which meant we got some side-eye when we took out ours to memorialize this event. Of course we explained our goal was only to photograph ourselves. But we get it: it’s a crowded beach and a photo that’s got us in the foreground might have who-knows-whom in the background. Out of respect for the crowd and its norms, we took very few pictures (by our standards) and so have only a handful to share.

IMG_6565But picture taking wasn’t the point. The point was that here was a spot within relatively easy driving distance of the city where all the city’s denizens could strip off every stitch and just be human together. And that was an entrancing discovery. Of course we knew we could do that — we get naked together all the time, and we love it. But we’re used to doing it surrounded by strangers who range from indifferent to judgmental, and who certainly don’t respond to our nakedness by getting naked themselves. This was like walking into Central Park and seeing everyone in the crowd completely naked, from grandmas to teenagers, every skin tone and body type, a thousand vulvas and penises, two thousand breasts, and not an unkind word or uncomfortable glance anywhere. It was truly inspiring.

IMG_6505IMG_6692IMG_6729IMG_6757IMG_6780Will we go back? Well, it is a long drive. And the summer’s almost over. But how did Molly Bloom put it? yes I said yes I will Yes.

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IMG_9153We heard from our sister group in Australia again with more photos from their visit to their local beach. And this being the 4th of July, we figured it was as good a time as any to share them with you. We love this group of proud, independent, body-positive ladies and hope someday soon they come to NYC for a visit.

SwanMay2018-2SwanMay2018-3We, meanwhile, have no beach trip planned for the holiday, but we’re delighted to take this opportunity to look back at past visits to Coney Island…

IMG_8532…and Riis Beach.

IMG_3088IMG_3319New York City is not blessed with truly great beaches, alas, and certainly not ones where we’re able to be as completely free as our Aussie friends. But we do still enjoy a touch of sand and sea. So another outing to the shore may be in our future.

Would you like to come with us if we do go? Or to any of our in-the-city events, for that matter? Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We welcome all like-minded women to come beat the heat with us.

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Swanbourne Jan 2018 -1While we’re still freezing our asses off here in New York City, we’re thrilled to hear from friends in other, warmer parts of the world, like our sister group in Australia. They shared some photos with us from a recent visit to Swanbourne Beach in Perth, where from all appearances it’s basically paradise on earth.

Swanbourne Jan2018 -4“Indecent exposure is defined as an act that causes offence,” writes the leader of our Aussie crew, “so nudity, toplessness, bum out, etc., is not an offence on its own. Specific areas can be defined by a specific dress or behaviour code, so we do have three beaches which are specified as not top free. Otherwise all is good. Beaches are only 20 mins from the city centre, and right in the middle is the legal nude beach, with other ones north and south. Hence we tend to ‘hang out’ on beaches more than say parks, but could if we wanted to. Backyard swimming pools go without saying.”

Swanbourne Jan2018 -2She continued: “Hope everyone in the northern half of the world defrosts soon, but we are doing just fine down here. For everyone up your way in the cold, come on downunder.”

Swanbourne Jan2018 -3Ah, how we wish we could! Nothing sounds better to a chilled New Yorker than chilling on the beach, and warming our southern hemispheres in the southern hemisphere would be lovely. Alas, the whole 24-hours-on-a-plane thing. And the be-at-work-Monday-morning thing. So we’ll wait for the warmth to migrate northward.

But more photos would not be unwelcome, girls! We can enjoy the sun vicariously, and warm ourselves with the smoldering flames of our envy. 🙂

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ETA: Ask and you shall receive! We just got these mailed to us from our girls in Oz.

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SwanRiver20180322-4.jpgSwanRiver20180322-1.jpgWill they ever visit NYC? We certainly hope so! We’ve never met any of them in the flesh, and we’d love to. 🙂

MVI_3633Sorting through all our photos from the summer, remembering the good times we’ve had, we came across a brief video we shot when we were on Riis Beach but somehow forgot to include when we posted our report about that trip.

It’s just a few seconds long — not even the length of a Vine! — but we thought we’d share it anyway.

The summer may be fading, but in memory we’ll be dancing forever.

IMG_3181Followers of this blog will have noticed that we don’t go to the beach a lot. That’s not because we don’t like beaches — we love them. But New York City makes it easy to go to the park and hard to go to the beach. Few of us have cars, for one thing, and getting to the beach is a lot easier with one.

But at least once each summer, we make a point of going. Last summer we braved the hour-long subway ride and the siren song of funnel cake vendors to go to Coney Island, and this past week we went to Riis Beach.

IMG_3103Now, Riis is famous, but few of us had ever been. It’s a right pain to get to — in the end, we wound up hiring a bus to take us there and back. And once you’re there, there’s not much in the way of amenities. A few food vendors on the boardwalk, some fenced-in fields, an abandoned nursing home building for atmosphere.

IMG_2938But…what an amazing beach it is!

IMG_3145Who knew that one hour out of Manhattan there’s a beach that’s as free and loose and casual as you’d find on the coast of Spain or a Greek island or either Riviera (French or Maya)? The sand was packed the day we went — one of the nicest weekend days all summer — but everywhere people were relaxing and getting along, and at least on the eastern end where we set up our towels, as many women were topless as not.

IMG_3412IMG_3555IMG_3057How wonderful, for once, not to be the only ones! Not that we really mind when we are — it’s ok, as long as no one bothers us. But how wonderful to look around and see all sorts of women confidently baring their breasts, and no one thinking anything of it!

IMG_3294So we staked out a little patch of sand for ourselves and lost no time in stripping down to as little as we could get away with.

IMG_2919IMG_2949IMG_2988Not to be undone, one of the three boys we had with us this time decided to rock a gold-sequined C-string, which was the hit of the beach until he made the mistake of wearing it into the water. Hello, wave; goodbye, C-string.

IMG_9912The water was lovely. Choppy, yes, some giant waves, but cold and refreshing and we took many long swims…

IMG_3576IMG_3006…then walked the length of the beach after to dry off.

IMG_3411The beach does have a more “bohemian” (aka, gay) section and a slightly more conservative (aka, straight) section, and we probably got a few more looks when we strayed from one to the other. But just curiosity, not hostility. No catcalls, nothing to break the lovely mood of the day, even when we moved from the sand to the boardwalk.

IMG_3374Back at our towels, we got some reading done. (No, Invisible Man doesn’t count as pulp fiction — it wasn’t the H.G. Wells version! — and neither does The New Yorker, but cut us some slack. We like to read a variety…)

IMG_3500IMG_3227IMG_3219And for those who didn’t bring reading material? There was sun, sun sun.

IMG_3260IMG_3319IMG_3463IMG_3095Eventually 5pm arrived, and our bus with it. We took one last dip…

IMG_3037IMG_3519…then packed our things, bid a rueful adieu to the sand and sun, and motored back to Manhattan.

Would we do it again? Oh, in a heartbeat. It’s tempting to go every week! Yes, Gunnison lets you go fully nude, which would be an improvement; Riis has a history of being used nude, but that was in the 60s and 70s, and the world is more censorious about such things now. (Unless the ocean eats your swimsuit, people understand that!) But Riis more than makes up for it with the warmth of the crowd, the quality of the scenery, and the relative ease of access (Gunnison is in New Jersey, a 50% longer drive). And you really couldn’t ask for a better place to relax with friends.

IMG_3597Probably this was our only beach trip for this summer, but if you’d be excited about joining us for another, we can consider it — just send email to toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and let us know.  August is beach weather too, after all.

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