Archives for category: fans

In our last post we shared photos from friends in Australia — where it’s currently summer and a nude beach provides relief from both the heat and the need to wear clothes — and Florida, where we wrote that the climate is colder both in terms of the weather and the attitude toward women’s body freedom. (Yes, yes, we know: some parts of Florida are open-minded. But not all, and not the one our friend’s from.)

We subsequently heard from people in other parts of the world that offer women similarly few options. In Serbia, for instance, we’re told that there are only one or two beaches where toplessness is allowed. Aside from that, the taboo against women going shirtless is strong enough that even breastfeeding mothers get nasty looks if they don’t hide themselves somewhere out of view. Of course, that’s true in many parts of the U.S. as well. Not New York, though. We’re grateful to live somewhere where only the temperature prevents us from reading our books out in open air.

An ocean away in Venezuela, political protests recently have sometimes involved public nudity, but if you simply want to be topless and not have tear gas lobbed at you, good luck. Some of our correspondents were nervous even about showing their faces on our site, but they shared these at-home images in solidarity.

NYC, meanwhile, has finally broken out of the polar vortex cold snap that had us all huddling in quilted parkas and under comforters. Yesterday was a balmy 40 degrees! The thaw is coming.

May it come soon to other parts of the nation, and other parts of the world.

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_4025Two summers ago, we met a funny, smart, beautiful woman named Mara Altman, who said she was writing a book about women’s bodies in general and her body in particular. She wanted to see what our events were like in preparation for writing the chapter about breasts. We were delighted to have her join us.

img_3582Now, after a gestation period that would do an elephant proud, Mara has published that book: GROSS ANATOMY, subtitled “Dispatches From the Front (and Back).” And sure enough, it has a chapter about breasts, and the baring thereof in public, focused on a topless bicycle tour we did in downtown Manhattan. It is thoughtful, eye-opening, and laugh-out-loud funny, and we commend both it and the rest of the book to your attention.

img_3587“When I’d thought about participating,” Mara writes, “the possible pitfalls had seemed huge. What if I changed careers? Say someday I want to be a politician. I’m running on a ticket of universal health care and weekly pizza parties for all, but then, during opposition research, a picture of my bare tits bobbling above a bicycle is revealed. I am no longer fit to serve. Keeping fabric less than a millimeter thick between your body and the world somehow preserves your integrity and makes you honorable, respectable, and capable of deep thoughts. Taking that little swatch of material away makes you a hussy.”

img_3607But of course she goes ahead and joins us anyway. “We rode through Battery Park and stopped in view of the Statue of Liberty, where one of the girls — one of the ones who had breasts that I wouldn’t mind having (it was something about the perkiness, the lightheartedness of the pair, like they were tulips reaching for the light in the sky) — read Emma Lazarus’s sonnet ‘The New Colossus.’ ”

img_3683“We made a quick stop at the New York Stock Exchange, which was filled with men in suits, but what really stood out were the many tourists aiming their cameras at us. Our meaningful movement, to them, was merely a stunt to document on their Instagram feed.”

img_3701img_3694“I saw interest, shock, disdain, adoration, and curiosity on the faces that flashed past. Many, hordes in fact, turned their phones toward us and began recording. I got it; usually, viewing this kind of stuff costs money and endless viruses on one’s computer. I tried to be chill…But every time a camera pointed in our direction, one of the girls, the one who had grandiose breasts, large and pillowlike, the type I’d decided would be perfect to rest my face in for a quick respite from the world, would yell, ‘Fuck you, you have to ask!’…I didn’t share her sentiment. Going outside topless would be like going out with a pair of parrots chanting ‘I like big butts and I cannot lie’ while fornicating on your shoulder, and expecting witnesses not to snap a picture. It wasn’t realistic.”

IMG_4092She writes about the experience of shopping for a sandwich in a shop whose staff isn’t receptive; she writes about eating lunch in the park, with a break for kickball with some kids.

img_3827IMG_3955img_3891Finally when a brief rain shower breaks out, she has an epiphany: “As little droplets pinged pleasingly all over my body, I finally realized an interesting change — my breasts, in that moment , weren’t for anyone but me. I hadn’t really dwelled on it before, but since my beginning, my breasts have always been for someone else. When I was a teenager, I wanted my breasts to grow so I’d be attractive to boys. When my breasts turned out small, I felt it was my duty to warn boys before they went under my half-filled bra cups so they wouldn’t be disappointed by what they found. For doctors, my breasts were something that could potentially turn lethal. For the babies I may have one day, they would be a source of food…Being topless is always a stop on the way to somewhere else — to a shower, to a breast exam, to sex — but it is rarely the destination in and of itself. By exposing my breasts to everything and everyone in one of the largest cities in this nation, paradoxically I finally got a taste of what it was like to relish them for myself.”

IMG_4055We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Hell, we couldn’t have said it half as well.

Check out what else this eloquent topless bicyclist has to say  here — and let us be the first to say this: Mara Altman for President in 2020.

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IMG_2297So, we got this email.

It was from a fan of our group who lives in Ireland. She’d read about us online some years ago and had been excited ever since about what we do. “Coming from a country that’s FINALLY started controlling women’s bodies just a little bit less,” she wrote, “I can’t imagine anything happening like this in Ireland.” She was only going to be in New York for a few days, but did we have a meet-up planned that she could join?

IMG_2288Well, we didn’t — but the weather was looking cooperative, and we can’t say no to a fan who’s been waiting years to meet us, so we made a snap decision to see if one or two of us might be free on short notice to meet in Bryant Park, behind the main branch of the New York Public Library. And then…

We got this other email.

IMG_2397This one wasn’t from overseas, but it was still from pretty far away, in the heart of the great American midwest, from a woman who wrote, “I am a nudist (and English major, so I love books!) who is in town for a few days with my boyfriend, also a nudist. When I Googled nudist activities in New York you guys came up.” Did we have a meet-up planned on Wednesday that she could join…?

IMG_2355Well, yes. As it just so happens, we did, thanks to our new friend from Ireland.

IMG_2312And so, what had started out as a tiny, last-minute thing turned into a proper event with more than half a dozen of us lying out on the lawn, relaxing blissfully top-free in the mid-afternoon sun, celebrating freedom and international comity. (Or is it amity? Harmony? We leave it to you and your thesaurus to decide.)

IMG_2480IMG_2494IMG_2503We shared sunscreen…

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IMG_2350…and showed off our ink. (One of us even bore the Dark Mark! Go, Slytherin!)

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IMG_2455We shared towels and reading material, and we broke bread.

IMG_2264And when the time came to call it an afternoon, it was like old friends saying goodbye.

IMG_2513If you’re from far away but plan to be in New York sometime this summer, let us know. We can’t promise to get something up on short notice every time (so the more notice you can give us, the better), but we love to meet women from other parts of the country and other parts of the world who share our outlook on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and let us know when you’re going to be in town.

And if you’re a New Yorker? Why, that just makes everything even easier.

Get in touch.

Wherever you’re from, far or near, we’ll be bosom buddies before long.

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IMG_1111We’re told that when the flood came, all God’s creatures went on the ark in pairs, two by two. Did they come off the ark that way, too, when the sun came out again?

Don’t ask us; we’re not the bible study type. But as our corner of the world has been emerging from its own seemingly endless season of dismal weather, two by two is how we’re poking our heads out into the sun again.

IMG_0935First there was our two-person expedition to visit the cherry blossoms in Central Park.

IMG_0636Then we got word that a fan from Australia was in town, so one of us joined her on a still-chilly day near the John Lennon memorial by Strawberry Fields. (You only see one of us because our Aussie friend was nervous about coworkers back home seeing her topless on the Internet. That’s ok. She did get topless in front of a few hundred total strangers on the other side of the planet. One step at a time.)

IMG_0173IMG_0169Then, after a solid week of rain, the clouds parted briefly on Sunday afternoon, and two of us headed out to Washington Square Park, where we unclad ourselves among a blissful potpourri of recent NYU grads, hula hoopers, adorable pigeon feeders, and enthusiastically patriotic canines.

IMG_0753IMG_1056IMG_1004IMG_1121No hula hoops for us, but we brought books, and the various yummies we also brought didn’t go to the birds. We read, lounged, noshed, and caught up on a winter’s worth of drama in each other’s lives. And then read some more. We are a book club and do have our priorities, after all.

IMG_0965IMG_0976IMG_0988Two by two. But the sun is shining more regularly now, and more of us are aching to feel her rays on our sun-deprived exteriors. So you’ll see larger numbers of us out and about soon. And remember, if you’d like to be part of those larger numbers yourself, we welcome all women, the bold and the curious, to join us — just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we’ll let you know what we’ve got coming up.

Wouldn’t you enjoy being out in the sun and free?

We hope you’ll reflect on it.

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IMG_9607We recently received an email message from a woman in Turkey that broke our heart, but also filled us with gratitude and hope. With her permission, we’re sharing her message here (but not her name).

Hi! I am a 31 year old woman from Istanbul, Turkey and I have been following your blog for a few years now. I just wanted to say that you are very, VERY fortunate sisters of mine that happen to live far, far away from me. I cannot imagine sunbathing topless here in Istanbul. I would be sexually harrassed and then arrested within an hour. Plus, I would have photos of me circulating to shame and harrass me forever.

Despite living in this reality, reading the blog and looking at the photos make me feel at peace, knowing that there are some places in the world where I could live the way I want to. I deserve like-minded sisters to read with, and my boobs deserve sunlight!

I hope to visit New York City someday, and if that day ever comes, I would LOVE to come spend an afternoon at the park with you people if it is OK. I love scifi books and comics ❤

Thank you so much for making the world a better place! Maybe someday the whole world will see that female nipples are not the worst of the planet’s problems.

Hope to meet you someday,

Love,
[NAME REDACTED]

Some people ask, why do we make such a big deal about the freedom to go topless when it’s already legal where we live? This is why.

IMG_9900IMG_87xxBAnd yes, we told her we would love to meet her if she ever comes to New York. And we would love to meet you, too, whether you live in New York or are just visiting (we’re meeting a fan from Belgium today, and one from France tomorrow!), whether you’ve never bared your breasts outdoors or have been doing it since you were a child, whether you’re nervous about it or elated, and no matter how young or old you are or what you look like. All women are welcome; all women deserve to be free.

Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

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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. 🙂