Archives for category: male

IMG_1950What’s the next best thing to having Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling actually show up at one of our events? Our friends at Hard Case Crime are publishing a new novel based on the upcoming Crowe/Gosling detective comedy, The Nice Guys, and they were kind enough to let us steal an advance peek at the book at our last get-together.

IMG_1526IMG_1907We are happy to report that the book contains no shortage of toplessness, as all good pulp fiction should, and if the movie is half as funny as the book is, it’ll be a fine afternoon at the theater, or evening at home with Netflix a few months later. But we prefer to laugh in the great outdoors, under the sun, with as little clothing on as the law allows, and for those purposes the book version was just perfect.

IMG_1953IMG_1695Even one of our few boys got into the spirit of the thing. (He was in boxers originally, but one of us lent him a spare thong for the occasion. It was much too nice out for boxers. And now we have a photo we can tease him with for the rest of his life.)

IMG_1988For the record, we did get word back to the movie studio that if Russell and Ryan happened to be in town for the premiere of the movie they are welcome to come to one of our events in person.

We won’t even make them wear the thong.

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NYBPD2-31Last year was the first NYC Bodypainting Day, an event where dozens of models met up with dozens of artists, flown in from all over the country and all over the world, to paint on human canvases in public. It was such a success that this year it more than doubled in size, with over 100 models of all shapes and sizes, genders, races, colors, ages, physical abilities, and other attributes all getting naked together on a beautiful East Side street a few blocks from the United Nations, to get painted head-to-toe under the sun.

Needless to say, we were happy to be part of the fun, with several of our members (and a few long-time friends of the family) contributing their bodies to the general celebration.

And what an absolute joy it was! Even with hundreds of onlookers and a police presence (protective of us, but still), nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the participants, and a more cordial, well-behaved, kind and good-natured bunch you couldn’t imagine. And despite more than a hundred bared sets of genitalia exposed to the eyes of all passers-by, the city didn’t crumble, God didn’t smite us (it didn’t even rain, the way it had been threatening to!), and life only became a little freer, a little happier, and a little richer.

One step at a time. But this was a big one.

(P.S. Our thanks to all the wonderful photographers who covered the event and posted their pictures of us online for the world to see. We normally shoot all our own photos, but this time around none of us had any place to carry a camera! We got a few cellphone shots of our own, but for good quality images we’re dependent on the many talented and generous non-painter artists who made the day so special.)

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IMG_2710Who was it that decided the 5th of July would be “Read Naked Day“? The geniuses behind the Naked Girls Reading performances, it seems, and god bless them for it, even if segregating just one three-hundred-sixth-fifth of the calendar for naked reading feels pretty parsimonious to us. Still, better one day than no days, and if that’s what it takes to get Muggles to try wizarding for the first time…

So: we joined in the celebration. How? Well, late, for one thing. We were a day late for Read Naked Day and two for Independence Day, but we had books and an American flag and no clothes, so fuck it. It was a celebration. And lest you think it was merely a double holiday, yesterday was also the birthday of one of our long-time members, making it three, three, three holidays in one.

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We hit our favorite rooftop sundeck, got as naked as naked can get, and read the diaries of Frida Khalo, the instructive Playing the Whore, the equally instructive(?) annotated Lolita, the brilliant new fantasy Uprooted, the just-out-in-bookstores So Nude, So Dead, and the coming-in-September The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes. All excellent reads for a balmy summer day.

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We also had a variety of intoxicants on hand, not least the presence of so many beautiful friends and so little fabric separating us from them.

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So we basically spent the whole afternoon high — on life, on sun and summer, on words and ideas, on the sheer physical pleasure of inhabiting our bodies. And okay, on vodka and proseco.

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None of us wanted to put our clothes back on, and some of us lingered well into the evening. But gravity eventually pulled us back to earth again, as gravity will. (Damn you Isaac Newton! Couldn’t that apple have held on just a bit longer?)

But we’ll always have our memories. And thanks to Monsieur Daguerre and his marvelous invention, you now have them as well.

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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.

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IMG_7913So, a dip in a rooftop pool is one of the great ways to cool down on a hot late-summer day…but it’s not the only way, as one of our members who works as a bartender downtown demonstrated with great proficiency the other day.

IMG_8005We brought the ingredients for margaritas, mojitos, mimosas and cosmos, while she brought the tools of the trade: shaker; strainer; muddler that could double as a fierce butt plug. Corks were popped, screwtops screwed, limes halved, jalapenos quartered, ice smashed against the wooden floor. Drinks were sampled and spilled, spills were licked up. Fresh mint leaves got muddled, and so, by god, did we.

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Did we get any reading done? We did, until the pages started to blur.

IMG_7981IMG_8018After that it was all conversation, some of it about the waning of the season and what we would do to keep the group together over the colder months to come. We have Ideas. Some big ones, some small ones, but no shortage of plans; now it’s just a matter of figuring out which and when and how and who.

But first we plan to drink summer to the lees, much the same as we drank our delicious selection of what Alex Trebek would call Potent Potables. In the altogether because, naked cocktails. Just as lovely as naked reading. And it’s another thing you can’t do in the middle of Central Park. Yet.

IMG_8060IMG_8033IMG_7986IMG_8008IMG_8066IMG_7916IMG_7954IMG_7917IMG_8079Oh — and just to wrap up the rooftop report, here are a few pics we’d planned to include last time but didn’t find room for. Say hello to two of our newest members and one of our oldest, back again after more than a year away. And two of our most steadfast, too, just because, well, we love them. 🙂

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IMG_7707We had a notion that some hotel in New York City — where after all it is legal for women to go topless anywhere a man can, and has been legal for more than 20 years — might be willing to let us use their rooftop swimming pool sometime, side by side with all their topless male guests. We offered to rent hotel rooms so we’d be guests too. But no: they were all terrified to allow bare-chested women on the same roof as bare-chested men.

“This group seems incredible – and very fun!” wrote a representative of the Empire Hotel. But: “Because this is a private space (with food and families) – we require our guests to wear tops. So I am not sure that we would be the best fit for you. Thank you for understanding.” Yes, of course we understand: food, after all. Our bare breasts (unlike men’s bare breasts) will tend to cause milk to sour and meat to spoil and other food to go bad in other mysterious ways. And families! Individual, separate men, women and children can bear exposure to female mammary tissue, but a family, no, a family will explode like popcorn on a hot stove if you wave a nipple in its direction. A woman’s nipple, that is. A man’s nipple, no problem. (True, he wrote “we require our guests to wear tops,” not distinguishing between women and men — but we have a feeling he meant they require this of their female guests. If they required it of their male guests as well it would be a rare swimming pool indeed.)

Jenny Morales of the Gansevoort Hotel wrote, “You’re more than welcome to join us as hotel guests and access the pool, however being that this is family friendly hotel, going topless would not be an option.” Oh, don’t we know it! We have tried and tried to train our breasts not to be so unfriendly to families, but they’re just incorrigible.

Nicolas Oliveira of the Hotel Americano wrote, “We are supporters when it comes to topless sunbathing and as you said, our Hotel does have international flavor. We choose to be neutral at our pool since at the end of the day we are a Hotel and we need to cater to Hotel Guests first. We do not believe that it will have a negative reaction when it comes to our Hotel Guests, but we also do not want to risk anything because we are a Hotel and our guests are our biggest supporters.” We are still trying to untangle that one. But it sounds like “We choose to be neutral at our pool” means “Please, please, please don’t come.”

Well, Nicolas and Jenny and Unnamed Representative — so be it. Your pools, your rules. But it’s a pity that none of you are willing to stand up to mindless conservatism, to fear and shame. Because what terrible thing are we really talking about here? A dozen happy women enjoying the sun with a little less rather than a little more fabric on. Relaxing, reading, tanning — nothing more, nothing worse. Unless you’re all secretly in the fabric industry and afraid your swimsuit concessions will plunge in value, we really can’t comprehend the danger we represent. Just take a look at these photos and tell us — would this really have hurt you so badly? So badly that you were willing to turn away hundreds of dollars in revenue — maybe hundreds per person — just to keep it from happening…?

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And to the enlightened folk at the Colonial Park Inn (where all these photos were taken, after we gave up on our search for a real pool we could use) we say: thank you. We always feel welcome with you. Your pool may be small, and it may be inflatable, and it may not allow us to swim laps or practice the back float, but at least we can ditch the swimsuits. Which is the best way to enjoy a pool.

And get this, you’re not only comfortable with breasts, you’re even okay with vaginas! And penises!

God bless you, Colonial House. God bless you.

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2013-f1One of our regulars moved to Los Angeles last year; we still miss her every time we meet.

When she left, she took with her a roll of film she shot on our favorite rooftop sundeck, and with one thing and another, she never got around to developing the film. Until last week, that is. And she shared the photos with us, a tender and artistic look back at a summer of the past. We share them with you. A reminder, if you will, that the present summer will be a summer of the past not too long from now; that every day is yesterday soon than you might wish.

We’ve got plenty to look forward to, including a singularly exciting adventure coming up this Friday.

But for once, let’s look back.

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20140729_162529Two of the international travelers in our group — one hailing from Australia, one commencing a research project in Saudi Arabia — are heading off next week. They’ll be back…New York has a siren song that calls its daughters home (especially ones who like to get naked in public and are spending an extended period in Saudi Arabia)…but not before this summer is a memory, so to celebrate their departure and see them off in style we gathered on our favorite rooftop sundeck and got naked in the fading rays of the late afternoon. Eight women and two men, a selection of scones and muffins, copies of Heidegger and Under the Dome, two classic film cameras and some cell phones for selfie-snapping…it was as fine an impromptu to-do as we’ve ever had, half Irish wake, half lazy cats lying contentedly in a patch of sun.

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Apologies to the two pairs of strangers who wandered onto the roof while we were there — an adorable couple of boys we peeked at through the shrubbery and then startled by saying hello; a mother and daughter who may not have been expecting the full-frontal view they got. But everyone was well behaved and took the sights in stride, confirming us in our suspicion that NYC is in some ways the most civilized spot in the world.

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Our thanks to the good souls at the Colonial House Inn for letting us indulge our inner nudists (and outer too, we suppose). Especially with a week of rain forecast and our numbers reduced by the departures, we are grateful for every moment in the sun.

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IMG_6715Today, thanks to Andy Golub, was New York City Bodypainting Day, a celebration of art and the  naked body. While normally only toplessness is legal on the streets of Manhattan, full nudity is legal if it’s in the service of an artistic production, and there’s no question that this gathering of a few dozen of the nation’s finest body painters was an artistic production. Working with a common color palette and a mandate to incorporate eyes into their designs, the painters attacked the problem with relish, producing human canvases that were imaginative and beautiful.

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And it was wonderful to see so many people boldly and proudly naked in the sun, on the street at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. Spectators watched, remarkably politely, and the moral fabric of the city was not rent asunder despite the presence of dozens of bared penises, unclothed vaginas, and breasts of every shape, size, age and gender. (Not to mention the handling of same, in full view of onlookers of every shape, size, age and gender.)

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Which begs the question, of course, why it’s okay for people to see this once a year when paint is involved but the other 364 it’s grounds for arrest. But one step at a time.

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IMG_5556Some of us live in Bushwick, some in Greenpoint, some in Ridgewood (NY, not NJ); a few live in Manhattan, but generally not in tony Upper West Side digs. A conversation at our last event involved one member exulting over having recently gotten 28 books for $23 at The Strand.

But a love of personal freedom, and of wearing less clothing when it’s 90 degrees outside, knows no socioeconomic bounds, and this past Saturday one of our members invited us to her penthouse apartment, complete with 3,000 square foot sundeck.  (Sundeck? At 3,000 square feet, let’s call it what it is, a whole second apartment.)

And it was a perfect day for it: clear and bright and sunny, but with clouds scudding across the sun just often enough to keep you from feeling achingly hot. We had close to two dozen people show up, including some old-timers, some first-timers, and everything in between. We had a barbecue grill turning out mouth-watering morsels (thank you, Fresh Direct), and we had a blow-up wading pool big enough to hold eight or nine of us at once. We had copies of Aristotle and The Master and Margarita, Carl Hiaasen and Agatha Christie, Nicholas Sparks and Dan Brown. Plus comics — one of Eric Shanower’s Oz adaptations and, thanks to Craig Yoe, the gorgeous hardcover collection Jack Cole’s Deadly Horror.

But most of all we had the sublime pleasure of lounging around under the sun in as little or as much clothing as we felt like (which for most of us meant nothing at all). And why not? Who did it hurt? We know there are some people who would wag a finger at us and talk sternly about morality, but aren’t they the same people who think things were better back in the Garden of Eden?

Well, postlapsarian we might be, but this Saturday we made ourselves a little Eden. How do you like them apples?

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