Archives for category: outside new york

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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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. 🙂

IMG_1078Yes, we’re New Yorkers. But some of us sometimes travel. And when we do it’s sometimes to a part of the world where we can indulge our inner nudist. (If that isn’t a contradiction in terms. Outer nudist makes more sense, I suppose.)

IMG_1079One of our members took a trip to the Balearic Islands and sent back these photos from her holiday. We thought we’d share them with you.

IMG_1077IMG_1076IMG_1075Do we envy her? Perhaps; but no more than we envy the inhabitants of Ibiza and Formentera for having her company. Meanwhile, our scenery back home may be less sparkling and azure, but rest assured that we’re enjoying our own version of a naked holiday every chance we get, in a very different setting but under the selfsame sun.

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We’ve got the best fans in the world! It’s getting a bit too chilly to go topless outdoors in New York City, and we haven’t yet finalized our plans for indoor alternatives during the winter months.  But we’ve heard from women all over the country and all over the world who’ve expressed solidarity with us, and we’ve invited them to be part of our grand adventure by sending us a photo of themselves reading their favorite book top-free, and lo and behold, some of them have.

Our first images come from the delicious BiblioBabes, Kat and Cara, in Canada, and god bless them, they love books and getting naked and what more could anyone want? We’ll even forgive that Kat’s reading an e-book in the photo above. (We’re ink-and-paper girls ourselves.)

We also got a submission from a fan in New York who asked to remain anonymous (hence her face being just out of frame) but who wrote, “This is so awesome …I would like to express how excited I am to be a part of what you’re doing.” Well, we’re excited to have you be part of it! (Extra points for elevating the level of the discourse by bringing Zora Neale Hurston into the picture, and even more for doing so without straying too far from pulp fiction: the book is “a first-hand account of the weird mysteries and horrors of voodoo.”)  We can’t wait to share a blanket with you in the park when the weather’s warm enough again!

And how about you…? If you’d like to show the world you’re a proud naked reader like us, send a photo to toplesspulpfiction[AT]gmail.com, and we’ll post our favorites. (Heck, we’ve got some extra copies left of Hard Case Crime’s new books, including GETTING OFF…while supplies last, we’ll send a free copy to everyone whose photo we run! How’s that for incentive?)

In the meantime, keep those thermostats up, those bras off, and those pages turning!