Archives for category: roof

IMG_4834Five years ago, a painter named Andy Golub had a brilliant brainstorm. He’d been painting works of art on the bodies of individual models for some time, and had won some legal battles establishing that he had the right to do so outdoors in New York City. (It’s legal for women to be topless outdoors in New York anywhere a man can; full nudity is generally not legal in public for anyone of any gender. But there’s an exception — women and men can both be naked in public places as part of an artistic exhibition or a play. And being painted as a human canvas is certainly an artistic exhibition.)

IMG_4923So here’s the brilliant brainstorm he had: what if, instead of one painter painting one model in a public place, he brought together fifty painters and fifty models — models of all ages, sizes, races, and genders, painters from all over the country and all over the world? Suddenly, the artist and model would no longer be outnumbered by a confused and judgmental crowd — in one place, for a time, naked would be the norm. Art would be the norm.

IMG_4943And so Bodypainting Day was born. This year is the 5th anniversary, and anyone interested in attending can find the group in Washington Square Park starting around noon on Saturday, July 14. In anticipation of the big day, and maybe to get his painting arm limbered up, Andy met with us this week on our favorite rooftop sundeck and tested out some wonderful new designs.

It’s fun to be a human canvas, and even more fun to watch the process as your friends get turned into living works of art.

IMG_4461IMG_4515IMG_4734IMG_4504IMG_4585IMG_4608IMG_4682IMG_4711IMG_4533IMG_4643IMG_4683IMG_4741IMG_4856And lest you think bodypainting is just for girls…

IMG_4496IMG_4629IMG_4716IMG_4749IMG_4782Turnabout being fair play, at the end one of the painters got painted:

IMG_4887And we even had a spectator or two who remained pristine.

IMG_4656Look like fun? It was. If you’re thinking you might like to try this someday — with or without the paint — we welcome all curious and body-positive women to join us. Just send email to toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and tell us a little about yourself. You’ll be under the sun — and who knows, maybe under the brush too — in no time.

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IMG_0864Today, our blog topped 22.5 million views — a random number, but also sort of an astonishing one when you consider that we’re just one small group in one city, quietly going about our business. Granted, it’s a big city and what we’re doing is eye-catching. But still. It’s gratifying to know that our message has peacefully spread to so many readers in so many parts of the world. (Fewer than half our views have come from the United States; the rest have come from everywhere from Europe and Australia to Micronesia, Vatican City, even North Korea.)

People across America and throughout the world have seen that in New York it’s possible for women to enjoy the same freedom as men, and for women’s bodies to be treated as normal and ordinary and healthy, rather than shameful or provocative or in some other way deserving of being forcibly covered up or hidden away.

0713-jWe’ve flown the banner of freedom in parks and plazas,

park-jMadisonSq-eOn rooftops and in restaurants,

IMG_9479IMG_5605IMG_7071At landmarks and monuments,

octpfas_081513-9618AS_2382In front of audiences of hundreds and alone in privacy of our little inflatable pool,

IMG_5038IMG_9556In bikini bottoms and in nothing at all.

IMG_3009IMG_2965IMG_2887And through it all we’ve maintained our sense of humor and patience and our conviction that in the end the world will come to see things our way.

Would you like to be part of our grand adventure? Whether you’ve ever done it before or are a nervous first-timer, we welcome all women. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and let us know you’re interested. You’ll be bare-chested under the sun before you know it. And we have a feeling you’re going to love it. 🙂

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IMG_3695Everyone knows — at least everyone who comes to this blog does — that it’s legal in New York for women to go topless outdoors, anywhere that it’s legal for men to do it. But being fully nude is another story.

IMG_3493There are times and places where it’s legal — if you’re putting on a play or participating in the creation or exhibition of art, for instance — but generally speaking if it’s just a nice, sunny day and you’d like to lose your swimsuit bottom as well as your top, your options are limited.

IMG_3550IMG_3539What New Yorkers commonly do is go up to the roof of their apartment building and do it there, though it’s not without risk. You won’t get stopped by the police, but a neighbor might see you and object, or see you and rather too enthusiastically not object, and either way can be awkward.

Our solution for the past several summers has been to visit the sundeck of a little hotel in Chelsea that has made its rooftop officially clothing optional — the sole official nude sunbathing option in the city, as far as we know. You can only use it if you’re a guest at the hotel, so we book a room and then the roof is ours.

IMG_3387It’s a five-story walk-up, so lugging supplies can be a chore…but we’ve been known to do it anyway, reconstructing the better part of a neighborhood bodega up there, from water and beer to fruit and chips and guac and muffins and…

IMG_3708And books. Like this much-loved copy of Stephen King’s It, dating back to when its reader (It‘s reader) was just 12 years old.

IMG_3851On the other end of the spectrum, our friends at Hard Case Crime gave us an early look at Understudy For Death, which isn’t going to be in stores for another month!

IMG_3593And when we weren’t reading or noshing,

IMG_3716IMG_3889IMG_3881We hung out and chatted–

IMG_3441And cooled down in the outdoor shower–

IMG_3439And napped–

IMG_3321And hydrated–

IMG_3517IMG_3401And shot selfies, with and without the church in the background–

IMG_3514IMG_3447And got a teeny, tiny bit of exercise running from one part of the deck to the other.

IMG_3661IMG_3662IMG_3664We modeled outfits and jewelry–

IMG_3821IMG_3873IMG_4010–and heart-shaped linzer cookies.

IMG_3428As you can see, not everyone went fully nude; no one has to. It’s just really nice to have that option.

IMG_4005IMG_3609IMG_3351IMG_3927Yes, there were a few penises out in the sun too. They deserve Vitamin D as much as vulvas do. (Vulvae? Sure, if you want to be all linguistically correct about it. Which of course we do.)

IMG_3777In short, we had a wonderful time. And until this particular sort of wonderful time is allowed in the middle of Central Park, we’ll continue enjoying it in our little rooftop sanctuary.

Would you like to join us next time? Or for our next topless visit to one of the city’s parks, for that matter? Either way, drop us an email — toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you, and perhaps to induct you into our sun-swept sorority for the summer. IMG_3573IMG_3649

 

IMG_8036We recently had the good fortune to reach nearly 2 million viewers with the brief video documentary that 60-Second Docs created about us. Maybe by the time you read this it’ll be over 2 million, who knows. In any event, it’s a lot of people, all over the world, who have now been exposed to the fact that women in New York are free to go topless outdoors in public anywhere that men are. That’s a wonderful thing. We hope it encourages more women to try it if it’s allowed where they live, or to try to change the law where they live if it’s not allowed yet.

But public spaces aren’t the only ones in which people sometimes enjoy relaxing without clothes on. There are private spaces as well, such as this rooftop sundeck that we periodically visit for a bit of naked R&R. Happily, even in jurisdictions where public toplessness isn’t an option for women, private toplessness (or nudity) generally still is — you just have to find a suitable spot.

IMG_7971That’s not a substitute for equality in the public realm — nothing is. But if you can’t take your shirt off in a public park where you live, or on the beach, we hope you don’t let that keep you from getting a taste of outdoor nakedness altogether.

IMG_8062IMG_8065Similarly, if you live in New York and could legally go topless in the middle of Central Park but feel too shy to do it, maybe an afternoon sunning on a private rooftop would be a good way to try it out.

IMG_8001One way or another, we hope you do try it. It’s the most liberating, satisfying feeling! And each small step is another step closer to the ultimate goal: freedom and equality everywhere.

IMG_7878Today the rooftop, tomorrow the world.

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IMG_4928If every fall could be like this one has been so far, we’d have nothing to complain about.

IMG_4962Well, that’s not exactly true: the threat of nuclear war, racism back at home, a real son of a bitch in the White House. We have plenty to complain about. But the weather — the weather has been wonderful, and we’ve been taking full advantage of it.

IMG_5123IMG_4710IMG_4841fThis was us on our favorite rooftop sundeck, soaking up as many rays as our bodies could absorb, knowing full well that, as a certain HBO series puts it, winter is coming. We also met in the park, and we’ll let you see that shortly, but first things first. There’s really nothing like getting naked with a dozen of your friends —

IMG_4643— and for good measure a stranger or two, who quickly became new friends. (There’s nothing quite like nudity to spark fellow-feeling.)

IMG_4581IMG_4758And there’s nothing like being somewhere where it’s okay not just to take your shirt off but to take off every last stitch.

IMG_4865f(Not counting dinosaur jewelry, of course. That always stays on. Always.)

IMG_4552Someone recently commented on one of our old posts that one of our members might be upset because her vulva was showing in one of the photos. So? We have vulvas. (Most of us.) They deserve sun as much as any other part of the body, and too rarely get any. And it’s healthier to enjoy your body than to be ashamed of it.

IMG_4924IMG_4662IMG_4846What else are we not ashamed of? Reading. Reading everything under the sun, quite literally. In this case, Schott’s Original Miscellany. Not pulp fiction, but quite wonderful.

IMG_4690Also: satisfying our non-literary cravings, for instance for libations or ablutions.

IMG_4694IMG_4742IMG_5024We took butt selfies in the sun…

IMG_4810…and had fun in the shade.

IMG_5020fIMG_4941And what’s next on the docket for us? Well, we’re collecting ideas for indoor events to occupy ourselves with then the snow and sleet and wind inevitably come. But in the meantime, we’re gonna keep seizing these 80- and 90-degree days for all they’re worth.

IMG_4900IMG_4731IMG_5072IMG_4992fIf you want to carpe the diem along with us, just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. There’s always room for more curious, brave women on our rooftop, and in our hearts.

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IMG_6067For the fourth year in a row, we celebrated the end of summer (which, okay, technically hasn’t come yet…but it sure feels like it has) by visiting the rooftop pool at the Dream Hotel.

IMG_5547They set aside one of their freshly redesigned cabanas for us, and we filled it with food and beverages courtesy of the hotel’s kitchen and bar — chips and guac and tuna tartare and a burger that mysteriously came with shrimp on it as a topping; and champagne, plenty of champagne.

IMG_5331IMG_5766IMG_5235We brought other things with us as well, such as one of our Doobs, those little 3D-printed statues of ourselves we had made earlier in the year…

IMG_5142…as well as numerous books, ranging from our habitual pulp fiction, both in English and in Portuguese

IMG_5667–to non-fiction such as Laura Kipnis’ latest

IMG_5737…and something called Ethical Porn for Dicks, which somehow inspired a puppy pile.

IMG_6287When we weren’t ingesting intoxicants in physical or literary form, we swam in the pool, which was a bit chilly but still very, very satisfying.

IMG_6132IMG_5598IMG_5649IMG_6096We took photos of each other and shared them with everyone in our life who might enjoy them.

IMG_6139IMG_6024IMG_5797(Leis helpfully supplied by one member helped keep some selfies Instagram- and Facebook-friendly. Though sometimes it didn’t really work.)

IMG_5951And we even converted a spectator to our cause — she saw us having a great time and eventually came over and joined in.

IMG_5911She wasn’t our only first timer either: another new friend who’s been emailing with us since July finally managed to make it to one of our events, and we’re so glad she did. She told us she had a great time, and that she has two sisters she hopes to bring in the future. We’re thrilled. The more the merrier, to coin a phrase.

IMG_5149IMG_5923Speaking of which: If you’d like to join us for some outdoor topless adventures, it’s not too late. We still have events in September each year, sometimes even October. (One year, even December!) And once outdoor toplessness is no longer feasible, we’ll continue to meet over the colder months, only we’ll do it indoors, where maybe the sun won’t shine, but we nevertheless find ways to entertain ourselves.

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If you’re interested, please drop us a note at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

IMG_5653In the meantime, we’ll leave you with a few more glimpses of our day in the sun. Just think: this could be you next time.

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

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IMG_3732When we sunbathe topless in the park or take our shirts off in some other public place on a 90-degree day, it has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with comfort and equality. We like wearing less when it’s hot out than when it’s cold; stripping off a sweaty t-shirt to lie in the grass or play frisbee or enjoy the spray from a fountain isn’t a sexual act when we do it any more than when a man does. We work hard to make this distinction clear: nudity does not equal sex, and the two should not be confused or conflated.

That said, most of us do also like sex.

So we were cautiously receptive when we were contacted recently by several alumnae of Betty Dodson’s famous Bodysex workshop, which has been teaching women to explore their own bodies and their sexuality for something like fifty years. (Betty Dodson herself is close to 90 years old, and still going strong.) There was a Bodysex reunion being held near NYC, and some of the participants were followers of our group, and they asked if they might come to one of our events while they were in town. Of course we said yes, and invited them to join us on our favorite private rooftop sundeck.

Now, normally the privacy we enjoy there only means we get to sunbathe fully nude rather than merely topless. But this time it meant something more, since our visitors promised to share some of their practice with us, and their practice includes group masturbation and shared orgasm.

How many of us had ever masturbated in a group before? Not many. But we’re open-minded and very much pro-orgasm and sex-positive, so we decided we’d give it a try.

IMG_3746In all, between the Bodysex alums and us there were a dozen people on the roof. Some were first-timers, some long-time members; eleven were women, one was a man.

IMG_3759IMG_3712IMG_3660We began by sharing our groups’ respective stories, and some fresh fruit, white wine, and mimosas to go with them. (What story doesn’t go better with a mimosa?)

IMG_3681cAfter that, we shifted from the couches and lounge chairs to the floor of the roof and the dozen comfy soft towels Amazon had thoughtfully shipped us the day before.

IMG_3709We had a selection of toys to choose from — ones that vibrated, ones that pulsed, ones that sucked — and enough bottles of lube to stock a medium-sized pharmacy. (What’s the difference between a lubricant that “Arouses and intensifies” and one that “Arouses and releases”? We figured we’d find out.)

IMG_3655Someone in the group had an iPhone with a relevant Spotify playlist (“30 All-Time Greatest Songs to Masturbate To“)…

IMG_3794…and someone else had a bluetooth speaker. Connections were made. The mood was set. The moment of truth arrived. So we took off any clothes we still had on, laid back, spread our legs and dove in.

IMG_3750A word about masturbation: it’s nothing to be shy about, certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes the best orgasm you can have is one you give yourself. Learning how to pleasure yourself can also help you learn how to have more satisfying sex with a partner — but it doesn’t have to be about that. The self-administered orgasm (like the self-portrait, or self-hypnosis) can be an end in itself. Masturbation isn’t anything to apologize for. We all do it, women and men, and when we do it right it’s wonderful.

Yesterday, it was wonderful.

IMG_3779It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect for it, sunny and clear — we gave ourselves orgasms under the bluest of skies and the whitest of fluffy white clouds. The air was deliciously warm against our skin.

IMG_3742Was it strange doing something so intimate and private in a group, a number of whom were meeting each other for the first time? A little. But remember, a lot of people also say that baring your breasts is something intimate and private that shouldn’t be done in a public place or in front of someone you don’t know well. People who say that are wrong — so why should we take as a given that they’re right about masturbation having to be solitary?

IMG_3738It helped that while the act was sexual, it was not sexualized. We weren’t performing, we weren’t ogling each other or being ogled (or watched at all, really; our eyes mostly slid shut as we went to somewhere special in our own headspace). We were just friends enjoying ourselves together, feeling beautiful sensations, and sharing that experience — as one member put it the next day, it was less like a sex party than like a wine tasting, only with orgasms instead of wine. And what fine vintages we uncorked.

IMG_3763And then, soon enough — too soon — it was over. We came, we relaxed, we caught our breath. We marveled at this thing we’d just done. Did everyone have a blissful smile on her face, or did it just feel that way?

IMG_3671We all felt really nice, that’s for sure. And our ordinary event started up again. We ate grapes, chatted, joked. Shared our addresses with each other so we could stay in touch. IMG_3730

Eventually, the Bodysex folk headed off to catch their planes home, like magical sex fairies who’d done their job.

Will we ever do it again? Who knows? Certainly not in the middle of Central Park, where going topless means nothing more than that it’s hot out, and neither women nor men are free to engage in sexual acts. But on some wintry afternoon perhaps, in a private room at our favorite spa? Or if one of us has a big enough apartment and enough cushy throw rugs? Why not?

Our group is not about sex, and what we do as a matter of course is not sexual.

This was sexual.

Maybe now people will have an easier time seeing the difference.

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