Archives for category: roof

Over the years, our group has been the subject of lots of media coverage — the New York Times came out with us to Prospect Park once to shoot a terrific video story; Salon did so twice, once reporting on our ordinary activities and once about our all-female, all-nude production of Shakespeare in Central Park (though the actual videos seem to have gone missing); NBC News has a video still up about our Tempest; and 60 Second Docs ran a minute-long tribute to our events and their raison d’etre.

To this august company you can now add our friends at Naked News. Naked News is a Canadian outfit that began years ago just by reporting everyday news events but having the anchors and reporters doing so be unclothed. But over the years they’ve expanded their coverage to include stories that are about social nudity and the body-freedom movement. (Yes, we know a lot of their subscribers are probably male and are watching out of a motive that has less to do with liberation and equal rights than Ooh, boobies! But even the ‘ooh, boobies’ crowd can learn something about freedom and equality if they’re exposed to the message often enough and persuasively enough.)

Anyway: we’ve known Naked News for years and years now, but somehow never managed to get together with them in the flesh (ha ha), until NN news anchor and all-around fabulous human being Laura Desiree told us she was going to be in NYC for other reasons anyway, and could we finally do this thing?

And our answer was yes. Yes, we could finally do this thing. And we did. You can see the result here.

To shoot a pair of live interviews, we met on our favorite rooftop sundeck, where we could be fully naked if we wanted rather than only topless. (Also, we could count on it being quiet, which is handy when you’re recording audio.) Two of our eloquent members came out to talk about our history and goals, offer testimonials about what it feels like to go shirtless in public, and explain why the freedom to do so matters.

While we were there, we even got some reading done, thanks to a selection of delicious pulp goodness from our friends at Hard Case Crime. (Yes, we have a lot of friends. Life is better that way.)

And Laura filled us in about some of her upcoming projects, including a clothes-free cruise up the Danube. The woman travels a lot! Though she once called New York her home, she’s here only rarely these days.

But she promised to join us again the next time she’s back — not for another news story, just for the pleasure of being naked with other smart, interesting, like-minded women. And if that idea appeals to you too…well, you’re welcome to join us as well. Just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or DM us on Insta or Twitter. We’re getting naked all winter long (though mostly indoors!). And when the summer comes — well, just you wait.

Our tour at summer’s end of the city’s parks, celebrating our warmer-than-normal September and October, culminated on an October day when it hit 90 degrees. Yes, you read that right: 90. So we decided to make that day a twofer and also pay a last visit for the season to our favorite rooftop sundeck.

What’s the difference between meeting in Union Square Park and meeting on the roof? In the park it’s legal for women to go topless — but on the roof we can dispense with clothing altogether.

Not everyone does, of course — everyone does whatever she wants. But it’s nice to have the option.

We can also be ourselves, let our hair down in ways we probably wouldn’t in a public place.

But most of what we do on the roof is the same as in the park: we chat–

We laugh–

We read–

We play with our food–

Even this late in the season, we got to welcome several first-timers who finally got around to coming to an event.

Along with some old friends.

What’s next for us? Well, as the weather has finally turned colder, our next 6 months or so are likely to be spent mostly meeting indoors. But you never know — there have been warm days in November some years. It could happen again. And if not, our indoor events are a lot of fun too! If you have any appetite for the sorts of things we do and would like the chance to try them for yourself, get in touch: our email is toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or you can DM us on Insta or Twitter. And don’t forget — another summer is only 6 months away…

There are so many things we treasure about our get-togethers: the physical pleasure of being bare under the sun on a warm day; the confidence that comes from taking ownership of your body and being proud rather than ashamed of it, strong rather than timid; the knowledge that we’re taking a stand for freedom and equal rights and educating both women and men about what equality means and why it matters. But it’s also just really nice to meet other open-minded, non-judgmental women with whom we can really let our hair down, talk openly, and be ourselves.

What does it mean to be ourselves? It means reading what we want, without having to explain or apologize for our choices.

It means wearing what we want — and as little or as much as we want, for any reason or no reason at all.

It means making our bodies look the way we like — whether that means hair the color of a tropical sunset or a moonlit sky or ink placed wherever the mood strikes us.

It means eating what we like, whether that’s healthy or unhealthy, vegan or omnivore, knowing that our friends may not share our every appetite but will respect our choices.

It also means knowing our choices will be respected in other areas of self expression and personal pleasure.

We strive to live by that most useful kindergarten maxim, “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.” Even when someone else’s yum looks like it must be uncomfortable–

–or involves stealing our food.

As we approach the season of family-themed holidays — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — we want to say that this is our family, and we’re proud of every one of them.

Except maybe the squirrel.

Fall is coming. As much as we might wish summer would last forever, next week it comes to an end. Yes, the temperatures are still poking up into the 70s most days, but pretty soon they’ll top out in the 60s, and then it’ll be 50s, and then we’ll all be wearing knit hats and the greenmarkets will be touting hot apple cider.

But we’re still hanging on to summer with both hands — we held an event in the park yesterday, and we think we can get in one last visit to our favorite rooftop sundeck, too.

Will it be as exceptionally well attended as this one was? Probably not. It’s easier to get people to come out and shed their clothes in August than September. But if anything can inspire us to strip down to the barest of bare essentials, it’s our little rooftop sanctuary.

What calls to us here? The relative privacy, for one thing. Though any guest of the hotel can use the roof, few ever do. And the easygoing, live-and-let-live atmosphere helps too. (The fellow in the foreground here wasn’t a member of our group, but he didn’t seem bothered to have two dozen naked women descend on him — or, as you can see, unduly excited by it.)

We like having an outdoor spot where we can relax in peace–

–with some cool water and a stack of books.

Where we can eat a simple meal–

Draw a little, paint a bit–

Catch up with whatever’s happening on the internet–

Share with our neighbors–

Be neighborly in other ways–

And just bask in the sun–

–all without worrying that the sight of our bodies might alarm or offend anyone.

Remember that interview Shailene Woodley gave at the height of her Divergent fame, where she talked about the salutary effects of sunlight on body parts too often kept under wraps? “I like to give my vagina a little Vitamin D,” she was quoted as saying. “When the sun finally comes out, spread your legs and get some sunshine.” We feel the same way.

Only with warm days in waning supply, it’s less when the sun finally comes out and more before the sun goes away.

What will we do over the winter? Oh, we always find fun things to do indoors. We sing karaoke, we visit the spa, we do yoga.

Or we brave the snow and ice for some Polar Bear Club-style outdoor fun:

But there’s nothing quite like the freedom and the unstinting, luxurious abandon of getting naked together on a summer afternoon in a cozy spot where you know you’ll feel comfortable and loved and accepted.

“Prelapsarian” is one of our favorite obscure words. It means “before the fall,” but less in the calendrical sense than the biblical one. It refers to the time in Eden, when we were naked and innocent. Well. Far be it for us to preach, but we believe you can make your own Eden, even in the heart of busy, noisy, not-so-innocent New York City.

We’ve made ours.

And if you’d like to join us there for our last visit of 2019, let us know. (Email: toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. Insta: @topless_pulp.)

We think Mother Sol has one more dose of Vitamin D left in her.

What do you love — really love?

Being surrounded by people who care about you, people you find interesting and stimulating and kind, people who offer support without judgment and friendship without hesitation? We love that too.

We love being in the sun — it’s a small thing, we know that, we don’t mean to suggest it’s the linchpin of a happy life, but we do love it, and we don’t apologize for it. We love how it feels warming our skin in the summer and we’ll miss it when the winter takes it away.

We love fresh fruit, bursting with ripeness in our mouths. We love the practically intoxicating concentration of flavor in a perfect strawberry, a sun-warmed grape, a summer plum.

We love nibbling a delicate little cookie.

We love a cool drink on a hot day, a swallow of spring water that’s been kept in the shade, a mouthful of wine straight from the bottle.

We love our books, all books, everything made of paper and bound between covers stiff or soft — books with stories in them, books that argue and elucidate and explore ideas, and books, too, with nothing on their pages at all until we put something there. Perhaps our very own image.

We love our bodies. Yes, our bodies. Even though some days we don’t love them, we mostly do, or are learning to. It’s a lifetime project, but we like to think we’re rapid learners, and we’re on our way.

How’s this for a tautology: we love how our bodies feel when they feel the way we love.

We love the way we can push them to search and seek and ask what’s on the other side of that wall?

We love that we can draw on them and pierce them and make them ours.

Or not decorate them. That’s good too.

We love being naked. Not just topless, all the way naked, nothing between us and the air, the sun, the world, each other.

We love our freedom. To do as we wish and be who we are without fear or shame.

We love the company of other women.

And we are lucky, so very lucky, to live lives where we can sometimes, even if only for an exquisite afternoon, be surrounded by all the things we love.

You know what else we’d love?

We’d love to share it with you.

And if you get in touch with us — toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com, @topless_pulp on Insta, @toplesspulp on Twitter — we will.

After our mammoth odyssey in lower Manhattan, it was nice to hold our next gathering somewhere serene and private — the rooftop sundeck we return to each summer to recharge our batteries (solar batteries, of course).

Yes, we love challenging convention and expectations by going topless in public spaces; it’s fun and we feel it’s important, standing up for equal rights and taking steps toward desexualizing the female body. But it’s also nice to spend an afternoon once in a while with no random onlookers around expressing their surprise, dismay or delight. And it’s even nicer to get to enjoy the sun with no swimsuit on at all!

So we headed back to our sundeck (it really does feel like our sundeck at this point — we’ve been going there for eight summers!) and spread out on towels and blankets…

…and couches and lounge chairs…

…and in the inflatable pool we keep for especially hot days.

Our ranks were bolstered by several very enthusiastic first-timers–

–as well as equally enthusiastic returning friends. (More than just friends. Once you’ve spent an afternoon naked with someone, they’re family.)

Our family included all ages, all races, all body types, but with one thing in common: respect for each other. Kindess. And if that seems like two things to you, well, okay, but we think they go hand in hand.

Books on hand this time ranged from epic fantasy–

–to hardboiled crime–

–to modern YA classics.

Food included mac and cheese, decadent Doughnut Plant doughnuts, and a tasty blueberry ale. (Never fear, we didn’t let our underage members drink any!)

And we spent a good portion of our time plotting and planning exciting events to come. For instance, we decided that day to do a topless dinner at a restaurant we’d been to once before, three years earlier — and a few days later, we did just that (as you’ll see in a future blog post, we promise!). And we planned a beach trip that’s scheduled for just a few hours from now.

But mostly we just relaxed in peace and harmony and soaked up that respect and kindness, which warmed us not one iota less than the sun’s mighty rays.

Why can’t all days be like this? Why can’t all people?

Well, we’re grateful at least that some days can be — and some people — and that our lives contain a good number of both.

If your life has been feeling deficient in these things — naked time, kindness, respect — we would love for you to join us and share ours. All women are welcome, whether you’ve ever done anything like this before or not. Just email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or message us at @ToplessPulp on Instagram or Twitter. We’ll keep a spot warm for you.

One thing none of our regular outdoor events offer is a chance to get wet. Manhattan might be an island, but that island has no beaches, and public pools are few and not nude-friendly. Yes, we can spend an hour on the subway and go to Coney Island (or two hours on a bus to get to Gunnison Beach in New Jersey), but sometimes you just want a dip in a pool closer by.

Our solution: a handy inflatable we keep tucked away in a storage closet on our favorite rooftop sundeck.

The sundeck is private property and clothing optional, so even without the pool there it’s a little bit of Eden in our urban existence. We can relax without any worry about bothering (or being bothered by) random onlookers.

With some snacks and books on hand,

and a couple of giant umbrellas for shade

it’s pretty heavenly.

But blow up the pool and add water? That takes things to a whole nother level.

At our most recent event, we were joined by several first-timers who’d discovered us via Instagram,

as well as some dear friends of long standing.

One of the nicest things was hearing from the first-timers afterwards. “We had such a truly lovely time meeting and spending time with all of you,” one wrote. “We didn’t know what to expect before we came,” said another, “and it was completely comfortable and friendly and felt wonderful.”

That’s what we love to hear.

Our next rooftop event is coming up soon — if you’d like to hear about others and maybe come to one yourself, we welcome all body-positive women who are game to give it a try. Just email toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com or message us at @ToplessPulp on Insta.

After all — who said nude sunbathing is only for the French Riviera?