Spring may be on the horizon, but the horizon is still too far away. With the temperature hovering in the 30s and 40s, we’re not ready to take our tops off outdoors yet this year. That means finding fun things we can do topless indoors, and one of our members had a great idea: we could learn to wrestle.

Yes, wrestle. Why not? Didn’t the ancient Greeks do it naked in the Olympics? That’s what the sides of their urns would have us believe, anyway. And if we could find a place with the heat turned on, mats on the floors, and good instructors so we wouldn’t injure ourselves or each other, who knows? Maybe we’d enjoy going all G.L.O.W. on each other.

What we learned from our excellent instructors was that real, competitive wrestling has about as much to do with the G.L.O.W. variety as real fencing has to do with the swashbuckling in The Princess Bride. Our class was led by Goddess Lola Jean, a pro-domme, sex educator and wrestler, with the kind assistance of an expert in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and the two of them demonstrated how the back-and-forth of holds and guards and pins and chokes and locks, used as a pair of opponents grapple for control, resembles nothing so much as a game of chess: If I go here, she could go there or there, and if she goes there, I can try one of these moves…

Something as small as a slightly different angle can make an enormous difference in terms of leverage when you’re trying to pin someone’s shoulders…

…or get their legs apart.

It’s as much a mental game as it is a physical one. That said, it didn’t take long for us to break a sweat.

And if that wasn’t enough in the way of body-to-body lubrication, our helpful Goddess had some massage oil on hand (rice/bran, if you’re wondering). We lost no time oiling ourselves up —

— and each other —

— and then we took a new stab at the moves we’d been taught. And what a difference a layer of oil makes! Good luck getting a grip on your opponent when she’s slippery as your proverbial eel. But grips aren’t everything. You can still use body weight against your sparring partner…

…or trap her head between your thighs…

…or try to land a headlock…

…or slip an arm under hers and draw her close.

The action grew heated. Limbs flew. No injuries, though, in part because no one was trying to win. Wrestling, we found, is its own reward. If you do it right, you both win.

Finally, when we were all wrestled out, warm towels helped get any leftover oil off our skin.

Will wrestling enter our repertoire as a thing we do every Friday night? Probably not — but it sure was a fun way to spend this one particular winter evening. And maybe we’ll do it again sometime. Once in a while it’s nice to have a chance to get physical with your friends.

Would you like to join us sometime? Whether it’s something as physical as wrestling or gentler like, um, competitive sunbathing, we welcome all body-positive women: the brave and the timid, the experienced and the first-timer. Just send email to toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we promise, we’ll find the sport that’s right for you.

One month into the new year and we hadn’t held an event yet — it was time. But it’s still cold out! So we asked ourselves, what sort of fun could we get up to indoors?

New York’s warmest, most inclusive, most accepting piano bar called to us. The Duplex is an icon, having opened in 1951 and moved to its current space on Christopher Street in 1989. Generations of pianists, singers, comedians, drag queens, and future Broadway stars have performed there, or at least dropped by for a drink. The place isn’t huge, but what it lacks in grandeur it more than makes up for in bonhomie. (Ooh, aren’t we French all of a sudden? Perhaps the Duplex’s lovely French doors, with nice open views onto the street, inspired us.)

Could we enjoy an evening of song and good company there topless? Of course we could, they told us. Why not? And so we shed the winter blahs along with our topcoats and sweaters and scarves and blouses and bras; and having heaped all that in a pile in the corner, we got down to the serious business of nibbling meringues and fruit tarts from a patisserie down the block while the wait staff brought us brilliant libations and belted out the greatest hits of Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Elton John, Billy Joel, Lennon and McCartney, Boublil and Schonberg, and some Disney princesses if those Disney princesses had been a lot hornier than the movies would have you believe.

We even stepped up to the mic and belted out a song or two ourselves: “Valerie” by the Zutons, “Popular” from Wicked. Was the point to dethrone Kristin Chenoweth as the perfect Glinda? It was not. But if we didn’t bring her soaring soprano, we more than made up for it with brio. (And now, suddenly…we’re Italian. What can we say, we contain multitudes.)

We didn’t get any reading done at the bar, of course, but we brought a bunch of pulp fiction to share and carry home, courtesy of our friends at Hard Case Crime: a new Mike Hammer comic book, a delicious Donald Westlake novel about monks on Park Avenue, a pre-release copy of Joyce Carol Oates’ tale of a serial killer in 1960s Hollywood. Good to have reading material for these cold winter nights.

But some cold winter nights you just need to go out and get your groove on.

And it’s hard to imagine a better place to do that than the Duplex. Welcoming, tolerant, queer-friendly, generous with both the tunes and the beverages, and (unlike, say, Tumblr or Facebook) utterly unfazed by the sight of a female-presenting nipple or two. (Or two dozen.)

Will we be back when those French doors open up in the summer to let the balmy West Village air in? Oh, yes. With a song in our heart and no clothing above it.

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.

Photo by Aaron Ryskiewicz

In a year like this, it’s tempting to quote Dickens: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The worst goes without saying or needing to be identified, sadly, and we can only hope things don’t get worse before they get better. But even in bad times there can be good, and doing things you care about with good friends is the best thing of all. We were fortunate this year to get to do many good things with many good friends, and as the year draws to a close, we’re glad to remember them with you.

Herewith, then, a compendium of some of this past year’s events, focusing on those in which the most interest or curiosity was shown by visitors to this blog. First, some scenes from our out-in-public adventures, in parks around town ranging from Central Park to Washington Square Park and points beyond:

Second, our trips to our favorite rooftop sundeck, the perfect combination of outdoors and yet private:

And finally our indoor adventures, in workout studios and spas and theaters and figure drawing salons:

We love doing what we do and sharing what we do with you. We hope it inspires you to seek freedom and pleasure in your own life — and that if you find yourself in New York when it’s warmer out than it is today, you drop us a note. We welcome all women to join us! Whether it’d be your first taste of body freedom or just a chance to enjoy it for the thousandth time, we’d love to hear from you. Our email is toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. Don’t be shy. 🙂

As we approach the end of our our 8th turn of the calendar, it’s fun to look back on years gone by — especially when it’s too cold outside to make a lot of new memories. We thought it would be fun to look back at our site’s logs and see which photos have caught your eye the most, judging by how many times you, our visitors, clicked on them.

Here’s our most eye-catching visit to the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park:

AS_2382…and Cedar Hill:

0706-zz…and the lawn by the boat pond:

AS_2355…and the Dene:

IMG_7381…and of course Sheep Meadow (we love Central Park!):

GroupInCPWe also love Washington Square Park, where this was apparently our most eye-catching snapshot:

Park-g…though this came in a close second:

IMG_9950Then there’s Battery Park:

MadisonSq-e…and Prospect Park, in Brooklyn:

IMG_7462Speaking of Central Park and Prospect Park, here’s our most eye-catching curtain call after performing The Tempest in the former:

IMG_5038…and the latter:

img_3506Our most eye-catching visit to the Statue of Liberty:

IMG_0864…and to the New York Public Library:

octpfas_081513-9618Behind the library, there’s Bryant Park, where this is our most popular seated photo:

1005-b…and this our most popular standing one:

IMG_1408Our most eye-catching visits to our favorite rooftop sundeck:

IMG_9479

IMG_2965…and to an Upper West Side rooftop we visited only once (the neighbors were scandalized):

IMG_5605Our most eye-catching visit to a spa:

img_6757…and to the pool at the Dream Hotel:

IMG_8223Mt. Tom, the giant boulder in Riverside Park, called to us:

0921-f…and so did the Hudson waterfront:

IMG_6384Our most eye-catching Halloween (this was at Lincoln Center):

IMG_3283Our most popular image eating pizza:

IMG_0693…and our most eye-catching earrings:

IMG_1815Our most popular photo illustrating that we are, in fact, a co-ed group:

img_7954c…and our most popular illustration that co-ed is overrated:

IMG_7527The most eye-catching time a random stranger decided to join in:

IMG_6928…and the most eye-catching time a random stranger’s eye was caught:

1510_STUK_TOPLESSSOCIETY_0129To finish, our most eye-catching snow day!

IMG_9454More to come — particularly more snow, in the near term. If you’d like to be part of the fun, drop us a note. We welcome all body-positive women who live in New York or are just passing through.

Let’s make some memories together. 🙂

IMG_7613Yes, it’s November — yes, Thanksgiving is on the horizon — yes, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Yes, yes, yes. But that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of warm weather. It’s statistically unlikely, but if you’ve been doing what we’ve been doing for as long as we’ve been doing it, you’ve seen some warm November days. Even warm December days. Not this year, so far. But it has happened. Photographic evidence provided here.

IMG_7561IMG_7557IMG_7594IMG_3373IMG_7568Will 2018 give us any? Who knows. If so, we’ll grab them. But if not, we at least have these memories to warm ourselves by.

IMG_8745IMG_8717IMG_8804IMG_8765IMG_8726And thank you for voting yesterday.

Warmer days are ahead.

IMG_3340