IMG_1267Okay — that early advent of spring-like weather didn’t last very long: tomorrow and Monday it’s supposed to snow. (Although by the end of the week it’s going to be in the 70s again. WTF?)

In the meantime, getting topless outdoors is once again strictly for polar bears, and as we are not such, we decided to find an indoor activity to work off some energy. And one of us had the following stroke of inspiration: Why not try pole dancing?

IMG_1170IMG_0968Not a moment later, a dozen of us had made the journey to 27th Street, where the famous Body & Pole studios offer even the most pole-challenged among us the chance to discover her hitherto-undreamt-of upper-body strength and ability to strut like queen of the catwalk. We clambered down to the locker room, got rid of our cold-weather gear–

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–and made our way to the main event. What did we find? Mirrors, music, and poles galore, and a brilliantly high-energy, encouraging, cajoling, example-setting instructor named Roz, who didn’t seem to mind too much that we’d stripped down to less than her pupils usually wear.

IMG_0932Are our shoulders sore today? They sure are.

IMG_1054IMG_1376But we can’t remember the last outing that was this much raw fun. We spun and twirled and broke a sweat…

IMG_1030There were back bends:

IMG_1291IMG_1298IMG_1280IMG_1118There was some lights-out prowling:

IMG_1240And some of us climbed our poles and hung, even upside down. What more could you ask of a Friday afternoon?

IMG_1101We recommend it highly, as indoor naked sweat-breaking activities go. It was certainly a lovely way to work out some of the stir crazy that might otherwise have found other, less photographable ways of expressing itself.

IMG_1180IMG_1182IMG_1190IMG_1193IMG_1196Oh, don’t get us wrong — we’ll be glad when the last of the snow passes, and hope to see you outdoors again soon. (Remember: if you’d like to join us and you’re a bold, body-positive woman in the New York area, you can email us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com  and get in on the fun.) But in the meantime —

In the meantime.

Poles can sometimes be fun too.

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IMG_0840What’s that tickle in our collective noses? Could it be…allergy season? Yes: a glance at the calendar confirms it, the days get an hour longer this Sunday, and suddenly warm weather isn’t a freak occurrence, it’s something we can start expecting as our due.

But for now it still has a whiff of the special treat about it, so when the weatherfolk said it would hit the 70s this week — Fahrenheit, kids…the real 70s! — we all breathed a collective sigh and made a beeline for the park.

IMG_0660It’s that wonderful season where some people still have down parkas on and others not so much. Count us in the ‘not so much’ brigade. It feels so good to get those layers off, and not stop until there’s nothing left to get off.

IMG_0836IMG_0855Helping set the tone, we came bearing waffles from the nearest Wafels & Dinges truck, books ranging from the latest Quarry hit-man fare to Murakami, Eggers, Eco, Palahniuk, and Sapphire,

IMG_0801IMG_0850IMG_0717…and a bevy of picture-taking devices, including a Hasselblad with an instant-film back that yielded photos like these:

IMG_0771IMG_0723IMG_0787We weren’t the only ones who brought cameras to the park, of course. There was this fellow who was hiding behind a tree until he saw that, hey, we had cameras too, and we could point ours at him just as easily as he could point his at us. Wait — where are you going…?

IMG_0759IMG_0760IMG_0761And then there was this guy, who agreed that turnabout was fair play.

IMG_0830On the positive side, there was this woman from the UK who was working on a research project on body image and did things the right way (i.e., asked first):

IMG_0803But mostly people left us to our devices, and just enjoyed the day in their own fashion. It really couldn’t have been a nicer one. We were left with big smiles on our faces and hunger for more.

IMG_0842IMG_0826IMG_0818How about you? Would you like to be part of our grand adventure in body freedom? We welcome all bold, book-loving women in the New York area, whether residents or visitors, old hands at this sort of thing or first-timers whose boobs have never seen the sun. Picture Uncle Sam sticking his forefinger out of the screen and saying We Want You!, only it’s Aunt Sam and she’s not wearing a shirt. Or, you know, whatever it takes to get you to send us an email. The address is toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com. Operators are standing by.:)

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IMG_0543It takes a bold woman to go topless in a public park, even in New York City, where it’s been legal for a quarter of a century, and even on a sunny summer day when the temperature is, say, 80 or 90 degrees. It takes a bolder woman still to do it on February 29, when the mercury barely noses into 60-degree territory. But how often do we get a chance to go out on February 29? Once every four years at most — and since our merry band has only been meeting since the summer of 2011, this is only our second opportunity ever, and our last until 2020! And it was almost 60 degrees, so…

So: a couple of the hardiest among us girded themselves to brave the winds off the Hudson and headed to a favorite green spot near Chelsea Market for the quadrennial opportunity to say “Happy Leap Day!”

IMG_0578We came bearing miniature doughnuts fresh from the Doughnuttery across the street and copies of two really fantastic books: Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED (recently nominated for the Nebula Award! Yay!), and Richard Vine’s amazing first novel SOHO SINS.

IMG_0535At the start, there were just two brave souls present…

IMG_0590IMG_0607IMG_0573…but as we found our way down the block to a pedestrian plaza, a third joined in.

IMG_0625IMG_0628IMG_0631IMG_0639And who knows, maybe we’d have succeeded in recruiting a fourth if the sun had been just a tiny bit stronger.

IMG_0650From Chelsea we headed to a sauna near the Empire State Building to warm up properly. Sorry to say, no photos survive of the hours spent there, though they were pleasurable indeed.:)

All in all, a delicious afternoon, full of promise for the season to come. It’ll be summer before you know it! Won’t you join us? If you’re a bold, book-loving woman in the New York area and you’d like to be part of the fun, just drop us an email: toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

Go ahead. Take the leap.

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mousetivity-2Long-time fans of our group know we’ve sometimes invited artists to join us to sketch or paint us while we hang out. Recently, someone told us about a site called “Fiverr,” where artists hang out. So we took a little visit to the site, let a handful of artists whose work we really liked know about this group, and invited them to choose their favorite photos from our blog and get inspired.

The results really knocked our socks off (as if we were wearing any, ha ha), and we thought we’d share some of them with you.

Mousetivity works in the style of the legendary Playboy artist Pat Nagel, and turned us into classic pin-ups:

mousetivity-4mousetivity-1mousetivity-7mousetivity-3Ameagari, who’s based in Indonesia, does digital modifications of photos, turning them into intriguing hybrid portraits:

Ameagari-1ameagari-3ameagari-2And Duffness27 — a young woman living in the Phillippines — made a series of posters that place us squarely in the #FreeTheNipple movement:

duffness27-4duffness27-3duffness27-5duffness27-1duffness27-2duffness27-6We love them all. If there are any other artists out there who’d like to use us as muses, we’d be delighted to see the results! Email them to us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com and we’ll post our favorites for the world to see. (That’s also the address to write to if you’re a bold, body-positive woman in NYC who would like to join us for one of our upcoming events — it’s going to be warm again soon…)

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IMG_0168No more snow, but this weekend it’s supposed to feel -20 degrees outside. That’s negative 20, thank you very much. Which means we’re keeping ourselves indoors for Valentine’s Day. But we celebrated its imminent arrival last night with a private Thai yoga session with the effervescent and grounded (how’s that for a combination?) Yoga Yael.

IMG_0521The temperatures may have been plunging outside, but in here, the windows were steaming up. That’s not a metaphor — they literally steamed up, as two dozen of us shed clothes and the bonds of gravity and practiced flying.

IMG_0428IMG_0370IMG_0409IMG_0358IMG_0380We also each had the chance to give and receive (Happy V-Day!) some basic Thai massage, which is a little like yoga would be if yoga were something someone else did to you.

There was time for books, of course…

IMG_0027IMG_0039IMG_0103…and for celebrating the birthday of one of our own. We’ll leave it to you to work out how old she is now.

IMG_0164IMG_0477IMG_0170IMG_0178All in all, a deeply satisfying outing, even if this one was really an inning. We really would like winter to kindly disappear — but as long as New York has pleasures like this to offer behind closed doors, and good friends to share them with, we can tolerate the six more weeks of the cold stuff the groundhog has cruelly delivered. Want to join us? Bold women are always welcome — write to us at toplesspulpfiction@gmail.com.

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IMG_7358Over several months last year, the tireless and wonderful Deborah Acosta — crack reporter for the New York Times — met with us, interviewed us, interviewed other people about us, and generally dug into the story of gender equality, attempts to regulate female bodies, and the Freeing of the Nipple. The result is today’s wonderful video essay on the topic, which you can see here.

We salute the Times for covering the story at all, and for doing so bravely: unlike most media outlets that have reported on us, they didn’t blur our breasts or edit around them or otherwise censor us. They simply presented us as we are. Hats off to them — and shirts too.:)

IMG_9626Two feet of snow might not seem like a lot to those of you reading this from Boston, Vermont or Antarctica, but for New Yorkers it’s a record — 26.8 inches to be specific, second highest snowfall in recorded history. A bustling metropolis brought to its knees? Not precisely — more like brought to its senses. So much joy on so many faces! Yes, it’ll turn to frustration when the work week returns and the wondrous powder turns to sooty slush. But for one magical Sunday, it was Christmas and Narnia rolled up in one.

So we had to go out in it. Who wouldn’t? Yes, we froze a little. But there’s nothing like a bracing topless snowball fight in Columbus Circle to stimulate the senses and jumpstart a frost-rimed heart.

IMG_9872IMG_9682IMG_9615IMG_9799There were snowmen, too — both pocket-sized and jumbo:

IMG_9741IMG_9743IMG_9916And the simple joy of being out in nature, unencumbered by clothes.

IMG_9580IMG_9585IMG_9823We are children of the summer it is true, and we long for her return. But a once-in-a-century winter day like this? There’s nothing better. Just think of the story it will make! In the winter of ’16, child, the snow was so deep, and your grandmas strolled naked in it…

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Happy 2016, everyone.

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