How To Walk Around New York City Topless

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It's almost officially summer!

This means that you'll soon have the chance to fully enjoy all of the sunny season's amenities such as ice cream, bike rides, barbecues, beach trips, and walking around bare-breasted.

Yes, you read that right: Full-on public boobage is OK in the city and state.

As the Voice reported last year, it's perfectly legal to walk around New York topless.

This stems from the 1992 arrest of Ramona Santorelli and Mary Lou Schloss in a Rochester park. They and five other women got jailed because the law prohibited women from showing "that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola." Santorelli and Schloss called shenanigans on the statute: They said it was "discriminatory on its face since it defines 'private or intimate parts' of a woman's but not a man's body as including a specific part of the breast." New York's highest court wound up ruling in their favor, which is why we can walk around almost au naturel today. Hooray!

Of course, this leaves many dangling questions about proper breastiquette: What's the right way of letting the ladies hang?

Our tips, in no particular order...

Do not: Use sunscreen. Tan lines are gross. Ew. Besides, sunscreen is like, totally bad for the environment. And there clearly are way too many chemicals in that stuff for it to be healthy. Chemicals! Instead, go the all-natural, all-organic, locally sourced route: Wear a wide-rimmed hat that casts a protective shadow over your chest and tilt your head at an angle, so that you are never, ever exposed to light. On account of that -- and your new cape -- they will start to call you Xenia, queen of darkness, but that's OK, because you will be feared and loved by all.

Do: Get your nipples pierced! Nobody likes a Plain Jane, and what better way to show that you put effort into your appearance than with a little decorative jewelry? Make sure to walk around right after the procedure, before the scabbing has fully formed -- it's probably healthier to let wounds drain out in the open than with any type of protective bandage or antiseptic ointment.

Do not: Beekeep. Urban apiculture recently has seen a strong resurgence, especially in New York. It might be tempting to tend to your hives in the coolest, most comfortable outfit available. And sure, it's great not having to worry about stingers getting stuck in your clothing, but exposed breasts can reportedly disrupt bees' navigation systems. The presence of bare bosoms has been known to drive whole colonies out of their hives and swarm inappropriately. This disrupts the pollen-gathering and honey-making process and thus, must be discouraged.

Do: Trampoline! Compared to running and jumping rope, playing on a trampoline is probably the best thing to promote connective tissue health. Back flips are especially good for preventing sagging.

Do not: Eat popsicles or bananas. Cylindrical foods can prove deadly when eaten by topless individuals. There is probably a direct correlation between level of undress and choking hazard. Science!

Do: Use your cleavage as a pocket book. Purses and wallets are so one percent. Also, it's just existentially better to have your most intimate personal info close to your heart, or something.

Do not: Use antiperspirant. Sweat emits pheromones, chemical signals in our stink which help us attract friends and mates. Maximize the effectiveness of pheromones by letting as much boobsweat collect as possible and not showering for days -- maybe even months or years.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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