Several Houston-area gentlemen’s clubs are defying the stereotype of what an exotic performer should look like. These clubs are hosting “BBW Nights,” in which plus-size women get to strut their stuff on stage. These events have attracted local and national performers, as well as a clientele notably different from those who frequent the clubs on a normal night.
Meemee Jackson has organized BBW nights at Secrets, a club on Houston’s north side, for the past three years. She books plus-sized performers on Tuesday and Saturday nights, as well as recruiting dancers from other parts of the country to come to Houston.
“BBW dancers are Big Beautiful Woman with curves; they would not be considered a slim dancer in a strip club,” Jackson told a local newspaper.
While Houston is one of the leaders in the exotic entertainment industry, the city has only recently got on board with the idea of plus-sized performers. A San Francisco club attempted a BBW promotion in 2006, and was met with a walkout and complaints from customers. A Las Vegas club, Foxy’s, ran a similar event in 2013 called “Thick Sundaes,” with much better results.
One Houston dancer, who goes by “Toni Snow,” said that the market for BBW performers is growing, especially on the East Coast.
“I make more money as a BBW than I did as a small girl, because there weren’t a lot of factors that made me stand out against 50 women in a club,” she told the Houston Press.
Snow is now one of the highest-profile BBW performers on the circuit. She frequently gets booked at clubs in Memphis, Miami, and on the East Coast. All the while, she still spends time at Secrets, her home club in Houston. She says that, in some cases, performing can be less about the money and more about building self confidence.
“You go to a BBW club and make like $40 or $50, but it kind of makes you feel good because you’re being admired.”