By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"Is your boyfriend here tonight?" I wonder, with a lustful gleam in my eye.
"No, I left him back East," she says. "I just moved out here from New York, and I'm lovin' it out here."
"How about you, do you like men with some, um, girth?" I inquire, hopefully.
"As long as they're tall, I don't care," she says, laughing. "My boyfriend's like 6'4" and 250 pounds. I'm a whole lot of woman, so I need a whole lot of man."
I'm feelin' Twana's style, but she sounds too happy in her relationship for me to fantasize about gettin' with her. That's okay, because soon I'm rubbin' up on another squalie and sweatin' to some Lil Jon on the box. She's a brown-haired, extra-large dime by the name of Janelle Jackson, and eventually we're taking a breather so she can tell me all about her Mesa company Big Gals Lingerie (www.biggalslingerie.com), as I curl up next to her in one of the booths in the back.
"We sell plus-size clubwear and lingerie, all the way up to 8X!" brags Mizz Jackson, while I'm hoping for a wardrobe malfunction. "But if you need it bigger, we can make it bigger."
"Now how long have you been doing this, and what inspired you to get into this game?" I ask.
"I've had the company for about two and a half years now. I got tired of going to the mall, and all you see is stuff for skinny girls. We want to wear what they wear. I figured somebody has to do it, so I'm doing it. We can custom-make anything you need. Tori here is wearing one of our pieces right now," she says, indicating a plump, brunette pussycat next to us in a form-fitting black tube top and party dress.
"I wear a four or 5X, usually a 5X, depending on the clothing," Tori DeLuca confides. "I've got 65-inch hips, and proud of every one. I've done some modeling for her site, but I have a whole other story."
"Which is?" I bite at the bait.
"I'm the publisher of Big Butt magazine," the double-wide diva shares, pulling out copies of her X-rated rag. "Here are some freebies. We've been in business 15 years. We started out as a quarterly, now we're one of the largest adult monthlies in the world, printed in several languages, and carried by most adult bookstores."
"Sweet," I say, perusing the May 15th Anniversary Issue, featuring a pictorial of DeLuca spreading it for the camera. As large as Tori is, I have to admit she's pretty friggin' hot, like Ricki Lake in Hairspray, and then some. If you don't believe me, check her out for yourself at www.TorisLair.com or www.BigButtMag.com. "How'd you get this gig?"
"I started working for them about seven years ago," she states. "First as a model, and then I began writing for them -- a monthly column as well as Web site and video reviews, all focused on the plus-size woman. One thing led to another, and now I'm the publisher. Actually, it comes out of New York, but I telecommute."
"Impressive. So do you think the whole fascination with women of size is growing?"
"It's becoming more accepted," she responds. "Five years ago, you wouldn't see all these men out. But the popularity of performers like Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Camryn Manheim and others is encouraging it. And some of the plus-size movement in California is trickling over into Arizona. We used to caravan to Club Bounce in Long Beach, and there's a huge one in West Hollywood called Volupcity. Now we've finally got a place to go here, with Club FullFilled."
"Some might consider BBWs to be a fetish. Is it a fetish?"
"For many years, we were considered a niche, but now we're mainstream, because 65 percent of the U.S. is overweight. The average woman is not petite. What are we gonna do? Hide in the house because we're not a Scottsdale size 3 with fake boobs? Uh-uh, I'm sorry, this is all me, and I'm not hiding anywhere."
About then, the Jettster walks up on me with the pages of Big Butt open before me, and gets all riled, hands on her hips.
"Having fun, Kreme?"
"I was until you appeared; where've you been?" I ask as I rise from my seat, begging Tori's pardon.
"In the powder room," she grumbles. "Wedging into the women's poo-lounge is usually bad enough, but give it a shot when the average bitch in the place is a yard and a half across!"
"Hey now, that's not nice," I chuckle. "Sounds like someone needs to pop her Prozac."
We perambulate back to the bar and grab a couple more steins of suds, while ChristyLee gets a "shake-it" contest going, followed by a lap-dancing competition, with the guys doing the gals first, then vice versa. At a table before us, we strike up a confabulation with a skinny dude named Dutch, and his hella-fine BBW, who goes by Ditto. The married couple came all the way from Tucson for the night. Ditto is an agent for plus-size models, and Dutch -- check it out -- is an adult filmmaker, with a series featuring bigger girls called Bubble Butts.