Beneath a red and white circus tent at the 17th annual Gathering of the Juggalos, several girls in bikini stand in a line on stage. They call themselves the Busey Beauties, and they live in the Sausage Castle--a sex-filled McMansion owned by Gary Busey's alleged nephew, Mike Busey, outside Orlando, Florida.
As a crowd of Juggalos cheer, a girl hands the woman at the end of the line a cup full of chocolate syrup. She drinks the cup and then starts making out with the girl next to her, pouring the chocolate into her mouth. Her kissing partner pulls away and turns to the girl next to her; she kisses her and pushes the chocolate into her mouth. This pattern repeats itself until the liquid chocolate fills the mouth of the girl at the end of the line. She spits the syrup onto an obese black man's belly and then rubs the chocolate all over his body. The Juggalos cheer: "Family! Family!"
Backstage, performers assemble the next performance art piece--"the Reinsertable Tampon," a string covered in strawberry and mayo that a female performer plans to shoot into girls' buttholes with a canon. (Unfortunately, time runs out, and she has to save the party device for another rager.) Neither male Juggalos nor Mike Busey planned the Reinsertable Tampon or the party's other tricks. After watching Ratchet Regi, the self-proclaimed "most ratchet stripper in Orlando," bathe in milk and mayonnaise at last year's Gathering of the Juggalos, a lesbian Juggalette named Kace Kush conceived the ratchet asshole ballet entirely by herself.
"It's better than [putting] mayonnaise [in a girl's butt]," Kace says, explaining the Reinsertable tampon.
"You can eat [the reinsertable tampon] after," points out Big LA, the obese performer. "Strawberries are better than mayonnaise."
Since she moved into the Sausage Castle three years ago, Kace has seen girls put everything from American flags to eggs into people's assholes, but her role in the Sausage Castle and the Busey's performances expands past debauchery. She acts as a mother figure, giving the girls advice, and she helps Mike Busey with the Castle's business side: directing performances, selling shirts, and managing the other women's schedules. Kace and the other Bussey Beauties see their Sausage Castle lives as inherently feminists. Most of them identify as lesbians and view debauchery as a means to express their sexual power.
During the day at the Gathering of the Juggalos, Kace manages the outdoor strip club. The booth consists of two stripper poles, a swing, and a dirty hot tub. Kace tells the girls when they need to strip and chooses the clothing for the day. One night, as the Sausage Castle's bus bumps along the road to their hotel, she gives the girls orders for the next day: "Everyone lay out neon attire," she says. "Shower tonight, and wear neon all day tomorrow."
When I visit the Busey Beauties' outdoor strip club at the Gathering of the Juggalos at the night before the Gathering, Kace brings me straight to a new girl named Danielle to show off Danielle's talents. Danielle promptly sticks a beer can in her ass and clomps the can into a flat piece of metal with her large butt cheeks. "You can call me CC, the Can Crusher," she says.
"It's more of a manager position," Kace says of her work with the Busey Beauties. "I think [the Gathering] is a woman's world... A lot of people see [stripping] as degrading... but I don't have to use my brain, and I can take your money from you."
At the Gathering, Mike Busey earns no money. He divides the performance fee between the girls and the few male performers: Big LA, a veteran named Robbie, a vine star named Charlie, and a middle-aged man who dresses like a genie and calls himself the Puerto Rican Gypsy.
Big La drove Mike, Kace, and roughly 18 other people to the Gathering in Thronville, Ohio, from Orlando, Florida, in a small bus. According to Mike, the bus was used to transport special needs kids to school until Big LA purchased it. Mike and the girls have outfitted the bus with two cheetah print beds, but it only goes up to 45 miles an hour. On the way to the Gathering, it broke down four times, which is why some Sausage Castle residents refer to the vehicle as "the Auschwitz bus."
Kace says the bumpy pilgrimage was worth it for the sexual freedom the Gathering provides lesbians. When the bus first arrived at the Gathering, Kace says, her lesbian housemate Germany ripped off her bra and yelled, "I am finally free!"
"Germany's very free the nipple. She's an extreme feminist," Kace says. "[During performances], we get to tie a guy up and tease the fuck out of him... I beat him with whips--to me that's the most I get to feel empowered."
At the outdoor strip club, Kace makes sure everyone sexualizes both the men and the women working the booth. Both the girls and the guys walk around in their underwear with no shirts on. Only the Puerto Rican Gypsy wears pants.
Although she's a lesbian, Kace encourages the male Juggalos who walk past the strip club to buy a lap dance. Often, she says, the dudes will then ask her to have a threesome with their girlfriends. In her experience, the girls always prefer to go down on her than fuck their boyfriends.
"It's not like a penis is a magical stick you [have to fuck to have an orgasm]," she explains. "Women know what women want--it's almost a telepathic thing when you're sleeping with a woman."
Many Juggalettes (female Juggalos) support Kace. In an interview, Rachel Paul, the feminist Juggalette behind the Juggalo feminist movement "Lettes Respect," tells me, "I would never defy a super freak." Other Juggalettes wish Kace and Mike would keep their outdoor strip club away from the Gathering.
"[If you don't want to see lesbians performing their sexuality you] came to the wrong place," he says, pointing at a girl. "Germany's a lesbian." He points at another one Busey Beauty. "[She's a] lesbian [too]."
The perception pisses Kace off more than it does Mike. She grew up in a homophobic small town in Citrus county, Florida. "When I lived in Citrus county, I had to pretend to fit in," she says. She moved to Orlando to live openly as a lesbian. One night she attended a house party at the Sausage Castle. Mike invited her to move in. She assumed he would expect her to perform in raunchy freak shows, but he told her to do what she wants. Over time, she slowly started performing, first dancing and then eventually launching strawberries into other girl's butts. "[At the Sausage Castle] no one gets pressured. No one is asked to get naked. No one is asked to take their tops off," she says. "We all choose the limits we go to." Now, she's the matriarch of the entire Sausage Castle family, and she credits her confidence about her sexuality to Mike.
"Mike cares about us girls more than our fucking family does... It's insulting to see people say things about Mike," she says. "Men drool over the Busey Beauties. That is giving us the power... It could be a pair of tits, beautiful eyes, or a big heart. Beauty can be whatever you want."
The difference between Kace and the Juggalettes against her sexual performances mirror the differences between pro-porn, pro-sex women like Camille Paglia, who believes women's greatest power stems from their sexual personas, and anti-sex feminists like Andrea Dworkin. But unlike in the history of feminism, pro-sex women like Kace are the majority of Juggalettes, where anti-sex Juggalettes are a minority.
"As a feminist, I'm a proud empowered woman, and I'm comfortable with what I do," Kace says. "If you have to hide [your sexuality] that's you not being as strong as an individual."