Former Phone Sex Worker Partially Vindicated After Dismissal from Indiana Army National Guard / VISTA

So, here’s a legal news story you’re hearing or reading little about…unless you purposefully look for it, anyway. Imagine this: you’re a volunteer for VISTA and you’re working with the Indiana Army National Guard. And I love me some Army National Guard people. But, remember, you’re a volunteer. You’re not getting paid for your services.

This post was updated on January 8, 2020 around 3:50 pm CST at the request of Amy Hrnishfeger to correct specific factual issues listed in bold below.

Amy Harnishfeger was that VISTA volunteer after she worked a very unusual, by general society standards, job. And she needed that job because she had been unemployed for quite some time. So, she became a phone sex operator. Ms. Harnishfeger learned the hard way that it isn’t all fun and sex games. According to Judge David Hamilton, Ms. Harnishfeger was “horrified” (as I’m sure we all would be) to hear some of the shit people fantasize about, including things that are very, very bad and very, very illegal. I am not kink shaming, by the way. I’m talking about what the quote says: “…including the sexual abuse of children.”

Totally not okay. And I do not doubt her horror. But what did Ms. Harnishfeger do in the time when mommy porn is at an all time high and erotica is more and more accepted as part of our culture? She wrote a book about her experience as a sex phone operator. The name of the book? Conversations with Monsters. In her book, Ms. Harnishfeger discusses the five worst calls she ever received while working. Of course, like most people who work as phone sex operators or who write about sex, she published it under a pen name.

And Then Came Her VISTA Volunteering

After publishing the book, Ms. Harnishfeger was chosen as a VISTA volunteer and placed within the Indiana Army National Guard. At first glance, totally seems like closing one chapter that didn’t quite go as planned and starting another. Unfortunately, Ms. Harnishfeger eventually friended her supervisor, Noelle Butler…and, of course, Ms. Butler found out about her book And I’d like to remind you that Ms. Harnishfeger didn’t write a book that glorified what these people told her or a book that glorified any part of working as a phone sex operator. She specifically highlighted the five worst fucking calls she ever had. Period. Ms. Harnishfeger lost her position in the Family Program Office. Really, it showcases the truth: you don’t know some people, especially in person…and you’ll likely never know about their deepest, darkest, and most dangerous desires. They save that shit for the shoulders of strangers that they feel they have the right to tell because of some weird association they think exists.

Harnishfeger Sued…and Sort of Lost (But Also Not Really)

Ms. Harnishfeger sued Lt. Col. Lisa Kopczynski after her position was taken away from her. Technically, she lost since the court held that she could not sue the Indiana Army National Guard for her termination. But that wasn’t the game. The court did hold that Ms. Harnishfeger could sue her former supervisor, citing that Ms. Harnishfeger’s work was “clearly protected free speech.”

So, sex negative prudes who don’t bother to get the full story before jumping to conclusions – zero points.

The First Amendment and writers everywhere, especially with sex industry experience – all the points.

Find the opinion here, courtesy of courthousenews.com.

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