This story is pretty frustrating to hear about, especially if you believe that whomever you happen to work for does not get directorial control over your whole life. This is the story of Kirsten Vaughn, a former mechanic at Don Ayres Honda in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and also someone who made amateur adult videos.
Vaughn also made plenty of other types of videos as well, mostly car repair-related videos, like this one of some exciting Ford Edge timing chain-changing action:
Vaughn, 24, was on her way to becoming Don Ayres Honda’s first female master technician and appears to have been a valuable part of its team, including representing the dealership as a semifinalist in a video contest for the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Women Driving Auto Retail contest.
While her name is still on the list of semifinalists, her video is no longer available.
It was because of this contest that Vaughn thought she was being asked to meet with her managers, but the meeting turned out to be for something very different: coworkers had found her OnlyFans page—a site that I suppose could be used for any sort of paid content, really, but is most known for hosting adult, often amateur video content—and it had come to the attention of her boss.
According to Vaughn, who spoke with Buzzfeed News about the incident, while management was aware Vaughn’s coworkers were viewing her adult videos while at work, they held her responsible for not just the viewing of the videos, but for any potential harassment or other unwanted behavior from her coworkers:
“If the guys just would’ve watched their porn at home, none of this would’ve happened. But instead of looking at it like, ‘Hey, the guys are kind of creepy,’ it’s, ‘Oh well, you’re the girl that brought this to their attention, and you’re responsible.’”
In a recording provided to Buzzfeed News, the dealership’s HR director Jason Johnston can be heard saying:
“If there were coworkers over there who had access to your page, that might encourage them to approach you with unwanted sexual conduct or comments.”
The idea that somehow she is “encouraging” coworkers to sexually harass her is patently absurd. Assuming she’s working with actual human beings capable of controlling their actions and with some fundamental grasp of right and wrong, there should never be a reason why they would sexually harass a colleague, and if they did, that’s a shitty decision they made, period.
When a co-worker found the videos, it began to spread around the shop. Vaughn told Buzzfeed:
“I had a coworker come up to me and...he was telling me how the salesmen were all huddled up in a group, and that he had come up to the group and they were on an OnlyFans page. And he said that he didn’t know it was me until they passed by a picture of my face and he said, ‘I’ve seen a lot of you.’”
“I was like, ‘That’s fucking great, thanks. Showing it to fucking everybody.”
Vaughn suggested two employees were the most focused on her OnlyFans work, which she was doing primarily to pay off student loans and save some money. Of these employees, she said:
“They literally would not shut up about my page. I begged them to not tell anybody, and they would laugh in my face and say, ‘Ha ha ha, we’re helping you make money. Shut up.’”
Vaughn was fired for “violating company policy,” though no specific policy was cited or referenced.
After being fired in February, Vaughn eventually tweeted about what happened a few days ago, referencing it in a video of her extracting an entire A/C system:
Of course, in our society, there’s absolutely a professional risk when it comes to doing something like this, as companies will very often see an employee doing anything sexually focused and not 100 percent private as a liability, with suggestions that the employee’s actions could harm the “reputation” of the business.
In the case of a dealer mechanic who doesn’t have a public-facing job, it’s hard to really see how this could have actually harmed the dealership’s reputation. People would have to go out of their way to both find out who the mechanic was and if they recognized her from her OnlyFans site, that would suggest they’ve at least done some degree of willing online activity to know that, which, of course, is just fine and has zero bearing on her ability to replace, say bearings in an engine.
If coworkers know such online content exists about a coworker, they can enjoy it all they want at home and then grow the fuck up when at work and act like a professional.
Personally, I don’t see this as any different than discovering that a coworker has a bunch of terrible improv group videos online. You can laugh at them all you want at home, genuinely or derisively, but don’t start treating them like garbage at work, because that’s not why any of you are there.
I work with our own David Tracy just fine, even though I’ve seen the music videos he made a few years back, and they’re staggeringly embarrassing.
Incredibly, the Buzzfeed story reports that she was not the first to appear in an OnlyFans video at the dealership—a male coworker was in one on an account his girlfriend had and received no rebuke from management.
Vaughn’s story is a reminder that it’s still not easy for women in the car business or, often, car culture in general. Even if she chooses to make side money from adult videos in her spare time, if it’s not affecting her work, it shouldn’t be an issue. And, if other employees are being distracted by her adult videos while at work, maybe they should consider watching less pornography at work.
The possible upside to all of this is that she seems to be making a better living from her various side ventures now, with the dealership reducing mechanics’ hours as a result of the pandemic.
We’ve reached out to Vaughn for comment and will update if we hear back. And, for those of you about to ask, I do not currently have an OnlyFans page, but I’ll be sure to let you all know the moment I do.