Diamond Dolls: Dr Billie Lister ‘paying it foward’

On Saturday 8th June, I went to Birmingham to meet the lovely Dr Billie Lister. I have been in touch with Billie since around March, and have found her to be supportive, encouraging and inspirational. As I said in my post ‘What you doing that for?’: Troubling Research Projects “I really believe in the ‘pay it forward’ idea, help others, and they help you. So send a conference link you think someone might not have seen, put others in touch via twitter or email. It all adds to a vibrant research community, even if a lot of it is a cyber-community. The ‘sex work as work’ bunch are down-to-earth and approachable (which given I detest pretension, is a huge advantage). I echo these words today.

Billie gave me a copy of an exciting book with a personal message inside. How nice is that! Being a research student can be isolating and lonely, but meeting those who have already walked the PhD path, and are giving their time freely and generously is admirable and humbling. I only hope one day I can be of support to other students.


I recorded a talk for Billie’s website: http://www.billielister.co.uk/2013/06/meeting-ph-d-candidate-gemma-ahearne/ I do think Billie and Ben should have given me full hair and make-up, not to mention a few outfit changes and a full rider, but you don’t get everything you wish for. I did get a book, cookie and drink.

What I also got was advice, an opportunity to try and explain my research ideas so far, and the chance to engage with an academic in the field with no pretension or superiority. Billie is a down-to-earth lady, with expert knowledge and an impressive Hello Kitty collection.

Dr Lister’s work includes her Masters dissertation: “I think this situation is going to get worse and worse”: New ideologies and the implications of the Prostitution (Public Places) (Scotland) Act 2007 – what does the future hold for street based sex workers in Aberdeen?

PhD thesis: Precarious labour and disposable bodies: The effects of cultural and economic change upon sexualised labour in lap-dancing venues in Scotland.

Hubbard, P & Lister, B (forthcoming) Sexual Entertainment, Dread Risks and The Heterosexualisation of Community Space, Chapter submitted for inclusion in: (Sub)Urban Sexscapes: Geographies & Regulation of the Sex Industry

Billie was also the Research Associate for ESRC project ‘Sexualisation, nuisance and safety: Sexual Entertainment Venues and the management of risk’

If you are interested in sociology and/or sex work, then please do check out http://www.billielister.co.uk or follow the lady herself on twitter @drbillielister.