SHE’S the former dowdy shy woman from Southampton who transformed herself into a dominatrix with more than a thousand clients, including MPs and celebrities.

For the first 40 years of her life, Jacky Donovan, a French and music graduate from the University of Southampton, was, she says, ‘Little Miss Below Average’.

She had a well-paying job in London as an operations director, but her self-esteem was rock bottom.

She didn’t like her body and didn’t take much care of her appearance.

But an affair with a man in her office, who she calls Max in the book, changed all that.

She ended her second marriage and started to shake off the suburban lifestyle she’d had in Portswood, Fair Oak and Hedge End.

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Jacky shortly before her reinvention

She began to reinvent herself, cutting and dyeing her hair, buying new clothes and even getting tattoos.

She also started to experiment sexually, not only with Max, but also in lesbian relationships.

But it was when she discovered a fetish club in London that everything changed for her.

The club introduced Jacky to the bondage, domination, sadomasochism world of whips, leather, and a lot more besides.

“I absolutely loved that environment,” says the 55-year-old who now lives in Gran Canaria.

“I liked the vibe, that everyone was free and easy in terms of dressing up sexily and being open and frisky.”

In fact, Jacky liked the environment so much that she started to think about trading in her £100K a year high-pressured job in the City to work as a dominatrix.

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Jacky in her 'Little Miss Below Average' days

She even approached her bank manager with a detailed business plan to apply for a loan to set up a sex ‘dungeon’.

But then she was made redundant and her pay-off gave her the capital she needed to launch herself as Mistress Kimberley – using her middle name for her new persona.

Since then she has seen more than a thousand clients, providing a range of ‘services’, including whipping, role play, verbal abuse and a leather cat suit.

Now she has gained notoriety by publishing a humorous book about her exploits – which include a cake throwing romp with the now disgraced and deceased MP Cyril Smith. But perhaps surprisingly, the only doubts she says she ever had were ones about the cash flow issues of being self-employed.

“For me, it was a strategic career decision,” she says.

“Many people get into it because they have no other way of making money, so they turn to prostitution or domination.

“But for me, I’d had a very sensible business career and decided that there were probably more fun ways to make a living without working as many hours, so it was a very conscious, intelligent decision.”

Jacky says that although there may be some overlap between prostitution and domination, while she provides sexual services to her clients she never has sexual intercourse with them and as a dominatrix, it is up to her how much she touches them.

She adds that it is a legal grey area, but that she had to call the police on a number of occasions, such as when a client was harassing her, and was never in trouble herself.

Jacky started her business when she was 43 and some 12 years later, although she is working less now she has moved to Gran Canaria, she still enjoys her work.

“I think it would be a horrendous occupation if you were doing it purely from a financial point of view. I made a mental note when I started that if at any stage I thought ‘I don’t enjoy this anymore’ I would find ‘proper’ employment, but that hasn’t happened.”

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Jacky today

She adds that she does have to refuse client requests from time to time including ones that she feels are dangerous, such as asphyxiation, or things that she finds gross.

“I’ve tended to focus on the playful, tie and tease and fun aspects of domination – and that’s reflected in the book,” she says.

“My focus has always been that it should be enjoyable. Clients are paying a lot of money and if you can inject some humour and laughter into the session, while simultaneously dominating them, for me, clients keep coming back.”

She adds that part of the appeal of her job is that she’s rewarded for behaving badly.

“It’s the only job I’m aware of where the ruder you are to your clients, the more likely they are to come back,” she laughs. It’s absolutely terrific because you can be having a bad day and can take it out on them, either verbally or physically.

“Whereas most employers would sack you for giving bad service, being rude encourages clients to come back again and again!”

With some regular clients, that has meant seeing Jacky twice in the same day, whereas other people may see her once every two years.

It was seeing one client with a particularly bizarre request – he wanted to pretend to be Batman, having been captured by Catwoman – that Jacky decided to start writing down particularly humorous encounters.

But it was only when 50 Shades of Grey came out that she decided to commit to writing a book.

“I was so disappointed with 50 Shades of Grey and cross that I had done nothing with what I’d written that I decided to get back into mine with the serious intent of getting it published.”

But publishing under her own name brought its own issues.

“The worst part was all of a sudden telling friends and relatives what I’d been doing for the last ten years,” she says.

“It was difficult to tell them, because they were quite shocked, and to know they’re reading your book with all the very intimate details, not so much about the client sessions, but about my personal life. But the reaction has been very positive.”

She adds: “My father died several years ago and my mother died four years ago – that’s one of the reasons I felt safe to write it.”

And lots of Jacky’s newer friends already knew what she does for a living.

“When I moved to Gran Canaria, I decided that I wasn’t going to hide what I do from people, so if someone said ‘what do you do for a living?’ I automatically told them.

I say ‘I’m a dominatrix’ and then based on their reaction decide what to say after that. If they look embarrassed I change the subject, but 90 per cent are really curious and the questions come thick and fast.”

But Jacky admits that it can be difficult finding the right moment to tell someone she’s dating what she does.

Daily Echo:

Jacky today

“You don’t want to tell them on the first date as it does sound a little crazy, but if you wait until they’ve got to know you before you break the news, they can say ‘great, some free sessions’ which isn’t what you want (Jacky never blends business and personal life) or they can think ‘you’ve lied to me – what else have you lied about?’”

But Jacky says this isn’t a major problem for her as she isn’t looking for a relationship. After clocking up two failed marriages by the time she began reinventing herself at 40, she’s happy to be free and single.

And she loves the approval that she gets from her clients.

“It’s one of the things I get an enormous kick out of,” she says.

“I think because I spent so much of my life being unhappy about my looks and feeling fat and frumpy and not attractive, to feel attractive and have a client tell you you’re amazing, I find that almost an aphrodisiac.

“To have been a very dowdy and frumpy person and to change into the sort of person where people are prepared to give you £150 because you look terrific and are able to give them a wonderful time is immensely empowering for me.”

  •  Jacky’s book, Instant Whips and Dream Toppings: A True-Life Dom Rom Com is available from and Amazon.