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'Why Would I Feel Sorry For A High Court Judge In A Pink Frock?'

Queen of First Dates (the TV show), Sherry, is back. After revealing she was a dominatrix to her date, John, he laughed (and laughed) yet the entire nation fell in love with the 65-year-old. Ahead of tonight's episode, ELLE chats chastity devices, sissy maids and finding love.

My first experience as a dominatrix was a disaster. I had zero equipment, but my daughter is a qualified beautician so she had one of these fold-away beds. I used that and tied up this 60-year-old guy, but then couldn't get the damn chains off him afterwards.

On his second sitting, he asked me to pierce his nipples. He'd brought a kit with him and I thought: 'what the hell?'. We went into my dining area for better lighting. I was fiddling around, doing my thing, and the nipple bar popped off into the air. This poor guy, naked, with nothing but his little chastity device on, was scrambling around on the floor to find it. Only then did I realise the blind was open – the whole world could see in. It was like something out of a comedy sketch.

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So I've had some ups and downs. Each submissive (sub) or slave I see is different, but each one absolutely needs to worship a dominant woman. I work seven days a week and see anywhere between two and six clients a day.

My alter-ego is called Mistress Sophia, but it's not sexual, though. None of my slaves are allowed to touch me. Well, apart from my feet, of course. I like foot worship. Every mistress is different, so what suits one doesn't suit another. I don't do fisting, watersports (erotic play involving bodily fluids) or face sitting, for example. Good lord with my back I can hardly sit on a chair, there's no way I'm getting down there.

I have a soft spot for all my slaves, though I would never tell them that. We cover a wide spectrum together: one day I'll be caning a naughty school boy and then next administrating Cock and Ball Torture (CBT – I use stinging nettles, hot wax, ice etc), which sits in the slightly more sinister aspect of this work. I also see a lot of sissy maids (aka feminisation) – I dress guys up in pretty little outfits and they do my house work.

It all started with phone sex. As I said on First Dates, I was in a lot of debt when my ex-husband left me. I really did take it badly. I cocooned myself on the sofa and wasted away for three months. One day my daughter said to me 'Mum, we think you're going to die' and that brought me round.

I suddenly realised I'd been selfish – my children had lost their father, too – and so I got myself together and went back to work. Prior to this, I'd been working as a part-time chef but as a single parent, the money simply wasn't enough. I happened to be watching a Channel 4 documentary about phone sex and I thought: 'I could give that a whirl'.

My first call was absolutely terrifying – I was so drunk I can't even remember what I said. But it went well, and eventually I was getting more requests from guys who wanted to be dominated. I asked my children how they felt about it, obviously, and none minded so I just thought, 'why not?'

My oldest client is 85. He wears little leather underpants. The last time he came in he'd been in hospital and I had to be very careful because he likes punishment, but I don't want to kill the poor bastard. So I hold back a little now. I look after his chastity device because he doesn't want his daughter to find it if he dies.

I do often feel a like a therapist. The 80-year-old has been into domination all his life, but always kept it a secret. Some come for punishment – they get caned and go out feeling elated because they felt they deserved it. One guy tried to commit suicide because he's married with a family, but longs to be female. So once a month we have a girly session, I dress him up, and that sees him through.

But a lot it is very funny. One of my clients is a six foot four rugby player – he likes CBT (see above) – and one time he launched himself onto my bed. I put cuffs on his wrists, but the legs of the bed started bending under his weight. Suddenly his bottom half started to rise and I could see this guy's bollocks heading towards my face. I shouted 'get off' and he said 'I can't mistress, I'm chained up.' Luckily I managed to unlock him and he jumped off. Of course, because he's submissive, he was full of apologies: 'Oh dear, it's my fault, I'll fix it for you.' I've since bought a much better bed.

My oldest is 85. He wears little leather underpants

Do I feel sad for these guys? No. When I see a high court judge or a bowel surgeon in a little pink frock, why on earth would I feel sorry for him? He's got a great job, a great life and this is his hobby. It's relaxing.

I don't mix the two. I would never date a slave or a sub. I'll go out for lunch with a slave, but I do the ordering and they pay. Although I enjoy it, this is not how I'd like to live – it's just a job. I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a sub because it would be hard work. Sometimes you just want to relax, right? I'd like be on an even keel with somebody.

Some men, like John who they had originally paired me with on First Dates [the match-making television show on Channel 4], are very dismissive. They laugh because they're embarrassed or don't know what else to do. But it's occasional and, well, I just don't care. This job has done so much for me. I was a shell of a woman when I came out of my marriage.

My ex-husband was controlling and destroyed my self-confidence. I was overweight, mousy – just everything I really didn't want to be. Now? I'm confident, and I love what I do. I don't look too bad for a 66-year-old and that's simply because I'm confident in myself. I'm not ashamed of my body anymore.

One of the best things to come out of First Dates was I had so many emails from women my age, or slightly younger, who have been through a similar experience. They've asked me for advice, while some said they felt like they didn't want to go on, but having seen me, they know they can do something great with their life. That's really made it all worthwhile.

My only regret? That I didn't start doing this earlier. Wow, I would have had a field day.

First Dates is on Mondays at 10pm on Channel 4. Check out Mistress Sophia's blog here.

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