Section: Inside Interview
Author: Judy Gilroy | More from this author >>>
Between ’50 Shades of Grey’ setting the publishing world alight and inspiring a new age of female empowerment, fantasy and sexual exploration, and with a fashion season ahead of leather, structure and sex appeal; Katie Collins is definitely a la mode.
With the help of journalist and author Robert Carry, the twenty-something year old Dubliner has just released her very own biography, ‘Can You Keep a Secret?’; a true story of how a young girls sex life spirals way out of control.
The non-fiction title leaves little to the imagination; painting a graphic picture of how Katie found herself immersed in a very dark world, indulging in extreme sexual experiences and ultimately developing an addiction to casual sex.
Before our interview, I can’t help but have preconceived notions of what she will be like. At the height of her days of sadomasochistic sex, Katie often slept with three men a day, attended 80-strong swingers parties, and indulged in everything from bondage to S&M.
But to my surprise, Katie is not what she says on the tin. In fact, her name is not even Katie.
By contrast to her graphic yet frank story, Katie seems relatively reserved – rarely even using the word ‘sex’ during our interview and instead referring to ‘what she has done’. She is not lewd, crude or crass for even a millisecond of our conversation, nor does she convey pride or remorse with regard to her famed encounters. She is quite simply honest - no more, no less – Katie tells it as it is.
How did ‘Can You Keep a Secret’ come about?
About two years ago I met Rob (Carry) at a barbeque and I had mentioned to him what I had done. He told me that he was a journalist for a website and that he had been trying to get into a (swingers) party so they could do a story on it.
I said that I would bring him to one. I did, and he wrote about it. It got a lot of attention, so much so that radio stations got on to him asking us to talk to them. After that someone approached him about writing the book. He asked me what I thought and I said, ‘why not? I’ve already done it so I might as well write about it’.
How did the writing process work?
It’s been over a year in the making. We did a few interviews and then Rob wrote out a few ways of doing it and settled on the final product.
The writing process was very comfortable and I found it easy to chat to Rob. He was able to really bring out my experiences simply by being so easy to talk to.
I’m delighted with the book. I’ve read it a few times and reading some of the parts, it’s as if he’s seen these things happening through my eyes he’s described them so well.
You’re going by a pseudonym to protect your identity. Do your family and close friends know that the book is about you?
My mam knows and I just told my sister a few days ago. A few of my friends know – I wouldn’t have told too many people about the book because they don’t really need to know. But a lot of people know what I did anyway. My dad will hopefully never ever know – he doesn’t need to.
Do you think that people would be surprised if they found out that it was about you?
I would say some people would know that it’s me. People that I have known since I was 19 would have known what I was up to, so if they read the book and found out it was me I don’t think they would be too surprised.
I don’t think my dad, if he found out, would be too surprised either. I lived with him when I started going out and hooking up with guys and not coming home. So I think that he wouldn’t even be surprised – not that he would be exactly happy about it but I think now, in the last couple of years, the friends that I’ve made, they wouldn’t figure it out so easily because I’m not as nuts basically.
What can people expect from this book?
The introduction to the first chapter is about a party that I went to that was basically a sex dungeon swing party and it shows my first proper experience with S&M.
It kind of just dives right in to one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. Then it goes on to take a look back from when I was younger to a few different reasons as to why I ended up doing what I did. And then just showing the gradual steps that I took that inevitably led me to where I was and what I did.
You’ve indulged in some of the darkest sexual fantasies that even exist. Do you have any regrets?
I think that everything I’ve done has made me the person I am today. In the book it describes how when I was younger I was very shy, I wasn’t very confident, I didn’t have any friends. And now, I’m not overly confident – I’m confident at a comfortable level – I have friends, I’m social – I can look at myself in the mirror and actually think I look pretty as opposed to looking at myself when I was younger and thinking I was the ugliest thing around. It’s just – it’s shown a progression – that this has actually helped me.
Would you say that sex can be a way – exploring your sexuality can help with your confidence?
Yeah. Well if there’s always something that you want to try and especially when it comes down to being sexual like that – knowing that – there’s something out there for everybody sexually. And if you can find it then you’re going to end up enjoying it and feeling more comfortable with yourself. I’m not saying that I’m the most gorgeous thing – but the amount of guys that were attracted to me and then the more guys that were attracted to me, the more confident I got which made more guys attracted to me because confidence is very attractive – you know I think it’s empowering and it can make you feel amazing at times.
You read about ‘sex parties’ in newspapers but so many people don’t realise that they even exist, particularly in Ireland. Is there a big ‘underground sex scene’ in Ireland that people just aren’t aware of?
There’s such a taboo behind it in Ireland that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking about it and that’s why nobody realises how big it actually is. Over the last few years, sex parties have become really big. The UK would be a lot more comfortable with this kind of thing – like they have swinging clubs over there - whereas over here it’s always something that people have organised themselves; it’s not a specific place.
How would you even go about finding a sex party?
Well it’s a lot easier for girls than it is for guys, especially single girls because they can do threesomes with couples and they’re always in more demand at parties than guys. Putting pictures up and making a name for yourself, being known with a few people is what you need to do.
Where would you put these pictures - on the internet?
Yeah but I’d never put pictures of my face up. I’d have body pictures, or pictures where you can nearly see my face but not quite.
I also used to go on cam quite a lot so people would actually see that it was me and then they could see my face. Showing that you’re legitimate and that you’re not a time waster is another big issue.
It is easy enough for women to get into though so if a woman was looking to go out and explore a bit of the darker side of things in relation to sex, I don’t think she’d have a problem.
The ’50 Shades’ trilogy has paved the way for books with adult themes like yours. Have you read it?
I haven’t read it from start to finish but I have read extracts of it and looked at different reviews.
This is one woman’s fantasy – it’s fiction - and because I know what it’s like to actually do it for real I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy it as much. But I think it’s a great book in the sense that it shows that women are becoming more comfortable talking about what they want to do.
And if someone enjoys reading about someone else’s fantasy, which is basically fiction, then I think they’d enjoy reading ‘Can You Keep a Secret’ which is basically my fantasy acted out – it’s the real version of it.
‘Can You Keep a Secret?’ is a new biography about the extreme sex life of a 20-something girl sucked into the underground sex scene by Katie Collins and Robert Carry.
The book’s graphic depictions of bondage games, group sex and fetish orgies leave little to the imagination. The non-fiction title reveals how privately educated Katie began stripping in front of her computer while dozens of men watched via webcam when she was a young teenager.
Can You Keep a Secret? Is available to download via Amazon and the iBookstore at €3.99. For more information visit www.therealfiftyshades.com
Author: Judy Gilroy | More from this author >>>