Real "50 Shades of Grey” Irish woman goes public with best selling book
Katie Collins’ experiences in the Irish “sexual underground” inspire new memoir
Katie Collins, 24, is the Irish woman who has penned ‘Can You Keep a Secret?’ a new blockbuster memoir that is quickly being referred to as the “real” ‘50 Shades of Grey.’
Collins’ experiences with the Irish “sexual underground” may be seen as controversial to some, but it has reached as high as the number two spot on the iBooks biography chart in the UK and in Australia, and made the US top 20, proving its undeniable allure.
In an exclusive interview Collins sounds like any other young Irish woman-- but she has a dark past.
Now 24, Collins says she is busy with school and work, which doesn’t leave her as much time as she used to have for the sexual lifestyle she was involved with since she was a teenager.
The only difference between ‘Can You Keep a Secret?’ and ‘50 Shades of Grey’? Collins says, is that her book is all reality, while the author of ‘50 Shades,’ E.L. James, is writing about fantasy.
“That book is about a woman’s fantasies,” said Collins of ‘50 Shades,’ “this is acted out.”
Collins - a pseudonym, in order to protect the author’s identity - first began stripping on webcams when she was only 13. She had her first sexual experience with a garda she met online when she was 14. She later moved into fetishism, S&M, and swingers’ parties.
Collins says she got involved with the “controversial” lifestyle when she was a single woman living amongst friends who were mostly involved in their own monogamous relationships. At the time, she found herself wondering, “Why can’t I enjoy the physical side of a relationship without the relationship?” It was from there that she began looking to online sites to meet men.
Collins describes getting into the scene as “one step after another.” She says how one particular guy told her about parties, and then she found herself “boom, just right into it.”
Naturally, most of Collins’ experiences took place in Dublin, where she is still based today. “A lot more things happen in Dublin,” Collins explains; by things, she is referring to the bondage games, group sex, and fetish orgies she regularly participated in.
Collins first began writing her book, ‘Can You Keep a Secret?’ over a year ago after she met journalist Robert Carry at a barbecue. As a journalist, Carry was interested in learning more about the parties Collins was so familiar with, and asked if he could tag along for one. Collins was up for it, and soon enough his article about the experience was gaining notoriety.
Following the publication of Carry’s article, the two were invited for interviews on several Irish radio stations. It was from there that Carry suggested that they should team up for a book.
Thus, ‘Can You Keep a Secret?’ wasn’t necessarily inspired by ‘50 Shades of Grey,’ but was rather a happy “coincidence,” as Collins said, that the two came out around the same time.
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