Rythm is a platform that is on a mission to strengthen the vulva-mind-spirit connection. We want to normalize a world where humans with vulvas have a better connection with their bodies, parts, and partners. For our blog series “Humans of Rythm,” we interview founders, thought leaders, and experts in the sexual wellness space and share their responses with you.
Before working in politics and focusing on reducing violence against women, Maria Allgaier ran several campaigns to reduce sexual assault and violence in British Sports and Universities. She grew frustrated with the lack of change in the political sector and one thing became clear to her: there was a connection between the lack of sex education, pornography, and violence.
She came to the conclusion that if sex education was improved and pornography was made safer, then a number of human rights issues could be ameliorated as a result. And so, Freyja was born in an effort to spark the change she wished to see.
Freyja’s is a safe, sustainable, and novel social media platform that does not censor or discriminate against performers/content creators. It creates space for sexuality educators and adult performers alike, operates under the advice of a board of creators, utilizes an online consent system to ensure that all content is abuse-free, and provides performers/creators with mental health resources, financial management advice, and support groups.
Read below to learn more all about Maria, a praiseworthy Pisces, and pioneer of the digital world.
Where were you born, where did you grow up, and how was sex (the act) perceived in your culture/household?
I’m half American, half German but have mainly grown up in London, United Kingdom. I went to an all-girls school in south Kensington. My first sex education lesson was given by my scary math teacher, who didn’t say anything about sex, she just showed us a video of a woman giving birth, and then one of the girls in my class passed out. A couple of years later we had sex ed again with one of our male teachers, who would kick you out of the classroom if you laughed, or asked too many questions.
What’s a funny or embarrassing memory you have from when learning about or experiencing sex?
I asked my teacher if an orgasm is better than sex because I didn’t understand what the difference was and thought that they were entirely different things.
What is your profession and why did you choose to pursue it?
I am currently CEO of Freyja which is a sustainable social media platform that does not discriminate against sex educators or sex workers. I used to be a competitive rower, and I have always been passionate about finding ways to help reduce sexual harassment and assault after being sexually assaulted in rowing. I strongly believe that better sex education can reduce sexual violence.
What about your industry surprised you when you were first getting started? What is something about your industry that might surprise those who are not in your line of work?
That the content you think is ‘ethical’ probably isn’t, and conversely, the content you don’t think is ethical, probably is. You see a lot of people saying “pay for feminist ethical porn platforms,” because they are marketed as ‘ethical’, however, when you actually talk with performers a lot of their complaints about performers’ mistreatment have been from the so-called ‘ethical’ companies, and in reality, the companies the media might paint as ‘unethical,’ are the best. For example, Kink and Evil Angel have some of the best performer treatment behind the scenes. So, if you want to know what’s ethical, don’t listen to social media or a marketing slogan, but rather, the performers.
What do you wish your caregiver(s) or guardian(s) had told you about pleasure, relationships, and the female body when you were growing up?
I wish they had spoken to me about pornography and explained some of the more extreme content.
When do you feel the most empowered and alive?
Working out or rowing.
What is something non-sexual that brings you immense pleasure?
Cleaning my apartment, or organizing my computer.
What can a partner do to turn you on outside of the bedroom?
Put the toilet seat down!
What’s your go-to song to get in the mood? Or, what song helps you find your ‘sensual rythm’?
What is your favorite sexual wellness product that you can’t live without?
*** Unfortunately, since this piece was originally posted, the Freyja social media platform has been shut down due to a lack of support from investors and banks. However, their educational blog and social media will remain active. The activism and fight to break the stigma around the adult industry continue and they won’t stop advocating for this. ***
Gillian ‘Gigi’ Singer, MPH
American Board Certified Sexologist, Sexuality Educator, and Sex Ed Content Specialist