Rythm on a mission to help humans connect better with their parts & partners. Up next in our Humans of Rythm, we are spotlighting Oyku Saran, a Sagittarius and the CEO/ co-founder of Beyond, a dating app for the queer, curious and nonmonogamous souls. Fun fact: Rythm and Beyond previously partnered on a dating event in 2023 and it was a huge success. 

What is your profession and why did you choose to pursue it?

I’m one of the founders of Beyond, the first membership app for modern relationships. The concept of Beyond is really personal to me. As a bisexual, “monogamish” and generally open-minded person, I started questioning traditional ways of dating during my college years and wanted to find others who felt the same. Mainstream dating apps felt too limiting and did not provide me with the autonomy to indicate what it was that I was looking for or felt safe enough to explore comfortably and authentically. After years of searching and waiting for an elevated and curated dating app experience, I decided to partner with my team to create our own.

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Turkey and moved to NY when I was 8 where I spent most of my life. I was always very curious, explorative, and a lover of adventure – so when the opportunity to leave everything and move to Miami came about, I went with little hesitation and my life took an unexpected and incredible turn for the better. 

I met my now business partner in a very serendipitous way (hint: by subletting his apartment) and created Beyond, the first membership app for modern relationships. The inspiration came to me from personal experience around what love and relationships were supposed to look like, as I had been conditioned to believe, and I wanted to expand beyond that and create an app for the modern dater.

What’s a funny or embarrassing memory you have from when you were learning about or experiencing sex?

I was a really curious child and discovered a ripped-up page of an adult magazine in my school’s playground. I was really intrigued and blown away that magazines like that existed… I remember treasuring it and using it to my advantage by offering other students a peak in order to get what I wanted. 

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

I was surprised by how many more open-minded people there are than I initially thought.

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 I was taught that sex was a normal part of growing up and that it wasn’t viewed as such a bad or shameful act. Even in schools – I don’t recall learning about pleasure…  and the information I was taught about sex was very technical which, I think, can be detrimental and result in one having a fucked up view or relationship to it. 

As for relationships, I was not allowed to sleep over at my boyfriend’s apartment until after the age of 23. I was like, “ Mom – didn’t you get married around this age!?” 

What was something you were surprised to learn about your body, relationship with self, and relationship with your vulva in the past decade? How has it changed?

I always thought something was wrong with me for not being able to have a vaginal orgasm… that changed in my late 20s when I started exploring more of my body and was surprised by all the additional things I could feel and the new types of orgasms I could have. That really opened my eyes to being able to experience so much more than what I thought was possible.

How do you find your rythm in connecting with your body and self? What wisdom can you impart on us regarding lessons you’ve learned along the way to finding your rythm?

I think finding my rhythm takes self-discovery in the form of experimentation, and honesty with yourself in understanding what actually feels good and what you like.

When do you feel the most empowered and alive?

I feel most empowered when I feel confident in my skin, which makes me feel unstoppable. That’s achieved by several factors like how i look that day, feel, the setting, the people around me, etc. 

Growing up, I started to feel empowered through my sexuality as I explored and rebelled and I think that has led me to exactly where I needed to be today in order to create Beyond.

What can a partner do to increase intimacy for you both in and out of the bedroom?

Keeping communications playful and having fun banter. That is an important part of seduction for me as it builds up anticipation and alignment.

What is your favorite quote for ‘finding your rhythm’ or ‘living in rhythm’? 

A quote that resonated with me recently is: “Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.” To me, finding my rhythm relates to this exact moment in my life when I decided to own my truth and be unapologetically myself. For context, there was the me that my family members knew, and the me that my friends knew (which was the real representation of how I showed up in the world). Through creating Beyond, and voicing who I am publicly (releasing a podcast episode for everyone to see), have merged these two versions of myself to allow me to show up fully and authentically while combining my identity with my profession. I can’t believe I get to do this every day and build my dream. I felt stagnant and unfulfilled for a long time

Interested in dating out-of-the-box relationship dynamics? Download Beyond here.