Couchsurfing or Sexsurfing? What is the Difference Nowadays?

I have been planning to write this post for weeks but my hectic schedule at the kindergarten has not let me. This weekend I decided to be strict with myself and find some time to finally sit and write what I have been trying to say about my couchsurfing experience in Europe in November/ December 2012.

Before I start, let me explain what couchsurfing is for those who have never heard of it before.

What is Couchsurfing?

​​Couchsurfing has been created by Casey Fenton – an American who set up a web portal that offers its users hospitality exchange (free couch to sleep on, showing around the place, etc.) and social networking services (helping each other with travel issues). The idea is very simple and the portal couchsurfing.org is getting bigger and bigger each day with more than one million registered users from more than 70.000 cities. It’s free of charge and easy to set up. You just need to fill in some personal information, add some photos and get references to look more reliable.  You can also get verified to show other members you are who you are saying you are.

Me and a fellow couchsurfer in Amsterdam

Me and a fellow couchsurfer in Amsterdam

 

Why couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing is a great way of exploring places on a budget without spending a lot of money on accommodation. Moreover, you can meet amazing people who can look after you and show you around the city. It’s a great alternative for solo travellers not to feel lonely or for those who are looking for new friendship and fun. On the Couch is the story of Fleur Britten’s adventure staying on the couches of strangers abroad. If you’re thinking about couch surfing this is definitely a must-read – it’ll open your eyes to what you could expect. For me, couchsurfing is a chance to see the places from locals’ perspective. I often ask my hosts to show me areas seldom visited by tourists, tell me some stories about their city and make me feel home. This winter I was travelling solo so it was a good excuse not to feel homesick when backpacking Europe.

Me and my hosts in Wroclaw.

Me and my hosts in Wroclaw

 

Is it safe?

In today’s world nothing’s safe. Let’s face it. Same applies to couchsurfing  One can argue that some users are getting verified, you can see their photos and references left by some other couchsurfers, but you can’t be 100% sure who you are being hosted by. It’s so easy for someone to create an image online as a kind-hearted person. Thankfully  it’s usually true.

My amazing Taiwanese hosts in Prague

My amazing Taiwanese hosts in Prague

 

Couchsurfing vs. Sexsurfing

It’s getting more and more popular that girls pick up boys as their hosts and vice versa. Why? For some it’s just someone who seems nice, but for others there are more chances to have “no strings attached” free sex. I have heard of it before but never thought it might have been a true statement. As it turns out, it is. What’s even worse, it sounds so obvious to some people. Let me explain that on my example without mentioning any names. In total, I was hosted by 5 guys and 3 girls during my whole European backpacking. I was asked to have sex twice and 2 people were saying they were hoping to have sex before I had arrived and only one person did not mention anything about that.

My host and fellow couchsurfers in Amsterdam

My host and fellow couchsurfers in Amsterdam

 

I was shocked when I found out that some guys accept couchsurfing requests mostly from Slavic girls thinking they are easy to have sex with. I was even more surprised when I found out that a lot of girls are looking for one night stand as a part of their unforgettable couchsurfing experience.

I might sound like a 80-year-old granny right now, but I openly say NO to that. For me travelling is about seeing new places and not about having sex with random guys.

My hosts in Brussels

My hosts in Brussels

 

I sometimes felt uncomfortable with my hosts saying “The door to my bedroom is open all night”! When it happened once I was laughing and taking it as a joke, but it happened more than once. For me it’s simply inappropriate.  I might be old-fashioned but for me it takes some time to open up to someone and gaining my trust is not that easy. I must be in love or at least feel a strong connection with the person I am going to sleep with.

Me and my host in Berlin

Me and my host in Berlin

 

The first time I came across Sexsurfing was in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I’ve heard some stories from local boys who hosted girls from all around the world and they slept with more than 3/4 of them. The guys were surprised of how easy it was to do that. I remember one guy saying “White girls are so easy and hot!” I thought they were joking but as it turns out girls are often more pushy than guys when it comes to sex.

Cooking some Vietnamese food with my host in Brussels.

Cooking some Vietnamese food with my host in Brussels

 

The main reason for me for choosing male hosts were my personal preferences. I prefer to hang out with guys to be honest because they normally are funnier, they don’t argue over stupid stuff and I often learn a lot from them especially when it comes to travels. I’m not into shopping and gossiping that much so didn’t take female hosts into consideration. It was my mistake. As it turned out, I had a wonderful time with my Taiwanese girls in Prague and we still keep in touch, whereas some of my male hosts don’t even reply to my messages on Facebook (after I turned them down).

What shocks me the most is not the fact that a couchsurfer and a host might end up in a bed together, but the fact people use this portal to hunt girls for free sex and vice versa. I am now thinking of how many girls may not have a strong personality to refuse…

How about you? Do you agree? Have you had any Couchsurfing/Sexsurfing experience when travelling? Share your thoughts in comments.

I am really curious of what you might think and thank you in advance!

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{ 396 comments… add one }
  • Bennett March 17, 2013, 9:11 am

    This is a fantastic post, Agness, especially when you mention at the end about people who may not have the personality to refuse, even if they wanted to.
    I think Couchsurfing is a great site. I want to be able to use it more, but people just need to be a lot more savvy with it and be brave enough to say no when they mean NO!!
    I agree with you on the points about having guys as surfers/hosts, but at the same time, we don’t live in a world with just one sex (this would normally lead onto my rant about single-sex schools, but not here ;))

    Brilliant article – I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again :)

    Reply
    • Agness March 17, 2013, 9:17 am

      Thanks Sarah. You are so quick with your comment :-). Girls should know what they sign up for! I want to her about your rant about single-sex schools !!! :) Will message you on Facebook hihi

      Reply
      • Valeria August 6, 2013, 4:30 am

        HI Agnes I totally agree with you.
        I have surfed both guys and girls and although never got into any awkward situation, it is true that some of my male hosts stopped contact with me after I left and didn’t even bother to leave me a nice reference (after I left them a super nice one). And that makes me think that the reason is that I didn’t sleep with them so… On the other side I also had some male hosts who never expected sex from me and who were very nice. Next time, try to let them know in advance that you are not into sleeping with strangers, tell them you have a boyfriend back home or something. Or, try to get a host who has girlfriend so that you’ll know they won’t hit on you. Also reading their previous references from females also helps you understand about the guy. And last thing, don’t think you sound old because you don’t!!! you sound very mature and responsible and you respect yourself. I also wouldn’t sleep with someone whom I have just met, I find that gross, but as we all said, everyone is different. Good luck in your future surfing experiences with males, or females.

      • RAHUL August 4, 2015, 4:52 pm

        I’m a male and live in Toronto and I CS a male who stayed with me for a 1 week, the first 4 days were great we visited all the local destinations but on the night of 5th day I was sleeping on my bed on the stomach and he came from behind and started to dry humping my ass which woke me up and scared the shit out of me, I managed to get him of me and he turned out to be a gay. It was the worst CS experience I had, he almost raped me!

  • Tim March 17, 2013, 9:36 am

    A bravely candid post – good on you!

    Reply
    • Agness March 17, 2013, 9:43 am

      Thanks Tim!

      Reply
  • Shing March 17, 2013, 10:01 am

    A very interesting post Agness. Although the concept of couchsurfing is incredibly useful, and helps so many people to make travel affordable, it’s not something I’ve done myself – and I think a part of it is because of this underbelly.

    It’s a shame that sites which are used for the greater good, could end up turning a trip very sour. But thankfully, like you mentioned, situations like these are in the minority. I wouldn’t rule out couchsurfing because the idea of someone teaching me about their culture and their country is the kind of stuff which makes travel rewarding.

    You definitely don’t sound like a granny – you sound like a respectable young woman! I honestly don’t know how I would react to being in a situation where I was propositioned by essentially a stranger, in a closed environment… probably brought on trial for manslaughter ;-)

    Reply
    • Agness March 17, 2013, 10:21 am

      Thanks Shing for sharing your thoughts. Couchsurfing is useful indeed but next time I will go for a female host, that’s for sure. Thanks for saying some many kind words about me.

      Reply
      • Lourika Reinders April 11, 2013, 8:41 am

        Thanks Agness, for yet again a great post!!!
        While living in Phuket, we know a few people (our friends) that host others through Couch Surfing – and they would tell us gross stories about their sexual ‘acts’ or whatever you call it – with these STRANGERS – it’s horrible, man!!! I would definitely stay with girls JUST for this reason – and guys tend to be the serial killers – so I’ll feel safer with girls :) :)

      • Agness Walewinder April 11, 2013, 1:35 pm

        Hi Lourika. Thank you for sharing that. That’s so gross! Look after yourself and go for female hosts!

  • Natalie March 17, 2013, 10:13 am

    Hey,

    Great post! When I was traveling around India I used to call it “wife surfing” because – even though I never actually couchsurfed during my time there – I would get 100s of couchsurf requests a week from guys who were obviously after a bit more than a simple meet-up/homestay. I had originally planned to couchsurf when I arrived in India, but the messages I received were so bad that I felt uncomfortable to do so, feeling sure that couchsurfing did NOT have the same connotations in India as it perhaps does in other countries.

    I would like to think that the larger proportion of the couchsurfing community would aim to make people feel comfortable in their homes, and not abuse the position they are in by confusing the situation with sexual advances, but I’m not so sure. For me, personally, I would never feel comfortable couchsurfing with a man. I always stick to female hosts and I’ve never had any problems yet.

    So I’m interested Agness – does this mean you won’t be couchsurfing with men anymore? Have your experiences put you off completely??

    Reply
    • Agness March 17, 2013, 10:27 am

      Hey Natalie. I can only imagine what is happening in India. I went to Sri Lanka once and was wearing shorts. All men were starring at me and some of them were smacking my butt. I had to get back to my hostel and change my clothes for long jeans. Of course, I still believe that the larger proportion of the couchsurfing community does aim to make feel people comfortable in their homes. There are a few exceptions though. I met some nice and interesting people though couchsurfing who made me feel very welcome and comfortable. Answering your question, for now I am not planning to do any couchsurfing but if I do it again I will go for a female host, but I am not saying no to male hosts, just need to find the right person.

      Reply
      • Francis Tapon April 15, 2014, 9:19 pm

        What a world of a difference between being a man vs. a woman!

        I’ve had 150 CS experiences. Nearly 2/3 of my hosts were women. Yet just a couple of all those experiences led to sex (I share those experiences in my book, “The Hidden Europe”).

        There are two lessons from this:

        1. Men are expected to make the pass. Since I don’t make passes at female CSers, nothing happens.

        2. I’m obviously not attractive enough to convince 99% women to make a pass. :D

        The only time sex happened was when I was attracted to the girl AND she made a move on me.

        C’mon fellas, it’s just common sense! You don’t make a pass to a female CSer! Whether you are hosting her or she is hosting you, if you make an unsuccessful pass, then you will create an uncomfortable situation for both of you for the rest of your time together. So just don’t do it!

        But I’m not the only gentleman out there. For example, in Greece a female was staying with a Greek male CS host. She told another Greek girl (who had also hosted CSers), “I love my CS host! Why doesn’t he make a move on me? Are Greek guys shy? Do Greek guys not make passes at girls?”

        The Greek girl laughed and said, “You idiot! Under normal circumstances he would make a pass, but he’s your CS host, so he won’t do that! If you want to sleep with him, you have to make the pass, honey!”

        Good advice. :D

        After I heard this story, I assumed that most guys do what I do. Therefore, it’s shocking and disappointing that you’ve have so many bad experiences with male CS hosts. :(

        Agness, my only advice is to go ahead and try again, but when you pick male hosts, look for ones who have either had 10+ female guests (and read their references to make sure the women didn’t complain about him making them feel uncomfortable).

        You can also put on your profile that you’re not interested in CS (CouchSurfing) not CS (Casual Sex). However, that may not deter many men, who boastfully believe that they can convince you to change your mind. ;)

        If you’re curious, here’s my profile: http://couchsurfing.org/ftapon

      • Saswat July 20, 2014, 4:22 pm

        It is not fair to generalize Indian men based on your experience is all what I can say. I do agree that there are some perverts who do exploit the trust reposed in them to their own vested interests but that does not mean all men in India are bad. I have friends from Netherlands and Switzerland who have come and stayed over and I am sure they will never have anything negative to say about us. Last year 3 Austrian girls couched surfed at my friends place and no issue happened. It is important to adhere to certain safety measures from before;
        (a) Always inform your friend, family, of your plans and with whom you would be staying. Make sure you verify the veracity of the individuals. For this a personal meeting is important, although thats a very small window to know a person.
        (b) Always keep speaking to your friends or guide or a local contact at least in your hosts presence so that he knows your local contact knows with whom you are;
        © Always lock your room and sleep unless you wanna invite someone over to your bed;
        (e) keep a small sachet of chill power around you so that in case someone tries something untoward you can blow something into his eyes so that you get the time to run out of that situation.
        (f) Please go for those hosts who have been vouched for;
        (g) lastly never ever try drugs or drink in the house unless you have poured it yourself.

        Another observation! Srilanka is not a part of India. In fact there is a lot of cultural differences between the two countries. It would be correct to state that its traditions are similar to that of people living in Tamil Nadu but then you would get leered at in many places across the country where people have still not been able to accept all the nuances and mannerisms of Western Culture.

        I sincerely hope you next visit to India is a memorable one.

        Cheers!!!

    • Michael July 11, 2014, 10:12 pm

      Nathile

      I think that is a little biased. I am a men and I had host who were female and I did not expect anything from them. I don’t think CS is for sex however I believe it can happen. I know that men are more often than woman to ask for something “special” but I just don’t agree with that fact that all men are like that. I just enjoy people company and no matter if you a woman or not, it would be great. Although, I have hosted more woman than men I still believe in that.
      Michael

      Reply
    • Kanna February 25, 2016, 1:57 pm

      Hi,

      Im sorry not all Indians are as bad as you say. Im sure lot more decent and good indians do exist. Good in hospitality, honest and decent human beings.

      Reply
  • Daniel McBane March 17, 2013, 10:34 am

    Obviously, I figured some people would use couchsurfing to try to get laid, but I had no idea it was so prevalent. On a completely unrelated note, I finally decided to create a couchsurfing profile…

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:20 am

      Did you create your CS profile after or before you read this post :-P?

      Reply
      • Daniel McBane March 18, 2013, 10:11 am

        Actually……I still don’t have one. I’m too pretty. After reading your post I’m afraid any girls I hosted would just try to take advantage of me.

        On a more serious note, I suppose it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of guys who will try to take advantage of a system that grants them access to a single woman’s apartment or sends single women to their apartments.

        I even remember seeing a post on some guy’s blog that gave step by step instruction on how to use courchsurfing to hook up with local women in foreign countries.
        I read it six times.

      • Agness March 18, 2013, 10:57 am

        What!? A step instruction on how to use CS to hook up with local women? I’m speechless. “I read it six times” that made me laugh :P:P

      • Jimbo May 22, 2014, 9:04 am

        Couchsurfing is very commonly used especially by men both gay and straight to get sex. It seems a pretty desperate way and not a lot of people leave negative references for these types of scumbags.

  • Chris March 17, 2013, 11:06 am

    I sit somewhere in between here. I agree completely that I couchsurf to experience the culture and hang out with locals and have a good time in the city I’m in. I also think it’s sleazy and crappy that a lot of people expect sex in the deal, and I’ve even heard of some that get pushy about it and get upset if someone refuses. Men do tend to be pretty bad about this, and it’s a shame. However, I don’t see anything wrong with “hooking up” with a CSer if you two “click.” I’ve slept with a couple couchsurfers that I’ve stayed with – I never expect anything at all, but if we are obviously attracted to each other and it leads to sex, then I think that’s OK. I just think it’s wrong to expect it or be pushy about it.

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:25 am

      Thanks Chris for sharing your opinion here. It’s pretty bad guys expect sex in return and I know what you mean by guys being pushy about it. If you both “click” and you are attracted to each other it’s fine but I still don’t get how people can have sex right after they meet especially when one of them is leaving soon.

      Reply
      • Chris March 18, 2013, 10:18 am

        I understand and respect that, but everybody’s different. It’s a very personal thing. I don’t have to be in love with someone to sleep with them, but I do have to really like them. I feel like while traveling, relationships are put on fast-forward a bit and it’s easier for me to become really close to someone in a short period of time. The thing about “how people can have sex right after they meet especially when one of them is leaving soon” is that you both have the same intentions and know what’s going on. You know where your relationship stands. There’s no deception or trickery there, you both know it’s temporary. Having said that, I do feel very close with the women I’ve been with and not only try to keep in good touch with them, but also make a real effort to see them again if it’s possible. I think it’s just different while traveling – it’s all part of the experience and fun and craziness :)

      • Agness March 18, 2013, 11:00 am

        I know what you mean. I met a lot of backpackers on the road who said the same. The hooked up a lot with local women saying it’s a part of travel adventure and craziness. In some way I understand it, but as you said everyone’s different and it’s not how I was brought up :):).

  • Vicky March 17, 2013, 11:23 am

    I always did feel that couchsurfing was a really unsafe situation, especially with male hosts. I am anything but surprised by this, though I did hope I was wrong. I do think that some people might find it hard to say no, and some men might not respect a no (most sexual assaults are by people known to their victims, and rarely take place on the street), which is such a fertile ground for sexual assault. I am all for no-strings attached sex and anything goes between consenting adults. Couchsurfing, though, does seem to put women at risk and a disadvantage more than other situations.

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:26 am

      Agree. What’s more, you don’t really realize what risk you put yourself at unless you bump into an asshole.

      Reply
  • Cassandra March 17, 2013, 12:50 pm

    Agness, you don’t sound like an 80-year-old granny! This is a real concern for those travelers who aren’t looking for sex. When my friend and I were planning a trip to Scandinavia a few years ago, we decided to try couchsurfing and wanted to find female hosts for our first time. We were initially very hesitant about this very issue! However, due to the lack of female hosts we ended up staying solely with male hosts in 3 different cities.

    None of our hosts ever even hinted at having sex with us, which makes me wonder if hosts feel more comfortable suggesting a bedroom romp with a solo female couchsurfer. In any case, we had wonderful hosts. After reading about your experience I’m even more grateful for our terrific first experience with couchsurfing!

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:29 am

      Thanks Cassandra for your comment. I’m happy you had a great time with your host. I also spent some great time with certain hosts on my CS. I never said my whole CS experience was bad. There were some amazing hosts I am still in touch with, but there are of course some people who never replied to my messages after they got turned down. It happens :)

      Reply
  • Angela March 17, 2013, 2:32 pm

    So true.
    I hosted a lot when I was still living in Amsterdam. I lived on my own so I always was a bit careful with accepting requests from men. But after some really cool experiences hosting girls, I decided I would accept a man. He was Australian and he seemed very laid back and cool.
    So, the first night..I put him on a mattress on the floor and got in my bed. After 10 minutes or so he started saying his mattress was shit and he asked if he could share my bed. I should have known his intentions but I didn’t. He kept asking and at one moment even put his hands under my blanket. I tried to stay nice but at that point I told him to shut up and go to sleep. The next morning I woke up with him in my bed. I’m pretty sure he didn’t do anything but still..WHAT THE FUCK. The next night I invited two of my male friends over for a sleepover. They slept beside me in my bed to make sure he wouldn’t try anything again (I should have kicked him out but he was sort of broke and I felt sorry). The next morning he left as soon as he could and I never heard from him again.
    I also couchsurfed a lot in Europe myself, but always with a friend. We always chose male hosts but never had any problems, thank god!

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:32 am

      What!??? That’s what I was talking about. Some people use CS to get into your pants at all costs and that’s pathetic. Like they were not brave enough to ask a girl out in a real life. C’mon! Be careful when couchsurfing! :)x

      Reply
  • Franca March 17, 2013, 3:28 pm

    That is a very interesting post Agness. Me and Dale have been couchsurfing a lot so far but as a couple it’s completely different matter I guess, in fact we never had any unpleasant experiences.
    I did hear some similar stories to yours from other solo female travelers met in hostels.
    I guess if both host and surfer are in agreement and want the same thing than that’s fine, but using CS as a way to find free sex is a bit too much in my opinion.

    Will you use CS again in the future?

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:36 am

      I agree, it’s a different story when a couple uses CS. Me and Cez never couchsurfed together. We were hosted a few times by our friends or fellow travel bloggers but we knew each other pretty well. Right now, I am not planning to do any CS as I’m working and travelling in China but I’m not saying no to CS in the future. I guess I am will more picky when it comes to selecting my prospective hosts, mostly female hosts. I’m with Cez right now so maybe we will try to couchsurf together but I’m not sure.

      Reply
  • Kit Whelan March 17, 2013, 8:56 pm

    Ugh that leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. The Couchsurfing community can be a great place, but I completely stopped using it once a potential host wanted to know if my partner & I were going to have sex in the room. I just don’t need to be dealing with that nonsense when looking for a place to stay.

    I may come back to it someday because I have had a great experience with a Parisian family using it. But for now I’m sticking with Airbnb where I know what I’m getting and have a safety net.

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:42 am

      Some people ask creepy questions, that’s true. I have never heard of Airbnb before. Is it safer than CS? Need to check it out soon.

      Reply
    • Shawn Kilernea June 15, 2014, 10:49 pm

      To Kit

      I understand what he said at the moment seemed a little rude. Although, I do believe he should not have said it online I do understand why he did. Some couples who are hosted have sex in the room or area provided by their host. I guess he just wanted to know if there is any condom rappers or sheets he need to wash after the fact. Also, some people don’t want their couch surfer to do anything on their property. For that I completely understand. I just think when he said that you should have not taken it so personnel at that time.

      Reply
  • ardun March 17, 2013, 10:51 pm

    Great post Agness! I had always assumed this could be something that goes on but had no idea the extent of it. Two out of your five hosts! I’m with you on this, the travel is what you are there for and the host I would think is someone who also loves travel and is excited to show people their city. This just gives guys a bad name… again!
    Knowing this now I wonder if being a single guy and finding somewhere to couch surf is harder?

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:45 am

      Thanks Ardun. The funny things is some hosts don’t even like travelling that much. They just need a buddy to have a beer with if you know what I mean :). Answering your question, I guess it would be much easier than you think.

      Reply
  • Irina March 17, 2013, 10:54 pm

    I’ve never done couchsurfing but I was always wondering if this exact issue could be the case. And you now confirm my suspicions. I’m actually curious now how these hosts reacted to you turning them down? Did they accept it easily or did you have to insist that hell-no!-nothing-is-going-to-happen? And did you ever feel unsafe to stay overnight? I would hate to be in this situation, because some guys get really aggressive and agitated once a girl tells them off (even in a polite way).

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:48 am

      I can see very interesting questions here. Firstly, nearly everyone reacted the same way which was taking it slowly with a bitter sweet face impression, then ignoring me the day after :):). I felt uncomfortable, but had no problem with sleeping at night.

      Reply
      • Irina March 19, 2013, 1:11 am

        I should say you are very courageous girl! I would probably feel scared to sleep there afterwards. But hey, whatever works. I’m glad someone is putting them back in their place. After all, girls who seek sex or agree on sex are setting wrong expectations from the rest of the travelers who just want a bed for the night…

      • Agness March 19, 2013, 9:42 am

        Exactly Irina. I’m pretty courageous indeed :-)

  • kle March 18, 2013, 4:13 am

    I have to thank you for this Post Agness.. i just started my trip and i realise that i am some times very naive when it comes to trust people.
    I didn’t have any couchsurfing experiences yet (even though i am registered and i hosted some people in my London flat, but i’ve never been hosted).
    Honestly? i wouldn’t have thought about sex and couchsurfing being related this way. I’m just like you, even more now that i’ve had a quite unpleasant experience with a female traveller whom i was talking to and, let’s say, is everything i DONT want to be as a traveller. That said, your experience has opened my eyes a bit more. I will keep trusting people of course, but trying to be very careful on who i put my trust into. I hope you’ll have better experiences in the future :)

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 6:51 am

      Kle, I don’t want you to stop using CS. Just please be more careful when checking guys’ profiles and try to talk to the person before you two meet in his place. I’m sorry to hear about your unpleasant CS experience with a female traveler. Hope you will have a blast with your next host x

      Reply
      • kle March 18, 2013, 11:52 am

        oH..just to specify that my bad experience was not with CS…only a scam person who tried to get money from me..well at least i didn’t give in this time. Regarding the CS, i had a fantastic experience with the greek girl i hosted for 5 days. We are still in contact and she is a great person, so yeah it’s not all bad stuff :)

      • Agness March 18, 2013, 1:15 pm

        Awesome!

  • Kelly Dunning March 18, 2013, 4:16 am

    This is a really interesting post. I have heard about couchsurfing guests and hosts hooking up and I don’t really see anything wrong with it if both parties are willing and into it.

    It is no different than any other situation in the sense that all you need to do is to be clear about your intentions. If you show up at a host’s house and they suggest sex and you don’t want to you can simply say, “Sorry, I’m not interested in you in that way” or “I like to get to know people for a longer period of time before I sleep with them.” There is nothing wrong with that and any normal person would stop the line of questioning and leave you alone right there. If he doesn’t get the hint you might need to make it more obvious. If he really creeps you out, then just leave.

    I don’t understand this line though:

    “I am now thinking of how many girls may not have a strong personality to refuse…”

    It baffles me that girls would have sex with a stranger when they don’t want to, just because they are too polite to say no! Surely saying no and even leaving is less awkward than having sex with them? If he propositions you for sex that you don’t want and you go along with it without saying no, surely he is not to blame as he is not a mind reader.

    It is a guy’s responsibility to stop his advances if a girl tells him “no”, but it is also the girl’s responsibility to give that clear “no” in the first place so that there is no confusion.

    Anyway, if you really don’t want to be hassled you can state in your profile that you are strictly looking for a couchsurfing experience and nothing else. This will clear up any confusion before you even arrive and will probably weed out the people who are looking for a hookup.

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 7:01 am

      I know what you are trying to say when pointing out that girls should clearly say NO to guys, but everyone is different. There are some shy and polite girls out there who might not be that confident to refuse. Here is a picture of a nice and friendly girl who comes to visit her host. The guy is very nice, shows her around and they have fun. Afterwards, the guy makes it clear he wants to have sex in return. The girl feels like she should do it as the guy was so hospitable and polite. Does she really want to have sex with him because they both “clicked” and they were obviously attracted to each other? No. It’s more about the lack of ability to refuse in some situations.

      Reply
      • Kelly Dunning March 18, 2013, 11:22 am

        Nope, sorry I still don’t understand that behavior and I think that is totally insane. There are things that you do to be polite because someone has been a good host to you, such as offering to wash the dishes or giving them a small gift of thanks, but sex is not one of those things.
        If a girl is having sex with a stranger just because she feels like it would be rude not to, when she really doesn’t want to, then she has her own issues that have nothing to do with couchsurfing.

      • Agness March 18, 2013, 2:03 pm

        I agree with you and altogether strongly believe it happens every day. A girl, without a doubt has her own issues then, yet it’s still connected to coachsurfing. Not the idea, which is excellent, but the abuse of the system by some individuals.

    • Callum March 10, 2014, 2:10 pm

      Right on Kelly, nice to see someone actually having a sensible logic stance on this area around sexual negotiation. Not just regurgitating some paranoid irrational claptrap.

      Reply
    • Michaela May 5, 2014, 1:43 pm

      Hi Kelley,

      While I understand that your argument makes sense on an abstract, logical level, in practice it is a lot more nuanced. Some guys will straight up ask for sex, but sometimes it is a lot less simple to gauge someone’s intentions and to understand what you can and cannot say and do in a situation. I say this from personal experience. On a recent couch surfing trip, we found a host with nineteen positive references. We expected him to create a safe atmosphere in a place we barely knew. He was very nice and we felt comfortable around him. Our host ended up sexually abusing my friend. Substances and emotional manipulation were involved, and this created a situation in which we did not know what was going on until too late. We felt helpless and isolated, late at night in a foreign place. Our host was a straight male and my friend who he abused was also male. It’s not only girls, and you can’t expect these things. Before this experience, I would have imagined that getting out of there would be simple, but when you’re in a situation such as that, with someone who is very manipulative, there often don’t seem to be those options. I’m a very outspoken person, and in usual circumstances I would do everything in our power to get us out of there, but he created a situation in which we felt like we had absolutely no power. It’s not about politeness, it’s about feeling powerless. Both of us are very traumatized and have repeatedly asked ourselves “how could we have let this happen”- however, the issue that arises with this question as well as the “weak personality” argument you’re trying to refute is that both try to split the blame between the instigator and the person trying to defend against the instigator. Instead of asking “why didn’t the person who was sexually abused assert themselves enough”, the question should be “how could a couch surfing host try to instigate a situation such as this?”. I think it’s great that travelers and hosts can have a great time together, but when it turns sexual, it turns into a precedent that can severely fuck things up for travelers who do not have this intention at all.

      Safe travels :)
      Michaela

      Reply
      • Lina B July 22, 2014, 10:24 pm

        Hello Kelly and Michaela,

        …I am german, female and following this discussion with great interest… I am roughly 50 now and have travelled a lot through the world since i turned 18. Before couchsurfing & co…

        …Saying NO in a clear way is as much easier as older and mature you are. Being still very young it can be problematic especially if the host creates a comfortable surrounding at first glance. And a lot of people are easily able to do so. A lot of people are out there to recognize other peoples needs and wishes immediately in turn to manipulate them. They are called psychopaths by different grades. Unfortunately mainly men. And we are surrounded by them. I don’t want to create an atmosphere of fear or panic, but especially as a woman you have to be carefully. How you recognize them? They are intelligent, charming, easygoing, funny, embracing… until they see the first sings of emotional dependency. Being a few days/nights with someone, being invited to whatsoever normal activities (cinema, sports, drinks, dinner, nights out) by the host creates this band. Oh what a nice man… And if feelings of gratefulness start to appear you are in the trap… All human, but not the way how it is used or better abused from time to time. And don’t forget: You get what you pay for! What is cheap is nothing worth… You pay nothing for accommodation or food or drinks? – So far… Therefore i am not surprised that some hosts expecting another way of being payed…

        …In the CS-Profiles we can read a lot of positive comments about hosts and guests… If really something negative happens like sexual abuse – especially the victims prefer to keep silent. They feel ashamed about what happened and quite often guilty. Statistic says that in about 50% of all cases of sexual abuse the victim speaks NEVER to ANYBODY. The other 50% talk about what happened but in less then 20% of these cases it leeds to consequences to the offender… The reasons: No evidence, testimony against testimony, false or no identity of the offender, the victim doesn’t want to cooperate… Now, you are still wondering why there is nothing to be find on the CS website itself about such incidents?… Keep your eyes wide open! And use your common sense!

        And… What is quite interesting for me as a woman: Have you ever searched the sites of members from Eastern Europe for instance? Have you ever taken a closer look at the photographies of Russian women, as an example, in their profiles? You will be surprised… A lot of them are a truly invitation for a man: Posing, often lascivious, sparingly dressed… I am expecting such photographies on sites for other services like escort, dating or casual sex… Now, a lot of them love traveling and hanging out with foreigners in their home town. But not offering a bed as a host in return… A lot of expensive respectable dating web sites are more picky in selecting the profile images of their members… Frankly speaking: There are obviously women out there who are willing to pay with the currency sex in return for a bed? From that perspective in comparison CS is much cheaper than a professional dating agency… And as long there are such members as long other females will encounter that “conflict in interests” from time to time… I know not the original intension of CS…

        …I hope my comment was not to provocative but based on life experience, travel experience and chats with friends (amongst them some working for the police department…)… Life can still be great!

      • Isabelle February 20, 2015, 4:06 am

        Hi Michaela,

        I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with CS. I am a journalist doing a story about this issue and would be interested in speaking to you about what happened, if you would feel comfortable. Could you get in touch with me? my email is isummerson [at] live. co. uk.
        Hope to hear from you,
        Isabelle

      • Anna March 21, 2016, 4:19 pm

        Hi, Lina B!

        I’m sure you watched Agness’s CS profile You can take a closer look on her pictures. May be, that can be a surprise for you, but many profiles of girls from Russia do look like that. (even if we speak about Tinder – a dating site – same thing: nice pictures, common girls, no lasciviousness). Not all russian girls are eager to sleep with foreigners who travel there. If a russian or slavic girl is eager to show around doesn’t mean at all she’s eager to have sex with you. And if you expect this – well, that’s the problem of your own.

        It’s a nasty thing that there’s such a stereotype about “Russian girls” or “Slavic girls” (that Agness mentioned in her post). It would be fair to say that this type of girl exists in every country (for example, just go out on Friday night in London and watch the manner of dressing and drinking (!!!) there). But that doesn’t mean at all that all The British behave like this and are like this! And we all should remember that.

        And actually, i think i can answer your question. Due to the Iron Curtain and Soviet dictatorship people didn’t have access to the culture of fashion and culture of behaving in different situations. Simply because they didn’t have an opportunity to dress up (as they had a total shortage of all kind of goods) or to go out to a restaurant, as there was a few of them and…here we’re getting to the point…common people were often blocked from entering there. Especially if it was in a hotel or something. But… Plenty of prostitutes there. They were let in and all the stuff knew, of course, who were they. And for the travelers it was not typical to meet common women who had no special intentions and weren’t agents or prostitutes. So, it depends on about what period of time you’re speaking about. Speaking about goods and isolation: when it all falls on you unexpectedly and you have access to all that stuff, you might look ridiculous (and apply evening make up and wear high heels during the day) until you learn how to use it.

        What is more interesting to me, if we speak about nowadays, is the attitude of foreigners who live and work there. My friend, who worked at PWC Russia once told me that a british guy who was an expat there once told that “Russian girls are needy” (what a disrespect and insolence). But as she fairly mentioned: may be he should have gone to normal bars or clubs with women who came there to have fun and to communicate and not to hook up a foreigner with money. But the point is that things he’s searching for are one night stand and casual sex. It’s not easy to find a normal girl who is eager to jump into your bed right the evening you met. Especially if you’re not handsome at all (and he was absolutely not and if we speak about sex, it matters a lot) and she’s not drunk too much. So, there is a very interesting thing. If you, guys, come here to find a one night stand, casual sex or “no strings attached” free sex, you will find people who can give that to you. But that doesn’t mean all women here are like that! That’s only what YOU looked for and found. So, don’t judge so far.

        Same thing about CS. It’s a pity there are women who use CS to find one night stands! As a consequence those women who just want to travel face very unpleasant things! As to what Agness wrote, i’m a new one on CS and actually i thought about such things and that’s a big hesitation for me whether to use CS or not. The same thing about judging. Men, who had sex with their CS guests expect all the rest to have similar goals, which is sad.

        But I absolutely agree with you that very rarely victims talk about sexual abuse. Very often they have no proof or alco in their blood (and here we got manipulations) or feel guilty or ashamed…

  • Sharon Knight March 18, 2013, 6:59 am

    That was the first thing I thought of when I was first checking out couch surfing. I always wondered if I was being a bit paranoid, but apparently not! I always filter my search for “several people” and in their 30’s or above, as this often means a married couple. Never had a problem, and definitely wouldn’t want this! I am with you, I like to get to know a person first.

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 7:03 am

      Thanks Sharon for sharing. Choosing older people seems to be much safer. :):)x

      Reply
      • Civetta August 21, 2016, 7:28 am

        It is not at all safer to surf an older host, even a married one. If a man wants a new girl, it is not his wife that will make him stay away from it.

  • Christina Gmyr March 18, 2013, 12:42 pm

    I’m so glad I stumbled across your article! I haven’t tried Couchsurfing yet, but I’ve been meaning to, and probably would have chosen guys for the same reasons you did.

    Although most of my best friends at home are guys,I have come across similar attitudes with so many guys I meet while traveling. It is SO frustrating when guys make it clear that they’re just looking for sex, it’s like Hey you don’t think I’m cool enough to just be my FRIEND?! I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same house as a guy like that.

    Also, like another commenter, I totally recommend AirBnB! Clearly more expensive, but I’ve had good experiences :)

    Happy travels!

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 1:24 pm

      Hey Christina. That’s the second time I hear about AirBnB. I am checking it out right now, thanks for sharing. Some guys are creepy, that’s true. I would not fancy to sleep with a guy like that under one roof either. The most pathetic are those who act like “macho” man (kind of “I’m so freaking awesome and handsome”) with couchsurfers but in a real life they are socially retarded if you know what I mean :-).

      Reply
  • Jess @UsedYorkCity March 18, 2013, 12:42 pm

    This has been a question of mine for sometime…if people often got these two things tangled up! I’ve never Couchsurfed myself…do you have an opportunity to chat with folks ahead of time, or do you pretty much just show up and hope for the best? Seems like a great concept as long as the safety factor is in tact!

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 1:21 pm

      Answering you question, yes you have an opportunity to chat with folks ahead of time. You can start looking for a host 2-3 weeks in advance (some of my friends start to do so even a month ahead), message him/her, add on Facebook and talk on Skype if you want to. However, some people do it at the last minute and they are in a real need of finding someone so the choice is often random. Some CS requests are sent to random people due to lack of time.

      Reply
  • The Guy March 18, 2013, 1:07 pm

    I find this all quite shocking Agness and it seems to justify my sceptism about the whole couchsurfing deal. A lot of travellers rave about it yet I often wonder if it is too good to be true.

    Okay if people using the service are looking for easy sex then so be it, yet I think they should be open about it prior to arriving.

    I can imagine a lot of girls (or even guys) being at risk if things become unpleasant.

    Couchsurfing can certainly help people with a limited budget but free board and lodgings should be just that, free.

    Reply
    • Agness March 18, 2013, 1:31 pm

      It might be shocking, but it’s true, but CS is still a great way of socializing with other people while travelling. Some people misuse it though and everyone should be extra careful nowadays. It’s just so frustrating to know that your host is being hospitable and kind to you because he hopes to hook up with you.

      Reply
  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) March 18, 2013, 2:56 pm

    This is so shady & sketchy! My husband and I have been having great fun CouchSurfing since we left for our trip, but I never thought that people were using the service to solicit sex. That’s just really creepy and gross. On the rare occasions I have read references for hosts that have suggested they acted sexually towards their surfers, that automatically makes me avoid requesting to stay with them. Such a shame that people are degrading the service in that way, and so sorry to hear that people have put you in such uncomfortable situations!

    Reply
    • Agness March 19, 2013, 9:36 am

      Thanks Steph for your comment. It is pathetic, creepy and gross. References can tell you a lot about the host indeed. I always read them.

      Reply
  • Sarah Shaw March 18, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Really interesting post, Agness. I’ve only couchsurfed with families– one in Taiwan and one in China, and they were both fantastic hosts who showed me around the city and did way more for me than what I expected. I’ve also met up with some cool people for the day/night, including hiking in Taiwan and karaoke in Korea. Both were great events and the people were awesome.

    However, before I went to Japan, I posted a request to surf within the Tokyo community. I only received one response and it was from a 35 year-old Japanese guy who wanted to “drink sake” with me. I looked at his profile and saw that he’d exchanged recommendations with a white girl (who was also teaching in Korea) about how drunk they had gotten and it was the “best night of my life!”

    I can definitely see where you’re coming from in this post, even though I have not experienced it myself. Like some others have pointed out, I also wouldn’t feel comfortable staying with a guy– unless he had a girlfriend living with him, or was part of a family. Still– it’s quite appalling the way these guys suggested sleeping with you off the bat– and even more shocking that so many had “sexsurfed” before your arrival. (And I’m sure it frequently happens when a female is hosting, as well.) To each his own, but I agree with you 100%.

    Reply
    • Agness March 19, 2013, 9:40 am

      I never couchsurfed with families, but I know Chinese families are amazing, so hospitable and friendly. They often show you around and take you for a dinner, love it! In Dongguan we get invited for a meal by random people we meet in a supermarket or just in the street. It’s so kind of them. I am also sure it frequently happens when a female is hosting.

      Reply
  • Steve March 18, 2013, 4:02 pm

    I have heard bad tales of couchsurfing while I was on my trip. I suppose it down to personal preference and people need to be very careful.

    Reply
    • Agness March 19, 2013, 9:41 am

      Totally agree!

      Reply
  • Clare March 19, 2013, 6:24 pm

    I’m intrigued by couch surfing, although it’s never felt like something I’d want to try (I am just too keen on having my own space, I think), but your post was such an interesting read and also very worrying. I am all for people doing what they want as long as they are safe, but what worries me is can you end up pressured to behave in a way you’re not happy with? This is a great read – I’m sure it will help plenty of people weigh up whether or not they’ve done their research properly about potential couch surfing opportunities. Forewarned is forearmed and all that!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 23, 2013, 4:19 am

      Thanks Clare for sharing. That’s true. Many girls might feel pressed to behave in a way they would never ever behave, so that’s the most worrying.

      Reply
  • Mel March 22, 2013, 2:47 am

    What I find interesting is the hosts that propositioned you before you arrived. Why would you stay with these hosts? This is when you should be alerting CouchSurfing. The sex stuff will happen no matter what, but by not telling these guys off because you’re afraid they won’t host you, you’re allowing this to happen. With all the horrible stories in the news of men treating girls horribly both in the US, India, and all over, you should be having this conversation not about CouchSurfing, but the culture. Some women want sex when they travel, some however are being pressured into it, and that’s horrible.

    I’ve couchsurfed for several year and found myself in a few uncomfortable situations… I found other hosts, or I ended up staying at a hostel instead. If you’re uncomfortable, get out of there…. even if you’re a confident woman, don’t support this sexsurfing culture by staying with these people and giving them nice reviews…

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 23, 2013, 4:15 am

      Hi Mel. None of them propositioned me before I arrived. Where did you read that? I would not stay with them, if they mentioned that. I know sex stuff happens all the time, no matter if you couchsurf, backpack or go out with your friends at the weekend. However, using this portal not for cultural exchange, but for sex purpose is inappropriate and it validates Couchsurfing’s main idea and rules. I agree with what you said about culture as it has a lot to do with that. Some hosts are really good at manipulating people. At first, they can make you feel great, show you around and when you turn them down they start ignoring you and surprisingly they seem to be too busy to hang out with you anyone. At the end of the day, would you leave them negative review?

      Reply
  • Goncalo Figueiredo March 22, 2013, 11:21 am

    I was a bit confused when I saw the title of this blog post on twitter. At first I thought it was just a clever way to bring traffic on your site, but after reading the article… I’m speechless.

    I’ve been a member of Couchsurfing and HospitalityClub almost since the start, when we were just a bunch of people living the spirit of sharing, exchange and fostering friendship. At the time it would be unthinkable, even taboo, to use Couchsurfing as a sex seeking platform.

    Since 2005 I’ve hosted dozens of people – solo girls, solo guys, couples, groups: met for coffee, travel with, you name it. And after all this time, “sex” was never mentioned. Although I was living with my girlfriend, there were plenty of times when I was alone. And I’m not bad looking :D.

    All in all, I’ve had amazing Couchsurfing experiences, both as a host, and in a smaller scale, as a guest. Met incredible people, with inspiring stories… great cooks, great musicians, great speakers, great travelers, great adventurers. Invaluable friendships I would not have otherwise.

    I’m sad now to realize that there is another side to this story, but I still believe in its philosophy and capability to help travelers, bring cultures together and narrow the political, religious and social differences the World suffers so much from.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 23, 2013, 3:42 am

      Hey Goncalo! The title is controversial I must admit. It’s not about increasing the traffic on my site, it’s just to show people that CS experience is not always that great and girls should be more aware of choosing their hosts and be more careful when csing with male hosts. I am so happy you had a wonderful couchsurfing experience. It is indeed an awesome way to experience new culture, traditional and meet amazing people. I also met a bunch of interesting people who I cooked, went sightseeing and had an amazing time with, but there were also some people who were not interested in doing anything apart from flirting with me and hoping to have sex with me. That really sucked. Sexsurfing is seriously getting more and more popular, especially among backpackers.

      Reply
  • Ali ajam March 25, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Agnes,
    Your post is inspiring,and your thoughts are refreshingly honest, and , in some ways, atypical.
    I have started using couchsurfing, but only scratched the surface. I don’t typically host, albeit its not because I don’t want o, Columbus Ohio is not usually a hot destination:) I don’t intend to use it to stay at someone’s house, although I might change my mind in places where there are small villages that I go to….I usually stay in a hotel( I realize most people on couchsurfing are looking to save money,and in several cases, it seems, to get laid), and for me I am financially settled, and married, hence neither matter.
    I do look forward to meeting locals or travelers when I am in Europe, just to get a window Into their lives,and experience some stuff together…haven’t done much of that , but may do so in the future.
    Anyways, this is more about what you have written, rather than my likes and dislikes… Your thought process is uniquely special,and I am glad to see people kind of rebuffing this sad trend on couchsurfing, it totally takes away from the special world of travelling.
    Hope you travel safe.
    Ali

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 26, 2013, 8:31 am

      Hey Ali! Thanks for the all kind words :):). I’m so glad you like my post where I am being 100% honest with couchsurfing community. Columbus Ohio sounds like a cool place, but I know what you mean. Most people wanna go to capital cities :) or touristy spots. That’s true with saving money on couchsurfing. People used to buy presents for their hosts and now it’s all about a free couch to sleep on :( Hope we can meet during our travels :-)x

      Reply
      • Ki April 21, 2014, 2:41 am

        Hi Agnes,

        I never used CS so far although I’m a registered and verified user. But I will be very soon during my journeys to europe and Americas. I want to know is that did you pay to any of your hosts? if yes then how much and did you negotiate?

      • Cez Krol April 21, 2014, 4:55 am

        Hi Ki,

        You should never pay your hosts, it is in the terms of use for the site. It’s also never expected of you to pay, so don’t worry.

        Nevertheless, it’s always good to come with some gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive. My recommendation would be to buy some nice little gifts before you leave your country, that are unique to your country. It will be a great reminder for your host of the time you spent together.

        Safe and happy travels!

  • Jill March 26, 2013, 10:54 pm

    I’ve been a CS user for 10 years now and this seems like a recent trend, sadly :( Nowadays when traveling without Jack I feel the need to mention that I’m married somewhere on the request. I usually try to stay with female hosts anyway but in some cities, most of the hosts are males.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 29, 2013, 4:35 am

      10 years? That’s so long, hope you only had a positive experience with CS. Have you been mostly couchsurfing or hosting as well? I agree, most of hosts are males :(

      Reply
    • Si November 6, 2013, 7:53 pm

      Surprised that “couchsurfing sex” was not a googlewhack, so I tried to skim some sites to understand what has happened:
      In 2012 a user posted the suggestion that CS was a great way to lure naive women into situations where they could be seduced on a “Pick Up Artist” Forum.
      http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-14129.html
      The recent comments from this forum even mention how over the last year tons of “creepers” have shown up. Presumably the sites users are getting in each others way.

      Reply
      • Pablo November 30, 2013, 8:43 pm

        It was happening a loooooong time before Roosh even looked at the website. CS has always been a way to pick-up women (and for women to choose “alpha men”, ambassadors had their pick in the day). Is part of the “CS/Burning Man Culture”: we say we don´t… but all this new-agey BS is to mask that we do, and how!

        No complains here.

  • Roy Marvelous March 27, 2013, 7:11 am

    I guess I’m one of the few hosts who has hosted over 100+ people (more than 50% girls) and never asked one of them to have sex with me! Not to say I wasn’t ever invited as a guest but as I was a CS Amb at the time I didn’t think it was worth it just for a one-night stand.

    Yes this is a common thing and you know what? I think girls have more “choice” than you suggest. I have received suggestive couch requests and when I told them they are welcome but I had a girlfriend they cancelled. It happens Agness, I also know female hosts who only host guys because they want to hook up with them. I’ve had women send me suggestive messages when I’ve been traveling. I’m sure it’s much worse for women but definitely it’s not just men doing this.

    People just need to use common sense when choosing a host. If they are a single women and a single guy is super keen to host them….consider why. And vice versa.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 31, 2013, 6:03 am

      I know, I’m not saying that there are only male hosts out there who want to hook up with female couchsurfers. It works both ways, sometimes girls can be even more pushy than guys :)

      Reply
  • Mariella (Bridgekeeping Traveller) March 28, 2013, 5:46 pm

    Wow! I have not seen it like that before. To be fair I couchsurfed with a lot of guys during my Balkans trip and I was never confronted with such a manipulative, suggestive way of putting the opportunity of sex out there. I say if it happens, it happens, and if someone looks for a host with the possibility of it happening in mind, let them – but it should never be the only reason you youchsurf with someone!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 31, 2013, 5:57 am

      Absolutely agree!

      Reply
  • Amy March 30, 2013, 2:31 am

    I have an account on the site but I haven’t couch surfed or hosted yet. I definitely would be more open to staying with female hosts because I feel more comfortable with them. But I agree with your statement about guys being easier to get along with. I prefer the company of a guy more but don’t want any expectations from them.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 31, 2013, 5:38 am

      I guess that guys are less complicated and more straightforward than girls ;-). You should try CS one day, but be careful! :-)

      Reply
      • Ritu Ranjan Kumar December 16, 2015, 1:59 pm

        I totally agree with you that guys are more straightforward (generally). But all depends on their upbringing and morals. And there are a lot of cultural differences too in this world ! What is offensive for one may not be offensive for another. How I wish all people in this world were honest and straightforward ! It would have been a different world altogether !

      • Dav December 16, 2015, 7:05 pm

        Generally speaking it’s perfectly normal that during a surfing experience something related to sex can happen. We are all humans and feeling attracted to another person is a normal feeling, and sharing dailylife for some days with an interesting foreigner is a situation that helps feeling this kind of feelings. CS is not a religious organization, so there’s nothing bad that sex happens. What is wrong is using it ONLY with this purpose, that’s obvious. And it’s obvious that if I’m attracted to a surfer and she’s not to me, this will never be a reason to blame her or leave her a negative reference or, the worst, to kick her off my home. It will never happen. I often express my attracion, and when I’m not reciprocated, we go on living beautiful moments together as good friends.

  • Kathryn April 4, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Crickey! I was shocked just reading your title let alone about your experience. I would have expected you to be approached like this very rarely but not as the norm. Good to warn people by writing about it though. Take care, Kat

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 5, 2013, 7:20 am

      Thanks Kate for stopping by. Yes, I will be more careful next time. :) Hope you are having a great time on your travels. Sending my love x

      Reply
  • Oliver R. April 10, 2013, 2:59 am

    Couchsurfing use to be about generous hospitality and people were greatful. Now it has become a bunch of freeloaders. So you get alot of men and women who are thinking they should get some sex out of it if this is the case. Alot of men and women were enjoying the free buffet but now that its closing, people are mad.I have engaged in sex with many couchsurfing women and it was a pretty great experience. We are all adults here, so lets see what happens.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 10, 2013, 4:54 am

      Thanks for sharing Oliver. That’s true, CS should be about interactions, warmth and generosity but it has become a bunch of freeloaders. I hate when people treat your home as cheap accommodation and free buffet and they don’t even say thank you!!!!

      Reply
    • oimebaby June 1, 2013, 3:37 pm

      This has been my experience as well. Something happened when they went corporate, perhaps the word got outside of the honest travelers community…the first few years were great. From mid 2012 onward, I was being bombarded by scumbags. I miss the old CS :(

      Reply
      • Agness Walewinder June 3, 2013, 4:48 am

        So sorry to hear that. Don’t give up on CS though, be more careful and you will find some lovely people, I’m sure about that!

  • Kate - Canuckiwikate April 10, 2013, 7:11 am

    Good on you, Agness! Ive been on couchsurfing for 4 years
    now, and have personally never had a problem like this. The few times I’ve surfed (in NZ) I’ve stayed with couples, or generally women. I don’t mind hanging out with people old enough to be my parents lol

    I’ve also hosted over 40 groups of people – and never had any trouble like that. My bedroom door was definitely NEVER open all night! i have heard of this happening though – i had a friend sign up to CS once he heard about it from me, and he only accepted requests from girls. he became notorious for sleeping his way around the world without ever leaving home. It was disgusting.

    The only thing that can make CS safer, is the reference system it was based on… Did you leave negative or neutral references for these guys, sharing with others that this was their intention? If others had shared that on the references, would you have stayed with them? It becomes tricky with sex involved because even though I know this guy slept with those girls, the references didnt necessarily reflect that..

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 11, 2013, 1:44 pm

      Wow, you are a very experienced couchsurfers. That’s been so long since you have been using the website. I’m so happy you have had a great cs experience so far and hope it’s gonna be even more awesome. I know about the references. I always leave them and let people know what my experience was. It’s sometimes so awkward to mention sex in references though:S

      Reply
  • [email protected] April 12, 2013, 2:20 pm

    What a shocking revelation! I have never coachsurfed but I always lauded the concept as it been a tremendous helped to many travelers I know who were on budget or who just wanted to experience more local interactions. I’m forwarding this link to friends I know who are planning to use coachsurfing in the future. This will inform them what to expect and what to wary about.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 13, 2013, 8:45 am

      Thanks Marisol for sharing.

      Reply
  • Shalu Sharma April 15, 2013, 7:14 am

    Really unbelievable. I have not heard of this before. I knew that some sort of arrangement was available but was not aware of the terms. In fact, the whole idea of couchsurfing seems dangerous in many aspects from disease to crime.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 16, 2013, 2:06 am

      I does sometimes indeed, so please be extra careful when deciding to go csing.

      Reply
  • Erika April 15, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Wow! I never thought about Couchsurfing being used this way, but I guess I can see why it is. Like you, I’m interested in traveling for the sake of travel, not to hook up. It seems like people should be a bit more forthcoming in their intentions, I would think. I mean, it definitely is a great way to meet new people and see new places — and if something naturally sparks from there, then I can get that. But wow… using Couchsurfing as a hookup service seems really gritty and grimy.

    That being said, I’ve never encountered this! I’ve only stayed with females, though, to be honest or mixed groups. I’m glad this has never came up for me and I hope it doesn’t… but it’s good to know!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 16, 2013, 2:16 am

      Thank you Erika for sharing it. Really appreciate it. It might be gritty and grimy instead and so pathetic in most cases…

      Reply
  • [email protected] April 18, 2013, 11:49 am

    I’m sorry you had such a shitty experience. Did you leave them negative references? I have heard of similar things happening with solo female CSers but I have never seen anything like that on anyone’s profiles. It seems that people are afraid to name names and speak out but without those negative references less assertive people may be putting themselves at risk.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 19, 2013, 12:39 am

      You know the thing is with this whole CS experience that people are so nice until you turn them down. If you do so, they just start ignoring you as a person and find 1000 other things to do just to avoid you. It’s hard to leave any reference ‘-S

      Reply
      • Nici @Travelingandtha April 20, 2013, 9:24 am

        But if men and women who are made to feel uncomfortable by the sexual advances of the people they are hosting or surfing then it needs to be talked about. If everyone has glowing references or no references then how can we ever change anything? How can we make CSing safer? The key is to be honest and truthful. If someone was a great guide, say that in their reference. But it’s also important to let people know that you were made to feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be all positive or all negative, as long as its truthful. Without transparency like that Couchsurfing fails.

      • liz June 4, 2013, 10:40 pm

        if you’re uncomfortable, you need to leave a reference, even a neutral. Its people like you who aren’t strong enough to speak up the causes problems for the next girl. I have not had your experiences, but if I do, trust me I would leave a reference about it.

  • Mike April 21, 2013, 3:39 am

    Great post! I’ve never surfed or hosted (as my place in Japan isn’t really built for it), but I know a girl in HK who had serious problems with a Canadian guy in Thailand who turned out to be a guy convicted of sexual assault back in Canada. If I were a girl on the road, I would need some serious evidence that a person was “normal” before doing the surfing thing. Still, there are so many positives to staying with somebody who is local, or has lived as a resident in a country, I can see why it’s so popular!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 23, 2013, 2:41 am

      That’s so true Mike. Thanks for sharing. A decent investigation needs to be done before using cs.

      Reply
      • juan carlos July 23, 2013, 2:27 pm

        Well thats the thing, i understand that people might be worried about staying with a total stranger and been worried about that person being a psycho or a sexual predator, but i really dont think its necessary to do a background check like CS was the FBI.

        Thats why people should leave detailed information as to the whole experience with that person.
        So you say this guys came on to you and said weird comments in sexual ways and you said no and they stopped. Ok, but still they shouldnt do that.So lets say there is some chemistry between both of you and both have no problem with hooking up with that stranger i think its ok.
        but i do blame you “guys and girls” who say “oh yeah i didnt leave a negative or neutral reference because they have other things to offer other people”, i think that even though that might be true, you are just as part of the problem as they are themselves, you are not doing anything to help with this situation.

        leaving a neutral or negative reference is also the only way to know who is getting into this kind of things. I understand that when someone is nice to you for your whole stay and you had one akward situation you dont feel its right to talk about that akward time, but i think you have to do it! its the only way to filter the creeps and thats what the references are intended for!!

        And lets say that “nice guy” you stayed with only said one weird sexual comment and then stopped so everything was ok. but what if some other girl stays with that person and isnt so lucky, what if shes forced to do something she didnt want to? well she couldnt have known that guy was prone to do those kinds of things because nobody ever said anything about it and just left nice comments :D we have to alert other surfers cuz we are the only ones that have that power.

  • Deborah April 23, 2013, 7:46 pm

    I am so sorry to learn that this is happening so much among Couchsurfers. I’ve been active with CS for a few years now. Most of the CSers I know put a lot of thought into the reports they leave on the site and I think that good communication before the day of the meeting is very important. Personally, I’ve never been approached for any sexual encounter…think it might be because I am 60? ;-)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 24, 2013, 3:26 am

      Hi Deborah, thank you for your comment. I’m happy to hear you have been so active with CS and had an amazing experience so far. I agree with the good communication. 60 and still couchsurfing? :) So awesome!

      Reply
      • jay July 20, 2013, 2:05 am

        You must be kiddding ….. What age has to do with enjoying couchsurfing? There are many of us “older than you” who are members for many many years. Don’t forget, you have always a choice who you stay with or who you accept in your home. Obviously, your choices of staying with single men were not exactly smartest choices. WHY? There are many women and couples who are members all over the world….. and they are not interested in “shopping” or “gossiping”.
        Wishing you safe travels.

      • Debora August 12, 2013, 1:43 am

        Where did you see in my message that I have EVER had a bad experience Couch Surfing? Go back and read my one and only message (until this one) on this string. Jerk

    • Jay August 12, 2013, 4:32 pm

      Deborah, my message was to a comment “60 and still couchsurfing? :) So awesome!” (by Agnes), which I found a bit patronising. I am on your side old girl and not only by age. Now you can read my previous message again with the knowlegde that I am a female.
      Your CS pal Jerkette :)

      Reply
  • Santiago Cardenas April 25, 2013, 2:29 pm

    I must say, the way i interpret your post is, its written by a closed minded, ignorant and is non knowledgable of CS community writer. After i read it a few times ( I must say English is not my first language), i understand your only speaking of your most recent personal experience on CS. And i feel like you did not do a very good job in distinguishing this specific fact. And and because of posts like this some people have a very erroneous and mistaking perspective of the Couchsurfing community. So, let me go a little more into depht on what i just said.
    First off, i would love to know how long you’ve been an active CS member? And most importantly, how many experiences have you had surfing with male hosts? And it would also be very interesting to know how many times have you hosted male guests in your house? Now, after you give these numbers, and clarify how many times what you describe in your post has happened to you, then that would be a truthful and realistic piece of information for people (mainly females) who might not be very familiar with CS or who don’t have a experience in surfing/hosting. I feel your giving the wrong message in your post. Your generalizing, in your post, an entire website based on a 5 single experiences, and in my opinion that is “misleading information” and “out of context” opinions on something much bigger then how you phrase it.

    More over, if you noticed, most of the people that posted a comment, are females, and most of those are non Couchsurfing members or new members. And most all give an opinion on your post, as if what you wrote is ALL CS male members.

    Its important that i clarify, i am not defending the website/company, i could care less for the company’s reputation, but i find your post very unfair for the thousands and thousands of male (and female) hosts, which is the vast majority of all of them. Whom open their houses, (many times) thier families, thier personal lifes, and spend a lot of money and time on hosting complete strangers with the one and single objective of making this total stranger feel as comfortable and as “at home” as possible away from thier home.
    Ofcourse their is sex involved, but its like every where else, men will always try to “pick up” girls that we find attractive to have sex with (and many, many, many times women will pick-up men the same way). We are humans, thats what we were designed to do since birth. But we do this in bars, on the street, at school, on facebook, in hostels, hotels, on CS, and EVERYWHERE in life, because that the way the human nature works. If people think that Couchsurfing.org is a perfect bubble away from reality you are very much mistaking! Its a community of people who open their lifes to others and expect nothing in return, we do it because we enjoy it and because we treasure meeting new people with new mentalities and ways of lifes and with different experiences then ours. And if you think people in CS are saints, or priests (thought, thinking about it this is a really bad example, lol :P , but you get the point)…your simply misundestanding the point of CS.

    And even though i personally find men a women how try to “pick up” thier surfers/hosts a bit dislikefull, i understand its totally normal and as long as there is no force, or “against your will” kind of things going on, i think its part of the beautiful thing of traveling and knowing other ways of life. You mention that you personally would not have sex with someone you dont feel a very personal connection (love) with, i think thats perfect, but its your opinion, and you travel to meet new people with different opinions of different subjects. Well, sex is, far from the most important or the only subject, but it is definitely a very important subject in human beings (one way or another). So women and men alike should be careful of “sexual intent” the same exact way you would with your close friends, or friends of friends you meet or even with family members. Obviously as well as with total strangers, but thats the thing, if your hosting/surfing they are not total strangers, but yet you still need to be cautions of your actions, words, clothing, your unintended intentions and the use of simple comment sense and logic you would use anywhere where you are alone (and i must insist in this uncomfortable subject, but), including with family members and close friends.

    So, i think your post if BS and its staining the thousands of members like myself that spend an incredible amount of time, effort, money and good will in keeping this community one of the greatest and safest communities currently on the earth.

    I’ve had hundreds of hundreds of CS hosting/surfing experiences, with people from all over the world in all parts of the world and never NOT ONCE have i had bad experience, not a single time. Ofcourse i’ve had “intresting” or “awkard” or even experience where in my personal opinion i dont agree with their customs or thier ways of being, and i did not participate, but i still respected them and they respected me and in the end i was extreamly greatful for sharing thier lifes with me. And i have met THOUSANDS of CS women surfing/hosting or simply for “coffe/drinks” who share the same kind of positive (100%) experiences as i do (and many, most of them traveling solo).

    If I had only one question to ask you, right before I blamed people like you for giving Couchsurfing a dubious reputation it would be: Did you give a “Negative” reference to the men in your trip whom you are talking about? No? … why not? Because, you see the truth is, that if there is one flaw in the Couchsurfing Community it is people, people that have negative experiences and DON’T give a negative reference on the website about that person. With a well documented, non-bias helpful reference for future people to decide for them selves if to stay with that particular host or not. But because most people usually don’t give a reference at all instead of giving a negative one. They are just as guilty as the other person. So, did you…honestly?
    CONCLUSION:
    Couchsurfing is based on human trust, good will and adventure in traveling and a little bit of luck. If anyone lacks any one of this three core elements THEY SHOULD NOT TRY TO USE COUCHSURFING. And yes, luck, life is inevitably had its scales tipped by luck. CS is not the exception and for those who have had unpleasant, dangerous or even bad experiences I say can tell you one thing, dont lose faith in CS for that one time. Its just like life, shit goes wrong every now and then, we have to deal with it, make the best of it and try again. And thats why traveling is so rewarding, because it teach us all, a whole lot of things that are out of our control and challenges us to be smart, intelligence, cautious and always appreciating and enjoying and having the time of our lifes AND LEARNING ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

    I am not trying to give you a lecture on traveling (or anyone else), all i’m trying to do is give a little bit more information and back ground knowledge on what Couchsurfing is. And what people should expect when using this community. I’ve been a host in, at times, where all i can offer is my room and either the floor or share my (sometimes small) bed with my couchsurfer (male or female), and not once have i had any problems with it. And in the end, having good comunication with your host/surfer, prior, during and after your CS experience is a key factor to all of this.

    So… next time you write a post, i would highly suggest that you put a little more of context in the information and dont generalize things over single events.

    In the words of Forest Gump “…and thats all i have to say about that”.

    p.s. So to answer your original question: “What is the difference?” EVERYTHING…They are whole different subjects…its a whole different ballpark! Couchsurfing has nothing to do with what you call “sexsurfing”….

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder April 25, 2013, 2:32 pm

      Thanks a lot for your comment and constructive critique. Indeed, it’s very constructive and I agree with most of your points. You have provided a valuable background knowledge to what I have written.

      You said that couchsurfing, as an organisation, is not to blame for my experiences, and I agree. Couchsurfing is an amazing concept, I love it and will continue using it to meet people from around the world.
      It’s precisely my recent experiences that I refer to, because those made me write this article – titled “Couchsurfing or Sexsurfing? What is the Difference Nowadays?”. This is why I have said “nowadays” to show it’s about my recent experiences. You can also find among the comments left to this post, that many travellers have experienced similar situations recently, which makes it a recent trend.

      It’s the people on couchsurfing, – me being one of them – who make up this ever growing community. I have written this post to show the shift in the community, which is now widely used even by people who do not travel.

      The point of this article is to show that people have to be more cautious than before, because there are people who host for benefits. While they do not force to do anything, they ignore their surfers as son as they refuse to have sex with them.

      This brings us to the negative feedback to the experiences. I have not left any negative feedbacks on any of my hosts’ profiles. Why? Because I’m grateful for their help. I also don’t give names in my article, because when I said no they backed up. I have not felt threatened and I’m sure that other people will benefit from meeting the hosts I have stayed with. It’s the overall trend, based on majority of my surfing experiences that I’m worried about.

      Also I wanted to see how many other people find this to happen more often recently. To my surprise (and I assume yours too) there were many more similar stories in comments. All of them refer to recent years and non of them blames couchsurfing, which as I said is a great project.

      What also shocked me is that several people find this article through search engines daily – looking for “couchsurfing sex”, “how to hook up on couchsurfing”, “couchsurfing sex stories”, etc. Isn’t that worrying you? It does show that people start to think of couchsurfing as a way to get laid. That’s a problem, and as much as my article is touching this controversial topic, it’s better that people consider this. It’s not my intention to show couchsurfing or its community in bad light – it’s my way of expressing my opinions.

      Last, but not least, you said I’m closed-minded and ignorant person. Thanks for your opinion, I will consider your words and change if necessary. However, to judge someone in those terms only because you perceive them to have a different opinion to you may say the same about you. You probably see now that I do agree with you on most of your points and take your opinion into account on others – how about you?

      Once again, thank you for your time to write this comment. I have to go somewhere now so will post your comment under the post when I come back.

      Enjoy your day,
      Agness

      Reply
      • Honeybee April 25, 2013, 7:10 pm

        Hey Santiago and Agnes,

        This is a very interesting topic you both are arguing about. I am a Couchsurfer since 2009 and already made about 25 experiences all around the world, mostly with male Couchsurfers. It is definitely very easy to find male hosts, when being a woman!
        Sex has never been a topic to consider for me when surfing with someone, but quite recently on my last trip I made some strange experiences going into this direction.
        Since I am writing right now my master thesis in the context of Couchsurfing, I made a Couchsurfing trip staying one day and one night with 10 different men. Furthermore, I interviewed 20 Couchsurfers (male and female) in total about their experiences with strangers on Couchsurfing.
        And I must say that “Sex and abuse” were some of the themes that were discussed. In my case, there were men that tried to get me drunk, had posters of naked women on the walls and saw CS as a “Dating-Portal”. Also others heard about the “Sexsurfing stories” or experienced them! I must say that I was never forced to do anything I did not want to, but I definitely did not feel as comfortable in those situations and I am glad I am a strong woman who can say “no” and this was somehow accepted. (I am lucky!)
        In my other couchsurfing trips before this one, it never had been a problem with that, even when sharing their bed with them! What might caused the problem was, that I wrote an open CS request and these “guys” were the ones contacting me, and not the other way around as it used to be before when I surfed. I really thought about giving negative references at some point, but then decided to leave either a neutral or positive one, because they did not force me and as Agnes said, others might looking forward to do or experience exactly these things!! But not me! For me CS should be and has been always a good experience and definitely should be. But I learned and found out during my research that I should pay more attention, when going on my next Couchsurf trips and make sure that I feel comfortable when surfing or hosting.
        I definitely do not think that this is BS and must be kept in mind, when sharing your life with strangers…

        Cheers, Honeybee ;o)

        PS: Your post is really the first one that appears, when I was googling “Couchsurfing Sex” :D

      • Cez Krol April 26, 2013, 4:41 am

        Hey Honeybee,

        Amazing reply – thank you for your input. We’re really glad that this helped you with your research and wish best luck with your thesis!

        It’s horrible to hear about some people using couchsurfing as a dating portal, but that’s happening, and it would be good that people realise they may be getting a date instead of a home-stay with a local.

        You also gave a good advice to be extra careful when you get approached by someone offering a place to stay. There might be a hidden agenda.

        Happy travels and good luck,
        Cez

      • J August 11, 2013, 5:29 am

        I can’t quite get your point of saying it as “dangerous” or “shocking”. It’s just one culture. It might be different from yours but it’s a perfectly fine and legal one. You should not be a “moral guardian” and force your value on things you don’t like. A large part of CS people actually might really like it and perceive it as “wonderful” and “pleasing”. Those guys don’t force anything, they just politely ask to have sex and politely accept the response – whether it’s “yes” or “no”. There is completely no danger involved. You are just mostly exaggerating the whole thing really.

      • J August 11, 2013, 5:32 am

        Also I don’t really understand the point of moderating or even “changing” the content of others’ replies. This is a even greater disrespect to others and is dangerous to freedom of speech. I am “shocked” at this. Pretty hypocritic really.

      • Cez Krol August 11, 2013, 3:15 pm

        Nobody here at etramping.com ever changed anyone’s comment or reply. Comments from people who did not comment before are held for moderation just to make sure they are not spam (we get a lot of spam).

        Not sure where you got this one from…

      • Clint S. September 4, 2013, 6:01 am

        Agness you helped a lot. Thanks very much for taking the time to write this article, and portray your viewpoints on this topic.

        You are very respectable, and I appreciate the demonstration of such virtues in your response to what could be considered a personal assault on intelligence, etc. in Santiago reply .

        Furthermore, I would truly appreciate if people adapted the thought of using proper defining words rather than a carefree non-responsible jumble of misguided information such as what is found in some of the manipulative negative reply’s message, for example, the use of the word, arguing.

        (ar·gued ar·gu·ing
        : to give reasons for or against something: reason : to contend or disagree in words: dispute )

    • ID July 16, 2013, 7:19 pm

      Hello Couchsurfers
      I’m from Morocco and I use Cs for a long time
      I see nowadays in our Community here in Morocco that a lot of people (Men and women ) use the Couchsurfing without even know the terms of use and What is all about
      I dont have any preferences and I start the couchsurfing because I found it a great idea to know about a lot of places, people and their background even if you do not travel and due to the community my English become more and more good ( I never studied english in a School )
      As A human I believe that when you meet someone there are some chemical stuff in your mind and your body which bring you an idea about the person and can make you close to this person and I believe that there is no problem if two people from Couchsurfing meet each others and then start a relationship because they find that they share some ideas and they can be together
      BUT THE PROBLEM is that when this Relationship do not succeed , You do not blame yourself and you do not blame the other person but the whole community
      When You traveled and met those people , they do not force you for sex but they just asked for in many ways maybe by body language or directly and in this case you can say NO and then continue the experience and if the person insist you can even go out and then look for a Hostel to spend the night and that happen to me with a gay guy in france who tried to have sex with me even if I prefer women in my life. I tried to avoid him several times and then we continue the experience and he was really nice and did his better with me even if
      he was weird in the night . You know guys , I try all the time to find something positive in a person or a situation in my whole life and I all the time figure out good things even in some bad situations and I learn from them
      A lot of Csurfers who visited me in the first time here in Rabat were surprised and they told me that they had a bad idea about Moroccans about Islam and they also had some stereotypes that it’s not safe for a woman to travel here but when they stay with my family and experience the life here they find that we are like all humans and they become more and more open to learn about our religion and background and they forget about the stupid ideas given by Media
      Now when We start such as conevrsations we should not generalise and we have to know that there are some people who use the Cs (((who HOST AND TO HOST IS MORE SACRIFICE AND MORE TIME ….THEN BEING A SIMPLE GUEST WHO WILL SAY IN THE FINAL I DONT LIKE THE PERSON , THE FOOD or THE PLACE …. WHO ACT LIKE A JURY))) because they love the idea and want to help others and please try to bring some ideas and to be actif members in the website instead of Arguing somethings we all know and who can be solved by many ways , also When I choose this way of Traveling I know I gonna stay with a foreigner and I know from the start that I can be in some bad or awkward sutuation but I do it because I like adventure and I find the idea better then staying bored in a Hostel …
      I hope a Good experiences for all of you

      Peace

      Reply
    • Kara August 8, 2013, 12:30 pm

      I am also superannuated, and I used to hitchhike a lot when I was 20 ish – this also became dangerous, sex and worse, so yes, it is just human nature, that 90% are fine people and there are shades of grey to black with the rest – at least couchsurfing has some safeguards – but it is good to be reminded not to be a polyanna.

      OTOH if you do meet someone and they are attractive, the question of sex may well come up – take it as a complement, even if not interested – there is no harm unless and until someone tries to force the issue. Maybe you dont think a one night stand is “”proper”” but isn’t that your problem – your morality – it is not the universal last word? as long as two consenting adults consent, sex is no problem at all – we should all be aware of the health problems etc that it might entail – and as long as the answer “”NO”” is respected it is no problem either –

      I havent CSd but I would consider it and I would consider hosting – as I have hosted in the past to complete strangers who were stuck in the past – and if I were single and attracted to someone I might ask them right out – and depending on their answer, we would take it form there – gee, this happened to me in years past with no problem, it should still work for young, adventurous and honest people now!

      Reply
    • J August 11, 2013, 5:18 am

      Well put. There hasn’t really been any danger in the writer’s experience. If she doesn’t want it then she just refuses it. It’s perfectly normal for somebody to want sex and perfectly normal for the other to accept or refuse, it’s just a part of youth culture nowadays. The writer’s experience is just a difference of culture/value which we would encounter almost everywhere in travel. Why make such a big fuss about it. Many other people would actually find one night stand wonderful and actively seek it. As long as couchsurfing experience is based on free will and is secure, I don’t see any problem about it. You can actually learn a lot through this kind of interaction.

      Reply
    • Donald Shimoda September 30, 2013, 12:22 am

      Wow! Very interesting article and comments, a widely discussed topic within the CS community for years and one I just wanted to write my humble opinion about after a couple of years’ experience hosting, being hosted and traveling a little around the world:

      So just to give a bit of context I’m a 32 year-old spanish male who quit my city lifestly 7 years ago and started traveling to open my mind to new places, cultures, art, food, music and…yes, to meet new people. And yes, a few times it’s been uncomfortable (I suppose that’s what they call “getting out of your comfort zone”) and sometimes even a bit dangerous when I didn’t know the environment, the customs or the language, but looking back I find that these challenging times were the ones that taught me the most about other humans or about the forces of Nature, but specially ABOUT MYSELF.

      Now, when it comes to SEX, the topic is clearly still regarded as taboo in most cultures around the world. Even those with a more “open” attitude towards it, still will consider it something more private, intimate, special…than just making new friends, going out to party, share a meal or offering you a couch to rest.

      But despite having been brought up in a catholic country and receiving a traditional education, I long ago decided to question everything and not take anything as dogma just because somebody else said it in the past, and in the case of sex I’ve found it a very natural, healthy and pleasant activity, quite essential to life really :-) and also a relevant part of exploring a new country or culture, just as I would consider learning the local language or trying new amazing foods.

      Judging sexsurfing or CS-sex as a terrible new trend, a disgrace to the community or a danger that must be warned to future travelers to me only perpetuates certain fears and shame-complexes which are deeply rooted in many of us because of our upbringing.

      I have personally had a few sexual encounters with some females thanks to Couchsurfing (and once a guy almost convinced me too! ;-) and learned a great deal from all of these experiences.

      Because you see, this is my thinking: if sex is one of the most (if not THE MOST) intimate and special interaction you can have with another human being…doesn’t it make perfect natural sense to try and have it with as many different people you can while you’re traveling this little planet of ours?

      :-)

      Reply
    • Rasool Zabihi October 4, 2013, 8:28 pm

      I guess now you just scared lots of people from couchsurfing.the best Idea is to put a reference (positive or neutral) & mention in the reference that for more information contact you.I`m sure that these things happen but maybe it happens 10 percent of time & when you say it even if somebody has not done it, will think about doing it.imagine that you are a new user and read this post.you will be scared of hosting or surfing.imagine because of your post all the girls find a girl host and host only girls so it won`t be a part of experiencing new culture.it is like the past when the schools were separated.they thought if boys & girls be separated they always will be good but they didn`t know that you can`t keep them apart always.so your post indirectly is saying” hey girls try to find girl host”.I am 22 years old from Isfahan,Iran & I hosted a different girls from different countries and sth like this never happened but thanx to you for generalizing the whole community will be so conservative that you always suspicious.you can count on references.sometimes I just give a key to my home to a surfer & I go traveling because they have good references.

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