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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382 Comments

  • 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 :)

    • 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

      • 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.

      • 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!

    • As a single guy in my 30’s I’ve had many female Cs’s stay with me. Never for sex. I simply enjoy other cultures and the company. Never had men or couples cause I don’t want any troubles. Had occasions when sex was implied but it came from young girls traveling alone and I did not encourage anything to happen.
      Recently had one over at my place, wasn’t supposed to happen but we met in town while she was saying with someone else. Spent the evening together and just really hit it off, chemistry at work. She moved her stuff to my place, stayed 3 days,spent all this time hanging out, talking, cooking, visiting, sleeping together but never had sex. We are still in contact and she plans on coming back to stay with me this winter.
      Couch surfing is not a way to hook up, it’s a way to meet people. Some become friends and invite you into their country of origin or into their life.

  • 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 ;-)

    • 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.

      • 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 :) :)

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

  • 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??

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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!!!

    • 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

    • 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.

  • 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…

      • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

      • I wish one day come to my house until see found family as God love give you . . . you say true but we must believed to God

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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 :)

      • 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 :):).

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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 :)

  • 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!

    • 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

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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).

    • 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.

      • 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…

  • 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 :)

    • 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

      • 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 :)

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

      • 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!

      • 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

      • 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…

  • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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 :-).

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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%.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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…

    • 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?

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

    • 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

      • 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?

      • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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 :(

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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 :)

  • 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!!

  • 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.

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

      • 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 !

      • 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.

  • 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

    • 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

  • 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.

    • 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!!!!

    • 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 :(

      • 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!

  • 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..

    • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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!

      • 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.

  • 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? ;-)

    • 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!

      • 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.

      • 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

    • 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 :)

  • 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”….

    • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • 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…

      • 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 )

    • 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

    • 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!

    • 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.

    • 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?

      :-)

    • 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.

  • Dear Agness,

    you have a point here. Big one.
    Here’s why, here you have a whole forum of men talking about this http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-20497.html?highlight=couchsurfing
    sharing there stories, helping each other to nail a FLAG they call it a flagging game http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-2057.html some even use cameras, as I’ve read, so that they can “protect” themselves from girls accusing them of rape, yeah right. http://flaggingheadquarters.com/constitution-of-flagging/

    • Hey! Thanks a lot for sharing. I just had a look at the forum and it’s really lame what people are writing there! The world is going mad :-/!!!!

  • I guess it was going to happen at some stage! The question is, is it a form of prostitution?? Sleeping with the host in order to get a free place to sleep… Or maybe a way to “literate” youself..

  • Woah, you have more comments that actual cotent.
    I just wanted to say, as a CS lover that I’m obviously very sad when something like this happens, but CS to me is more then a website as it represent tomorrow’s culture of world peace. Sex dynamics are gonna play their role probably more and more, but hey, this is just as everyday life!
    My suggestion is, try to put more effort in selecting your host/surfer, really. The majority of bad experiences are related to this problem believe me. If you don’t plan ahed time, well, the probability to have a bad experience, that could range from the one speculated above to just bore yourself to death because your host/surfer is a peanut head who likes to take pictures of ants mating in the grass (wich of course is impossible since ant are all female) … what was I saying?
    Well, those are my 2 cents. I admit I had sex with a couple of CS and that was mainly becouse travelers are usually very interesting and adventurous persons (wich are my favourite traits) so to me it’s an added value and I think it should be viewed as something good not bad.

    • Hey Andrea. Yeah, our readers found this post very interesting to comment on :). Thanks a lot for sharing it, we really appreciate it. So true, sex dynamics are gonna play their role probably more and more indeed as it is just as everyday life! However, we should still be able to enjoy our travels when using csing and respecting each other, right? Letting someone stay at your place because you hope to hook up with this person validates the basic rules of CSing. I also agree with putting more effort in selecting your host/surfer. Surfing with random people isn’t safe.

  • Great post! I completely agree with you and most of the responses. It sucks to have such a useful and rewarding service be used for such negative things. I want it to promote safety and not get the guests worrying if something will happen to them or not.

    I’ve used CS extensively as both a host and a guest, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences. However, not everyone is using the service for what it was intended – culture sharing. Here’s an example of a website I stumbled upon the other day:

    http://couchbangs.wordpress.com

    I hope people like these are in a minority and will not destroy such a great concept. It really makes me angry.

    Keep up the great writing.

    • Hey Bryan. Thanks a lot for your comment. We are trying our best to promote safety csing. We are so happy you had a great cs experience and hope it will never change. Thanks for sharing the website.

  • If i loved to cycle around my city with someone and show them the sites, i might suggest to the surfer who comes to stay with me that we do just that “lets go for a bike ride! I’ll show you all of my favorite places. What do you say?” And the surfer might say “Thanks, but i’d rather just go walking alone” And even though i might be disappointed, the challenge for me is to continue to be their friend even though they don’t want to spend time with me or do the things i want to do.
    My point is that we all want different things from the relationships we form, weather we form them in a bar or at a bus stop, or at a party or online. People are going to want to have sex with you, dont frown on them just because you hold sex to be something more precious than they do, frown on them if they are too selfish or sensitive, or just too mean, to take rejection in their stride and continue to treat you with respect.

  • Well, there’s something agreeable and something completely disagreeable about your post.

    AGREEABLE: CS is about friendship, trusting, being nice and hospitable, so when it comes to sex hints like “My door is open all night” it sounds a little inappropriate, no doubt. And if it makes feel the guest uncomfortable, as it may well be, the guest has a right to judge his/her experience in a negative way and leave a bad reference if he/she feels so.

    COMPLETELY DISAGREEABLE: When it comes to your judging boys and girls who like to have one night stands, it’s you who sounds quite inappropriate: CS is about making people meet, adult people, and if these adult people decide of their own free will to spend their whole time in the same bed, well, it’s their right to do so. As long as sex is not a crime of course. You have the right not to be treated like a sexual target but please respect other people’s right to choose. You may not like it, but at least, try to respect them. As a matter of fact, your dislike towards girls who consider “one night stands as a part of the experience” sounds rather conceited and, as a consequence, quite unbearable. This shows that you have a closed and conservative mind which is the exact contrary of the CS spirit.
    TIME TO GROW UP.

    If you’re thinking I’m one of those “terrible” guys who are used to make advances to girls during their CS experience, well you’re again misjudging, as I have hosted and been hosted by plenty of girls without having even touched the subject, as my references can easily show.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Hi Agnes, I’ve been reading everybody’s experiences and I will share mine since is sex related. All I say Its 100% true and the name you see its not real -personal purposes-

    I am latino, male, 23, engineer, with an awesome job, and I’ve been with the CS community since 2010. Been over 21 countries and surfed only once using CS and hosted twice, total of 3 CS deep experiences so far and not to mention 4 encounters for coffee, beer & chatting. All this in 3 years -enough said-

    At first I thought this was fun, strangers sharing experiences how awesome can this be. I quickly learned that this wasn’t a dating site (wasn’t looking for one just a cheap way to travel ) and everybody was just open minded in sharing experiences in a good way (c’mon its suppose to be like this). and when we travel we want to facilitate our pockets in not spending to much, but i shamely and quikly learned that I could use this site for other purposes. Certain girls get exited when they know a guy that almost has it all, well established and dropping $200 a night for beers and drinks can be their “one” -for the sake of the example-. All my experiences have been great and rather turned out really great and this is why I want to explain my case to everybody since sex is involved and i have never shared this, and would like to tell my story to the world.

    My first CS experience was in South Africa, cape town, after sending over 10 requests only a blonde girl accepted my one night request…. so the day we met, that same night after we had dinner at her house, she took me with her friends in downtown to have an awesome time. Turned out that she liked weed and we start smoking it with her friends like if we were in high school. Long story short, We ended up walking in some random beach around 3am to “walk and see the stars” and an erotic moment came up, started making out like crazy and well, 5 hours later I woke up at the side of the ocean, the sound of the waves hitting at my far end and me covered with sand laying with my host naked (me naked too) and with a terrible hangover. and I said, geez what an experience!!!! and of course I wanted more, if this was going to be like this.

    So i came back home (USA) thinking, WOW i was truly expecting a normal night, chat beer and sleep. but it turned out wild and why not taking advantage of it -i was on my vacation right?-

    Time passed, work and other travels kept me busy for months, after later…

    Second, I hosted a cool guy from California, spent good time and became friends since then. End of it.

    Third, I hosted a chick from Ukraine, the first night we went for beers, we went home and started to watch a movie, and i made a comment with my feet and she offer to massage them, so i thought, crap! this can be my moment or this is the signal, hours later we had sex and she left two days later with no harm feelings.

    Fourth, met a girl for coffee, this time i had another intention. Sex. I noticed girls (some) using this site like this type of stuff or at least willing to have a conversation about it. Because i have met focus mind chicks and smart as heck that their only intention is to travel, period. But this chick was from Vermont, came down to visit the city and after coffee, we end up going a random bar and 2 hours later we were in my truck making out! this was insane i thought!!!! and so easy! and im not a good looking guy, just a random dude that is a travel freak.

    Fifth and last, this was my most wild one. NOTE: i didn’t hosted nor surfed, I only offered a girl to show the city. So she was from Argentina, nice and cute super funny girl with 27 years old, (as the matter of fact she even mention that more guys wanted to show her around but i looked nice so she gave me a chance, and i was like chance!!? what is this suppose to mean? -another sex signal?-) The first day we went out, nothing happened, the second night (2 days later) we went for beers and later that night had sex back in my apartment and after a nice night we agreed the following weekend to have like a honey moon in Atlanta for a full weekend. I asked off from work and we were glued together for 5 days!! like if we were in love. after that, i took her to the airport. No drama love harm feelings either of us. But interesting, we both never left a comment/recommendation in our profile of CS. Not that we planed it, its just we never left either of us a profile comment. Like if we were ghosts…and we still talk today like if nothing happened. from the 4 sex encounters I had, only one left me a positive comment to visit me. The rest were like ghosts.

    CS is nice, but in my opinion it depends on the person character in how far you want to take it. I mean people leave you comments but outsiders don’t have the minimal idea that behind those comments there is much more.

    To conclude, I closed my account with CS. decided to travel the world free and met random as I go. Now my current girl friend which i love deeply and i hope it can stay that way. “normal”. and no erotic accelerating sex shit with random people. Because i think this can eventually lead to me trouble and a BIG trouble, physiologically. I might start seeing relationships as brutal random sex only and no more than that.

    My guess is that everybody love this idea of interacting with locals without paying tourism company’s and specially people between 18-30 tend to be more open with sex, and it depends which country are you coming from or go to, i have noticed Europeans and South Americans girls are more open minded than American girls. because in the American way they are the ones that choose if they want to have sex if they feel like it, the rest its like for the sake of having a good time, just shut up and have sex, period. Notice I never asked for sex rather than moment speaking from themselves. I loved it, but i just don’t think i can continue like this. Rather than to avoid temptation and seek other ways to meet locals. Now thinking of it, it depends on the person in how far you want to go. You can just keep you CS profile open just to meet with people, no hosting, no surfing – just incase- but i must honestly say. I have met truthful amazing people in this community that until today we are friends or at least like each other as human beings…..

    Thats my little story and opinion. Just be smart when you travel! experience along the way will make you a master of dissecting whats good or bad.

    • Hey Alejandro. Thank you so much for sharing. That’s been a long reading, but I really liked how honest you are with your CS experience. You just proved me right that sexsurfing happens to CS members on a regular basis and it’s not only my experience or feelings. You are absolutely right. It all depends on your personality. If you feel like having sex with your host, it’s fine, but sometimes people might be forced or feel like being forced to do so and then the fun is over.

  • I was thinking about exactly the same topic recently and that’s how I found your page. I havn’t experienced something like that, but I heard some sexstories from other couchsurfers that started to worry me. These stories got me thinking about the intention of my hosts or just the people I’m meeting with and that’s exactly the thing I don’t want to think or worry about, just be there and having a good time.

    I think the “problem” is, that for the most of them who are using it sometimes (and maybe not intended, it was just happening) for sexsurfing, they like it that way and wanted it, so they don’t give any negative reference. That’s of course completely fine, everybody can do what he or she wants to do, but that causes also a shift of expectations. If somebody had a good sexsurf, then he might expect (or at least hoping) the next one to be the same and that opens the door for uncomfortable experiences like you wrote about.

  • This is not shocking to me, which is why I have no intention of hosting someone or staying at someone’s place unless I know them very well. Plus, my husband and I are not swingers. ;) I would probably be open to a woman crashing at out place, but I don’t plan on staying at a stranger’s place… even if they are a woman since you never know who their friends are. (I have never checked out the site, so I am assuming that recommendations help a lot interms of who to choose as a place to crash!)

    It actually sounds like high school in the sense that guys won’t even write you back because you didn’t sleep with them. Grow up guys!! That’s upsetting to me, but I guess good for them if they actually find girls willing to sleep with them. What can you do?

    Good luck on your future couchsurfing adventures!

    p.s. sleep with mace pepper spray because it seems like it will just be getting weirder as time goes by and more people sign up.

  • Very interesting piece. To offer a perspective as a guy who’s used the site:

    I’ve surfed a ton and have only hosted a few times. The times that I’ve hosted had been about half and half (guy/gal), and not only have I not hit on any gal, but I’ve been too busy to do more than offer a place to crash, make em a meal, and offer suggestions of what to do during their stay. I don’t think I ever would openly hit on a girl I’m hosting because of the uncomfortable situation that could make, as you’d mentioned. My experiences from traveling were too important to me to ruin them for someone else by being a slime-ball ;) That being said, I have surfed with about 10 girls (around half my experiences), and did end up sleeping with two of them. I should mention that because almost all of my hosts (male and female) were people who had contacted me, not the other way around. So I definitely did not seek that out, but it definitely does happen in ways that are entirely consensual and positive. I even still keep in contact with these girls, as with many other hosts. The one note I will make, one of those two girls had told me that before I’d arrived, her and her roommates had half-jokingly bet on who would sleep with me…make of that what ya will.

    As for the guys who use it as a sex window…I want to say that if they do it all respectfully and don’t ruin the experience by doing so, there’s no harm done. I WANT to say that. But until more is done by the user community to address those who completely abuse it, I can’t imagine why a girl, traveling alone, would stay with a single guy. You have to really hint for someone on the site with a negative review…the community is great, but not perfect. Be smart gals, and be safe.

  • Seriously, I don’t mean to be rude to you. Seriously, No offense intended here but your quickness to jump to conclusions, consistent inability to analyze all aspects of a situation, ridiculous generalizations and statements (Example: “I am now thinking of how many girls may not have a strong personality to refuse…”) lack of judgement and total ignorance about men is too evident,sweetheart.

    You said “I prefer to hang out with guys to be honest because … I often learn a lot from them”. Well, I don’t know exactly what you talk about with guys but you’re probably just Getting travel information from them without actually learning much ABOUT them.

    After my almost 200 hosting/surfing adventures around the world, I can tell you that one of the best aspects of CS is that it allows individuals to enjoy a unique life opportunity by really getting to know the opposite sex in such an amazing way that prejudices about men/women simply fade away as you acquire more and more CS experience.

    I kindly invite you to be more proactive in your future cs experiences. Specially when it comes to communicating with guys. Example: You said: “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.”

    The question here is: After the FIRST time your host said “The door to my bedroom is open all night”!, Did you do ANYTHING to learn from that experience? You could have modified your profile or simply be more explicit in the communication with your second host about the kind of behavior you don’t tolerate. It seems you didn’t do anything after your first experience. It’s so easy to appear as a “victim” instead of taking responsibility for not being an effective communicator.

    Now, on sensitive subjects like this one, women will usually listen more to other women. (sometimes only). So I kindly invite YOU and ALL other females to read Kelly Dunning’s comment below:…..

    ————————————
    .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.

    ———————————————————-

  • I am into couch surfing and have had sex at least a hundred times and it was great for both parties. I also only host women nothing againt men but im not gay. Sex surfing is great and its free whats the problem.

  • Hey Agnes,

    I know I’m a couple months late, but I just wanted to apologize on behalf of the male CS community for what you experienced. Thankfully the men in question didn’t push anything. I’ve slept in the same room as females (both as a host and guest) and have never thought of trying to engage in any sort of sexual activity. I’ve had one gay guy (a host in Italy) make a pass at me, but I said I wasn’t interested and he left it at that. He was really hospitable and enjoyable throughout the rest of my stay, but it definitely surprised me when he asked me.

    Anyways, I’m glad you’re not giving up on CS because of this, but I do hope it doesn’t become a regular occurrence for you.

    Cheers,
    Dylan

    • Hi Dylan. Thanks for the lovely comment. I’m not giving up on CS, just wanna be more careful with everything I do. I am actually planning to cs this August in Holland again and Brussels.

  • I hosted a gal once and unlike your stories of hosts soliciting sex…this gal actually wanted to have sex after staying with me a couple of days…maybe i was too hospitable to her…might sound weird, but true. She was a gorgeous gal from Sweden.

  • Great article, Agness! Not many people address this subject; my impression is that some people sort of “idealize” CouchSurfing and refuse this reality, and while there’s plenty of positive things, like any other social network there’s a negative side to it. This Sex-Surfing thing has been around for ages, to my own knowledge – the first time someone gave me a sexually-charged “compliment”, was in 2007, way before CS was well-known.

    As a female user of CS, I’ve had around 25-30 hosting experiences, around 10-15 being hosted, and the rest of my references are from meet-ups and activities. Yes, in Europe, mostly guys answered my requests – and girls wouldn’t even answer my messages. I have to say, that for sure I’ve run into CS users with a double-agenda, but it has been mostly from guys at meet-ups or parties (both foreign and local). I was lucky to be hosted by gentlemen, and only a few -creeps surfed with me. But then again, when I was hosted, it was 2007-2009 when CS was a bit more trustworthy. Nowadays, single or not, I don’t feel safe surfing with male hosts.

    Also, in my city’s CS Community (Mexico City) some people have joined in, ask for a couch, a “tandem friend” or a “travel buddy” without references or even filling their profile at all – and TONS of people respond, because in their profile pic it’s a good-looking European/American/Canadian blonde or a cute French dude. Whenever I would comment that on their posts, people would answer negatively as, “Why are you so close-minded? CS is for helping newcomers!” Yeah, right.

    Thanks for article, not many people dare to speak about this. I hope you get only positive CS experiences in the future!

    Robs :-)

  • P.S. Sex is not a crime, as long as it’s consensual, whether it is on CouchSurfing or not! I’d be a hypocrite to deny that, when it happens, it happens!

  • This is a really interesting post. I Couchsurfed a little over 3 years ago and was pleasantly surprised that despite staying with only male hosts (not on purpose), sex never came up and I never felt uncomfortable. I wonder if my experience would be the same today. Maybe more sleazy people have picked up on the possibility of hooking up with a guest and created profiles looking for that specifically? Anyway, it sounds like the community might not be like it was a while ago – and if so, that’s a shame.

  • I don’t think this post is accurate. Five surfing experiences are not an adequate sample size, so perhaps you just had bad luck. Or/and perhaps there is something in your profile that encourages this type of people to invite you.

    I have hosted a lot of girls, and nothing like that ever happened with any of them. As a host, it would be simply irresponsible to have this kind of approach: even if a host and surfer like each other, it would be putting the other person in a difficult position if you make advances… If I make a girl feel uncomfortable, what is she going to do ? That’s just cruel.

    Of course, there is always the chance that a host and surfer will like each other. You can meet someone special in the supermarket, at work, online, and perhaps on CS… whether it’s for one night or for life, you can never know… But being on CS with that intention is simply wrong, and frankly I don’t think it’s that common. Of the girls whom I hosted, only one told me that she had this kind of experience once, of being hit on.

    The idea of CS is simple: if you have spare rooms and/or you are bored and want someone around, perhaps hang out for dinner or drinks, then it’s a great idea to host people — which is why I host. Like anywhere else in life, other forms of interaction can occur, but I don’t think the chance of having sex with your host or surfer is higher than of doing it with the cashier you just met at the supermarket.

  • I had this experience with some CS girls with intentions other than hanging out and being shown around but what happened is that they were either clearly annoyed or bored with me after it was obvious nothing was going to happen, which isn’t great because then we feel stuck with each other for 1-2 days.

    I’ve since learned how to more or less interpret their profile and host list – only hosting/being hosted by single guys/girls is a very telling sign. The fact that CS added the “shared surface” euphemistic option has not made things clearer but worse, I think.

    The worse thing: because of what you call sexsurfing (which is I think is still very small trend, fortunately) it’s understandably now much harder for a single travelling guy to be hosted by women.
    So in the last few times I sent requests and was hosted by couples, older surfers or hosts with extensive references, with 100% very good experiences and I recommend doing the same if you aim to travel hassle free.

  • Agnress,

    Honestly I have to say you are so brave to open up about this topic. I truly admire you! I met awesome friends where I came alone to China for work but have not use as hoster and hostee. Never thought about it could end up having a sex with the host. Meeting up people through internet could be both dangerous and great way to meet new people. Once we are careful about it, I think it will be okay.

    It’s like across road without traffic signal. Look out left and right and move forward little bit little bit. Once you reach the other side, we will see/experience another road.

    My mom would have kill me if she finds out I am talking about sex in public. Luckily she does not know English. ;) Korea is still conservative country. I can not image it… it’s dangerous… What if he has disease, right? Got to be careful!

  • I decided to write my opinion about my gay couch surfing experiences. I had hosted three times two were great and one was not so great. However all those experiences were way better then my first time using the service to surf. One place I went to was dirty and had one room and one bed and that was not clear from the ad. The host let me in and immediately went on his computer and wasn’t friendly at all. The other person was negative and did not but complain the whole time about everything from his neighbors to his hot tub to his trip to Europe in both cases I had to check into a hotel late at night. My advise is talk to the person before you go if its in the USA with foreign stats your out of luck or maybe Skype. You need to get a feel if it will be a good fit for you and e-mail doesn’t cut it. Also ask questions some of the ads are not accurate. Further have a plan B you need a backup. I don’t think that highly of the site rules and the people that work there. A surfer can review you even if they just meet you and you never stay at there place. They can give their opinion of you and the negative review stays on so it becomes a he said she said. Personalities do clash I think the reviews should be strictly about what type of guest you were. There is also a lot of discrimination on the site and I mean based on age, and gender. People have to realize this is not a dating site.

  • Hello Agness and Anyone else Reading,

    Thank you for this! I’m not sure if you will actually get this, but if you do I would love to hear your reply (I’ve never commented on a blog). I will be traveling Europe in aug/sept and I for the most part will be staying with friends, but I did want to got to some locations where I don’t have friends living like paris, some places in italy and uk. I really appreciate you writing about the female experience of couchsurfing. I heard about couchsurfing when I lived in Asia and heard that it wasn’t really recommended for females traveling alone. So I was wondering your thoughts on females traveling alone using couchsurfing. This will save me so much money that I would love to save :)!

    1. Would you recommend me (22 yr f) using couchsurfing while traveling alone?
    2. How do you go about choosing who you will stay with?
    3. Advice?

    Thank You So Much!

    Best,
    Bianca

    • Hi Bianca,

      First of all, thank you so much for your comment. I read them all and I really appreciate the fact people share their experiences, thoughts and feelings here. I’m happy to hear about your summer plans to travel Europe! You will fall in love with Paris!! Let me know if you’re planning to visit Poland, my friends can host you either in Wroclaw, Krakow or Warsaw.

      Answering your questions, I think that couchsurfing has changed a lot. My female friends used it over 2-3 years ago when travelling in Asia and North America and their experiences were amazing. They were hosted mostly by male hosts. They met amazing people and made friends which last till now. Nowadays, people hope to get laid, stay at someone’s place for free, party a lot and “occasionally” speak to their hosts. I’m not saying it’s always like that, but I can see the pattern here. I still strongly believe, although I had some bad cs experience, that this is a great way of exploring places like a local, meeting great people, making friends and enjoying yourself. I stopped couchsurfing for a while and I still host people (spent amazing time with French girl who stayed at mine for a week some time ago and a Polish guy who I was hosted for more than 10 days a month ago). If you are a female and want to couchsurf, I would recommend you to look for female hosts. I know there are definitely more male hosts out there, but try your best to find female hosts. That would be much safer and you would feel more comfortable I guess.

      You can also use cs chats and forums where hosts/couchsurfers from a particular city/town arrange meetings and keep each other posted on latest events. You can sign for it and meet great people (firstly online, then in person). Once you meet them and like them, you can decide to couchsurf at their places (if they of course are willing to host you).

      When choosing your host, please don’t forget to check his/her references, travel photos, profile description, interests, etc. The more references, the better. If you see any negative references, just ignore this person. If any of his/her photos are a bit controversial or inappropriate, you shouldn’t also consider this person as your host. Check if you have any common interests, how this person describes himself/ herself, check his/her Facebook profile (if it’s not fake or something). Final advice: try to contact your host a few weeks before you arrive at his/her place. Arrange Skype meeting or chat so you can get to know each other. Don’t be too scared of meeting people, but at the same time be careful and don’t trust them easily.

      Hope that helps. If you have more questions, just let me know!

      • Hi Agnes,

        I’m not trying to be self righteous but i’ll give my opinion anyway.

        Couchsurfing is not intentioned for no strings attached type of thing so if members are just after a hook up they should join an adult service. No wonder why STDs are increasing among young people!
        I’m not against two people having sex as long as it happens in a natural/ spontaneous way but not looking for free sex without even getting to know each other first, that’s rude and promiscuous in my opinion. What ever happened to romance and chemistry between a couple first?
        If you’re a surfer, you’re already getting to stay at someone’s places for free, now asking for free sex is a bit too much.
        As for hosts, I believe having sex in exchange of free accommodation is prostitution and sexual abuse. Gils who agree with that type of thing are really dumb and easy, smart ones charge for their service aka escorts.
        I would never trust a guy who uses the service that way.
        I’m a CS member for a couple of years but haven’t used the service yet. Now i’m even more cautious after reading your post.
        Just to emphasize I am not against casual sex as long as two individuals get along and feel it’s the right time but using Couchsurfing for that matter is wrong.

  • Agnes, you made the point, of course couchsurfing can be used as a way of having sex. I am one of those guys, but I am 100% respectful with the people contact me and mature enough to understand when sex could be an option and when not.
    My profile pictures are all showing muscles, I know a lot of women prefer my place over others just because of my look, so when they decide to stay with me sometimes is because they have something in mind.
    At the end of the day I get really good reviews, no matter if something happened or not.
    I am not actively searching for women this way, but I appreciate those travelers with the desire to experience some kind of new experiences.

  • Jeez you opened up a can of worms. I am 54 years old and getting hit on by any man is a rare occurrence nowadays. When i was younger 20-40 i was hit on so much it became a second job to say, “no”. Your generation really, i think, thinks that certain venues will keep certain types away. Darling there are honsey guys sitting behind you in church. My first couch surfer who was 67 at the time, after five days with me, tried to kiss me. Rather than freak out i thought about why this guy and not another? The CS experience allows two strangers to spend time together, in the most relaxed of situations. A home. I think this is great. I recently began to read random profile and see that there are people who are in relationships because of CS! Even getting married. And why not,? We choose profiles based upon how we think we will get along. And then we allow them into our homes.
    Now, if the guy or woman can’t take no for answer then they must be left a reference that warns other men and women. This can go for gay or straight. Nobody wants to be violated. But i don’t think it is a CS no-no just because someone finds you attractive and says so. It’s what is done after a “thanks but no thanks” is said, that matters. Your semi-excuse that you prefer men over woman and then your,list of stereotypical crap about women, makes me think thou protests too much. What i mean is it reeks a,bit of i want to be pretty and sexy and be around men but why o why do they want to sleep with me? Because your pretty and sexy silly. Ifmyouncant take the heat, stay out of the guys kitchen. ManynCS women surf with me because they feel safer with me, but you sound like you might think older,people,aren’t as hip,as you. Everything you think you invented, i did 20 times already…

  • Yeah this is definitely 100% true. I just got back from my first couch surfing experience today and it was appalling. I wouldn’t sleep with our host and he actually said to me “What did you think you signed up for?” I was floored. All of his roommates and friends were awesome though and we ended up having a great time. He left us alone when he realized we wanted nothing to do with him. Thank god his friends were so amazing though or we would have left after the first day. He kept trying to wake me up when I was sleeping too to have sex with him. Finally I told him I would pay him 20 euro if he would leave me alone. And I’m dead serious I would have. I would couch surf again I would just do it differently. I think I would stay with women and never travel alone. We really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into…

  • Hi Agness,
    I am really interesting about this article. Honestly, I agree with you. Yes. nowadays we can easily found couchsurfers looking for ‘benefits’ from couchsurfing. but I pretty sure this is not generally. I know we still found host and surfers who not looking for that ‘benefits’ out there. like everything in the world there’s always a good things and a bad things. :D

    Warm regards
    @fentyasnath

  • I remember telling someone about Couchsurfing for the first time and he immediately said “Well that just sounds like a dating service.” And then he went on the site and started looking at profiles and said “Make it show just the girls. I mean let’s be honest here!” Then after a while going through them he finally shouted “We have a winner!”

    He definitely meant it in good fun, and it was hilarious, but that’s exactly how some people use it.

    • Right, that’s cute and all but that’s exactly who SHOULDN’T be using the site. People who get it don’t see it like that, and those are the people, male and female, who will get the most out of it. Like I said in my original comment on this post long ago, there’s nothing wrong with casual sex while CSing if that’s what both of you want, but if you go into it expecting sex, you’re the problem.

      • Excuse me, but I don’t see a “problem” with that :-)

        I’ve been an apostle of CS among many male friends and the “hook” was telling them how they could meet and take out to party nice girls from all around the world — of course many of them signed up with this intention, but the reality was tha NONE of them raped any girl (they are my friends after all ^^), sexually harrased anyone, forced anything to anyone, but instead they discovered an amazing way of getting to know different people and cultures, started inviting and hosting guys and couples and not only girls and even some of them improved their english and ventured into traveling and became the “surfer” instead of the “host”…

        Where’s the problem? :-P

  • Hi,

    I am male from Dubai, planning to visit USA in December looking some one to host me city not decided yet, depend .

    look forward to hear from someone realistically.

    Best regards.

    Farhan Ahmed

  • This confirms what I thought the very first time I heard about CSing.

    There used to be a sticker on trucks: “Ass, Grass or Gas. Nobody rides for free.

  • Interesting article, I think there are two things that jump out here to me:

    First, the tone of your article suggests disapproval in principle with the concept of casual sex, and confuses this with someone feeling or being pressured into having sex with someone, just because they have been given a place to stay. The latter of course, is unpleasant and unacceptable, but the former is not really yours or anyone else’s business. Yes, you should not expect romance or sex because you host or are hosted by someone, but meeting up with others as you travel and wanting to have no-strings-attached fun is perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of. Sorry if I misread, but I found your tone a bit pompous. And by the way, I’d say anyone man or woman who says they need to love someone first, has either been socially conditioned to behave that way and/or is lying to themselves but maybe that’s another debate :)

    Lastly, I know you clarify elsewhere that sexual aggressiveness can be female as well as male, it seems too often that you’re happy to characterise this as a guy thing. For those in countries that are still relatively more patriarchal, this would probably be the case. But in most of the west (and I can definitely say in the UK) females are just as able to be sexual forward and/or aggressive as men. In fact, (almost) the assumption that it is only men who want sex for its own sake or are quite forward in suggesting it, is very sexist. Women can and do enjoy sexual pleasure without wanting anything more, and again there is nothing wrong, shameful or shallow in this.

  • Did i type ‘couchurfing-sex’ or didn’t i ? ..i knew this topic had to be somewhere ;-)
    I had a one-night-stand once..with a CS-host..BUT,it wasn’t in my plannings to do so when searching for a host,ofcourse not.The subject wasn’t mentioned in our pre-talkings,ofcourse not.
    Our first mutual love,was the love for travelling,good stories,good books from around the world,different food,culture..etc,ofcourse.
    We shared a bottle of wine that was filled with the couchsurfin’ spirit ;-)
    I regret that some people on this site don’t have that ‘spirit’ and that they use this site for different reasons.
    They’re not part of our ‘universal’-mind.
    But,it’s not forbidden.

    I don’t know if it’s gonna help a lot but i maybe can give a little tip:
    (I am a professional planner,organizer..that’s what i do for a living)

    If you put a little more effort in your host-/surf-searching..
    If you check out people a little bit more in advance..
    If you talk to them a little bit more, before meeting them..

    (i know this is not so easy sometimes when you’re in the middle of nowhere,trying to find a last-minute couch,etc..)

    SO : if you do a little bit more ‘planning’ (not too much,leave things open ;-)(your own preferences,ofcourse)

    You would be surprised of the more interesting,kind people you get to know..

    to the maniacs,i just sing a CS-cheerleader-song:
    ‘why don’t we do it on the road..,lalalala’

    ;-) Greetz,
    Fen

  • hi
    i AM an egucated girl from Iran.and this is about 6 month that i am a member of Cs.
    as i am a girl who the atmospher of each group is important for me(from the safeness pioint of view),and as i have been in several groups like montaining,sortive ,etc…. i found Cs members (though in Iran,though Foreigns who come here ) so polite,edgucated poeple whom purpose is nature,culture and poeple…so your article was so bizzar for me!!Although i know that no where is complete safe,but i think if some people use this portal as finding girls or boys for sex is completely wrong. there is lot of porn sites that can offer them the guys who choose this way,but ofcourse not CS.aim of Cs is the other things!( as all of us know!)

  • Hi Agness,

    I must say that I completely agree with what you say. You are not blaming the CS community but are simply pointing towards the fact that CS has indeed, become a platform for sex for some people. Travelling and sharing cultures can include sex, but can’t be all about it.

    I am from India. Considering your hosts, or couchsurfers to be potential one night stands is the attitude that has made couchsurfing very risky in India. Most members of CS India are males, 30+. Two of my friends, Florian, a French guy and Emily, a Canadian girl (blonde, blue eyed) were travelling together and Florian was surprised to see that while not many people replied to his CS requests, everyone of Emily’s requests were replied to, in fact a lot of hosts invited her. Now you know why I said blonde, blue eyed.

    I have had a CS account for ages now, and if you check my inbox, you will only find messages from Indian male hosts, NOT asking me about my travel plans, but asking me if I could let them host me. A disguised offer for sex. Initially I used to send them a humble reply, showing them their place, and suggesting that it may be presumptuous of them to have sent me a message like that. But eventually, when nothing worked, I unleashed my ‘IGNORE’ side.

    This clearly demonstrates what coushsurfing has become. Travelling is not ALL about this.
    Using CS as a portal for finding sex partners has also led to untoward incidents all over the world, we already know that.

    While, I think, airbnb is a safer, more reliable option. At airbnb, you feature your house for a price, like a BnB, much lower than the usual hotels or BnB. So this ensures that the traveller pays through Airbnb, and has a room to himself/herself for a price per night and also, often, the company of a local.

  • I do believe more and more people are taking advantage of a great website like CS to have sex with exotic girls.

    A girl got raped by her host in Portugal last week, and many more face some sort of harassment, which is terribly sad and disgusting.

    While in India, i got many offers from Indian guys to stay in their house, but my boyfriend was not allowed in, I’d have to go alone.

    Lot’s of male members, some very active and engaged CS members have a hard time finding hosts in Portugal, whereas young female travelers with no profile, no friends, no references, nothing, get lots and lots of invitations, specially if they’re blond!

    This is a sad fact. I wonder for how long CS will go on like this. I’m basically declining 100% of my couch requests, which is really frustrating for me as a host.

    I decided to invite travelers who are active members, with references, who also host in their homes instead of the extremely young kids with no idea of what CS is about who request my couch.

  • Dear Agness,
    Thank you so much for your amazing article! Unfortunately many women especially european women don’t really understand the cultural context of some countries, especially muslim. By the way i’m from the muslim country as well. Please don’t criticize my comment too much, i’m telling u from the inner cultural context, not from somebodys experiences or articles i read.
    I love CS community and i’m quite active CS member. I had lot’s of great experiences both while traveling and hosting. Some of those people i hosted we still keep in touch and became long term friends, and my house is always open for these people again!
    When i heard some of the negative experiences of my CS friends & then read your article i decided to write this comment.
    If a female traveler doesn’t want to be harassed, she needs to learn at least a little bit about the culutral context, before she starts looking for a host in a certain country. In some countries CS just doesn’t work for male/female hosting/surfung… For example in muslim countries it’s absolutely not acceptable for two opposit sex to stay overnight in the same house if they are not relatives or a married couple. If a woman enteres a house of a man being single or just comes alone, she “tells” him unconsciously that she is open for sex. So guys are suprized to find out that women doesn’t want any sex with him.
    Also many women from countries where to have sex with a random guy is normal, gave an impression to these guys that it’s ok for all other women. So it created a stir among those guys and they started to chase after girls on CS website.
    So if a woman doesn’t want to be raped or harassed by the guy, in these particular countries, it’s better not to accept CS invitation to surf males couch otherwise be ready for anything…
    Many of you guys will be very critical about my article, but I tell you that generally it’s like that. Minority will be thinking differently and those guys that lived abroad and have different type of mentality might behave and think differently, so i’m not saying that it’s the same for everyone!
    So women please be careful!
    and Thank you Agness for brining up this topic!

  • In my personal view i dont think couchsurfing is in anyway a sex surfing or something related with that.I live in a small city in Austira calle Innsbruck,which is a studnet city. Particularly here people dont speak english and to find something even a store,second hand shop, events, bars, or even to rent a flat or to even know some local stuff is very difficult when you are handicapped with languages.I had the same problem when i travelled to german speaking parts or even french parts,but as soon as they introduced a new method to meet new people and ask some questions at least i participate and try to answer them as many ways i can.I know sometimes its hard to explain everything, but you try to give a better ways. I have hosted a lot of people, and would continue to do so whenever i have time and space.Its very narrow minded when you think couchsurfing as a means of sex and dating since there are a lot of people who just would like to hang out when they are in new city, and with the use of technology we are making it more and more faster and easier.Its a situation in life that you can get trapped or even face some disgusting situation but thats how it is in anywhere in world everywhere in the world we have good or bad experience but now in the globalized world it has more good vibes.

  • Hey !

    I’ve been couchsurfing for a few years now, and as a solo couchsurfing girl around the world, this topic has been an issue a couple of times.

    I’d like to share one tip that I’ve found very useful when I stay alone with a male host. During friendly conversation I tell my host “the story about a girl I know who couchsurfed with a guy, and it turned out as a bad experience, because he was only interested in sex.” When I tell them how wrong I think this is, I avoid any unwanted sexual approach that could have occured.

    Keep up the writing :)

  • Loved your article on surfing as it explains surfing as it should be a way to spend time with locals and learn about what life is really like.

    It saddens me that such a wonderful concept can be ruined by this.

    We have hosted many surfers of all ages and have not heard of anything like this happening but do notice young girls on csing here in Australia putting themselves out there and often putting themselves at risk.
    We are heading off travelling soon. I doubt it will be an issue for me being slightly older (:-)) and married but hope this does not stop others looking to experience Csing

  • Hey Agness,

    someone posted this blog link into CS and I commented there so I guess I should post it here too, there you go:

    “Well she has a point… nevertheless everyone is entitled to do as they please as long as it is with respect. I don’t consider asking someone if they wanna have sex polite… I onsider that as a forever alone kind of question…

    Some guys can really make you fell unconfortable. That is awful and defeates the whole couchsurfing spirit. But if the cirmumstances turn themselves natually into a one night stand or a long term relationship while you’re living the couchsurfing experience… There’s nothing wrong with that… that’s life itslef.”

    Cheers!

  • Girls use CS for sex, too. You just have to be a good-looking guy, have your own place, seem normal and have a job. Don’t be desperate and don’t try to have sex with every surfer. Host a good range of people, not just girls and not just good-looking girls. Go slowly and not look like you’re using it for sex. It helps to go out with friends too so she knows that you’re normal. And don’t be upset if she doesn’t want to stay in touch and you feel used. Girls generally should be more careful when hosting, because guys can lie about things to get with girls. Many girls surf with guys, but don’t host guys. And as a guy, you need to take your age and your looks into consideration.

    I was a shy, naive, good-looking guy and I thought that couchsurfing was just for making friends. But after a while I looked more closely at the reviews that were on some profiles. I realized that if I hadn’t been shy I could have gotten with some girls that I was surfing with. It was just a matter of letting the girls know I was interested (and I was sometimes), and asking them if they were interested. I didn’t know anything about women back then. It feels like I missed out on not only couchsurfing, but all dating by being too shy while everybody else was having these dating experiences. Sex doesn’t have to be a dirty thing that makes guys who seek it dirty and girls who are looking for it sluts. I think that if you are a guy and girl, it’s it can be good to have a discussion about intentions and whether it’s a date or not.

    • I think this way of thinking is appropriate for “dating websites”, not by CSA developed for sharing the culture of your country and your home for a night or two. Couch surfing idea/program was not set for this kind of connection. There are many other ways on Internet to do so. Keep CS clean and safe. Happy travels.

  • Hello im meber of couchsurfing since 2009 and i hosted several times. I just found this article and i have to say in some point im agree with you. It happened to me, with some girls i hosted i had sex, but i never planned to host somebody for sex, it just happen, and i though about why it happen and i saw its kind of often to a lot of people.

    The thing is when you are looking for somebody to host you as you said you feel more confortable with guys, also i imagine you read their profile and i dont think you are going to pick up one that doesnt have the similar interest than you, music, movies and all that things, and is normal that people have sex then, you already are choosing somebody that share the similar things with you, is worng that guys or girls just host people for sex, but i dont see the wrong part cos you are choosing somebody that you liked in some way.

  • It is impossible that these things not happen. That´s the disadvantage or risk for some or the advantage and an appealing thing for others of couchsurfing. Normal people has sexual energy is a fact, women and men. We have to be mature and intelligent to deal with these things. Unfortunately many people who couchsurf are teenagers who are immature.

  • I think the problem is more a generic one, and that it relates to the way a lot of people live there lives nowadays. In general I try every day to think about what I can do to make a possitive impact to the word, friends and family, when I can help and make a difference. A lot of people also does that. However there is a growing amount of WIIFM (Whats in it for me) people, that don’t care mutch about other then themselves. Someone just stole my labtop today and last year my car got stolen. However not trusting anyone anymore is not the solution. Would the world not be a nice place to be in, if all people just cared about each other, rather then only there own needs?

  • I have made similar experiences like you girl. In my case it was a homosexual (I am hetero) asking me to sleep with him for one night. He even started jerking in front of me and I was thinking of leaving his place or punch straight in his face :P
    I think there are many gay hosts who only host nice males to get to know them because I made a similar experince in South America too.

    But anyway CS is a great opportunity to get to know different places, people and opinions :)

  • i think people in this forum are trying to destroy couchsurfing,i see many lies,bullshit,there is many problems in couchsurfing but the fault is not from couchsurfing but from a world social quite pig and liars,just blabla
    i have a profil ,dont have nay comments ,not even experience,had try with simple request of a simple couch,all the time excuses are sent to me,sometimes some awackward suggestions from girls that would love to make up with me or i got even once a fuck off,when i simply request some couch or a drink out
    i will ask to u guys,which place outside websites would u be free for sex activity because i see u dont like using net?school?work?street?bars?but that was supposed to be for other things?
    would u ban pornography in your country?i would!
    i remenber u guys how hospitality club is dying or already dead,but was very practical,only one photo allowed,couchsurfing looks like a modelling profils,soemtimes even telephone number as many couchsurfers dont even read the message

  • Since the discussion generally contains a clear guy bias here, I think I should give some revelations here from the other side of the medallion. I have been hosted by many girls offering the same thing more in an indirect way (walking around in bathrobes all day long, changing undies before me, offering me drugs and their bed, hosting without offering a couch etc.) But this does not necessarily bring anything new into the picture. If it makes sense do it.. if not f.ck it. I agree with the Chris here. What’s the big deal? You can decide it for yourself after all. Unless there is some sort of pressure or force these topics are hardly worth mentioning.

  • Although I completly agree that guys who host only to get laid are gross, I think that you’re beeing a bit to harsh for the people who just, well, have sex during couchsurfing. We’re all adults, and if both parties want to have non-strings attached sex, that’s nothing wrong about it. I guess that it’s good to discuss it before arrival: “Don’t be prepared for any romance” or something, just to be clear.

  • I was planning to stay with a CS host in San Sebastian, Spain, for a few days. His profile said that he was 33 and he had some decent references (later I looked closer and they were mostly from 20 year old girls). We arranged to meet by the main beach, and I saw someone walking toward me who slightly resembled the guy from the website pictures, but looked about 15 years older. Sure enough, it was him. Just to make sure I wasn´t just being a poor judge of age, I asked him how long he had been hosting CSers. He sheepishly told me that he had been hosting people for over 20 years!! Between that and his general creepy vibe, I apologized and told him that since there were some indiscrepancies with his story, I felt a bit uncomfortable. With that, he replied with an ´´ok´´ and walked away. I even gave him the chance to explain himself. Later that evening, he blasted me, giving me an incredibly negative review on the website. The next day, he blasted me even more, updating the review. What a creep.

    On another note, there was a guy who offered to host me in Barcelona. He was a little toooo adamant about trying to convince me to stay with him, writing me paragraph after paragraph in repeated messages about everything that he will show me in the city, and I eventually decided to stay somewhere else. He, too, wrote a nasty review about me a week after I told him I had made other plans. Ultimately, I have suspended my page, as the reviews are both embarrassing and a poor representation of who I am (I met one of the guys for 5 minutes and never met the other one).

    Both of these encounters were after I had put a picture of my boyfriend and me together on the website with the caption ´´My love´´ and even wrote that I do not consider the site to be a dating site in my profile. I´ve had a few good CS encounters as well, but it is so sad that girls have to be so careful when we choosing hosts.

  • Admittedly, I’m an older person, but I have not had any of this type of experience; people I’ve surfed with have been incredibly kind (I’ve surfed solo, also surfed with my adult daughter, and with my husband). We host a lot as well, a wide mix of people.

    I would never, ever, no matter how attractive the person, consider hitting on a guest or a host. That is just plain creepy and downright rude. It compromises the guest/host relationship.

    Having someone you are staying with (or a guest staying with you) make a clumsy pass could come across as coercive, and that’s where the problem lies. It can be scary to deal with that in a non-neutral space.

  • Interesting post Agness, but I would suggest in future that you don’t stay with boys if you don’t want to be propositioned! Hang out with them by all means – you can meet with people through CS very easily – but stay with a girl (shouldn’t that be obvious?). I’m a male, but if I was a female there is no way I’d stay with a guy unless I met him beforehand and clicked with him, and a) wanted to return his affection or b) he was gay.

    The whole life on the road, hooking up with strangers is a romantic ideal that appeals to some people and if you’re not one of them don’t put yourself in a situation where somebody might ask you for sex. It seems extremely obvious to me as a male. I think you’re just a tad naive.

    Also, is it really that shocking that guys and gals try to hook up with their hosts/guests? I’d actually be shocked if it was the reverse. Perhaps you should stay with mormons next time? I’m quite dubious as to the authenticity of some of the above posts. Trying to get laid is just one of those things that young people do and OBVIOUSLY couchsurfing is just one of the many ways in which to do this.

    And yes you do sound like a bit of an 80 year old woman. Only having sex with people you’re in love with? It seems just a tad prudish in this day and age.

    I think the whole idea of staying with somebody, having a great time with them and then having great sex with them is beautiful as I imagine a lot of self-respecting and open-minded people would do.

    The one thing I do agree with is that hosts and guests should be respectful if they’re affection is not requited. Aside from that I think you’re fairly off the mark as are the other prudish responses, with the exception of one or two. ;)

  • Kind of pathetic that someone would ASK for sex. How many times has one been asked for sex and then given it (besides prostitution). Naturally speaking sex occurs as a result of an escalation of positive events and of responses to positive stimuli whether emotional, mental or physical. “Do you want to have sex?” or “My bedroom is open all night” is just lame at best and would fail to stimulate just about any female on the planet whether normal or not. Who does that? Either you have caused each other to want to have sex or you haven’t. You will know. Their is no need to ask. If you have to ask the answer is a resounding “HELL NO!”. Wake up pervs!

  • Agness,

    I partly agree with your post. A lot of people on CS seem to use it as a way to find sex – which becomes a huge problem when they impose themselves on someone who’s not interested.

    Still, I feel your post (like so many on the “idealistic” world of Couchsurfing) is somewhat naive and addresses only part of a wider issue, neatly summed up as follows:

    “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product”

    (the opposite problem, for the host, is: “People don’t value what they get for free”)

    Staying at someone’s place for free, without being expected to do anything in return? It sounds too good to be true – and it is. People do want (avoiding the word: expect) something in return – good company, interesting stories from exotic countries, new friends, sex. Or all of the above.

    Now, the point is this. Realize that people want something. Next time, before you go and stay with them, find out what it is! If it’s more than you’re willing to give, then find another host. Or fork out the cash and find yourself a nice hotel, hostel or BnB. That way, you know the product, and you know its price.

    Happy travels.

    Johnny

    PS I’ve hosted quite a few people. With some, I’ve had really interesting conversations. With others, I visited parties, museums, and nice little bars. And yes, with some, I have had sex. Always consensual, never pushed. Just by reading each others’ signs and through natural chemistry.

    PPS People (ab)use each other all the time in the CS community. Not the least is surfers just looking for a free couch, not interested in spending time with the host at all. Hosts using guests to get positive reviews. Surfers coming in very late the first night before they have a key, while the host has to work the next day. Or coming in drunk / high with pot.

  • I’ve surfed and hosted people on CS and have only had good experiences. It’s unfortunate that you’ve had incidents where there were strings attached. I hope you left negative reviews on their accounts so other people don’t have the same experiences.

    CS shouldn’t be brushed off though. Healthy criticism is good but (in my opinion) it really should be directed at the users, not the platform. It’s sort of like the Chicago ‘El. Great service, gets you where you want to go, you can meet a lot of cool people (hell, maybe even a soul mate! but of course, you’re always going to come across a few weirdos or guys given themselves some ‘private time’ in the back of the car.) The rating and the review section, if taken seriously, is a great way to make sure you stay safe.

    Anyway, good luck on your future travels!

  • Hello,

    First of all, let’s not forget we’re humans, let’s accept sexual attraction exist in all of us… At school, at work, at the clubs, everywhere… Why should it be different with couchsurfing?. If you couchsurf alone, you’re fairly attractive and more than 2 or 3 single male guys offer you accomodation without you even asking them personally… Well, let’s not be naive, shall we???. It’s not a coincidence!!!. Having said that… it’s all common sense… Just read the references!!!, they don’t have to be necessarily negative to understand there is something off about that host.

    I’ve couchsurfed in NY. I was hosted by the 2 different girls. The thought of sex never crossed my mind. I was too excited to be in NYC and supergrateful for the sheer generosity of the act of hosting a total stranger.

    I’ve been an active couchsurfer for quite sometime. I’ve hosted a lot people. Never had sex, never proposed sex to anyone. There was no sex in the atmosphere, but if there had been some sort of sexual tension…. What’s wrong with some mutually agreed sexual satisfaction… Sorry, but your original post reeks of puritanism. And If you really felt in some way harrased, write the review. It’s a free world (at least the internet is)

  • hi , I read your post . but this section of your writing shocked me :

    “the fact people use this portal to hunt girls for free sex and vice versa”

    you mentioned “free sex” ! I am wondering why you think people should pay for sex ?! . sex must be free . when two consent adults having sex it means girls and guys both enjoy it ! you must ask yourself otherwise , that is why the hell there is poor prostitutes and the guys who must pay for those prostitutes for sex ?!

  • yeah, girls sometimes are boring.and men are mostly dirty.a man used to tell me ,u should take care of a man ,even he is 70 years old.
    A pregnant woman met a girl ,and told her she had a bellyache,and asked the girl to help her go home.in the woman’s house,she gave the girl a yoghourt that mixed with medicine,and then the woman’s husband raped and killed the girl , .this couple then berried the girl in the forest.this news shocked everyone in china recently.
    the world is so dangerous.so be cautious.
    what if i were a swordwoman ,having indefectible kongfu in the ancient times~~

    anyway ,welcome in china ,my husband and i are living in shanghai city

  • the best choice is a big family that two or three generations living together.u can learn more.and be safer~~~i think that is the real happiness we surfers want

  • Interesting topic. I’m a male couchsurfer and I think I can say I’m one of the “good” hosts. Not to say that I haven’t wanted to sleep with some female guests before or even made moves, but I only do that if it seems blatantly obvious that she’s attracted to me. If her vibe is just platonic toward me, I don’t bother. I wouldn’t invite someone into my home and then make them feel uncomfortable.

    That said, I think women can be a bit naive in underestimating how much sex motivates almost EVERYTHING men do. In your article you mentioned that you prefer male hosts because they are funnier and show you a better time. But the reason males are even motivated to funny to women and show them a good time is in order to attract them. People are inherently selfish at some level, we do things because we get something out of it in one way or another. Many men will be glad to show women the time of their life if they think they are going to get laid for their efforts. It’s that simple. In a way it seems you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want male hosts because they are more entertaining, but don’t want them to also want to try and hook up with you, when often the reason they are being entertaining is in hope of hooking up with you. Of course there are some guys out there will be happy to show a woman an amazing time with no hope of getting laid in return. I just think they are far and few between.

    If you want to screen out men looking for sex, it’s quite simple to do so. Just put in your profile description that you are adamant about not hooking up with your hosts and CS is not a dating site for you. Or you can just lie and mention having a boyfriend or fiancee on your profile. Any guys looking for quick sex will skip your profile and look for more receptive women.

    And if that doesn’t work, then there’s nothing stopping women from making a female-only couch hosting site.

    As long as young single men and women are thrown into close quarters sex or attempted sex is going to happen and there’s just no getting around that. That’s what nature built us to do.

  • I have found this post by googling “having sex with couchsurfing”. so i must say you have a point here.I think it should be ok as long as there is no force. and it shouldn’t be asked to everyone. I think you can only ask to someone who you think he/she also wants it. And there is something makes this situation funny for me, I never heard of a sex story in my real life which happened after “asking for sex” : ) it looks so unlikely and weird. I also want to tell why i searched “having sex with couchsurfing”. because I also heard from some friends that CS is getting popular for some people who think this web site is an easy way of having sex. And also when introducing hosts from opposite sex to people who don’t know what CS is, they sometimes think this is like dating website. And here i am, wondered if this kind of things are really happening.

    I am someone who has a lot of CS experiences. Only for one person, the situation went to a romantic thing and with ending up in the same bed. All of the other times it was real CSing. So it happens but it shouldn’t happen like planning sex with someone you haven’t met before.

    I think you should cleary write a reference for people who asked you if you want to have sex with them. I think you own this to other good members.

  • I’ve got to agree with Agness here. Traveling solo as a female can be a bit scary sometimes. So for the host to hint at sex or ask for it outright is inappropriate and not very cool. I’m already in an unfamiliar place by myself, in a complete stranger’s home,… The last thing I want is to feel pressured or guilted into sex because its been put on the table. If sex is in the cards, things will work that way naturally.

  • I grasped the general meaning of this post and agreed with most of it. I have friends who couch surf and I’ve tried to set up couch surfing dates to travel… It is amazing for those who use it appropriately. It often seems much easier to find male hosts on couch surfing than female ones. What is really amusing to me is that while I often get responses when I don’t mention my husband, as soon as I mention trying to find a host for the two of us rarely- if ever- gets a response and never once a positive one yet.

    I recommend that people couch surf with another person- close friend or significant other purely for protection purposes. There is never a guarantee that your host is who they say they are. There is likewise never a guarantee that you are who you say you are. Meet in public places, and set up more than one place as a fall back.

  • hey! yes, I had this situation in NY while looking for a couch, one guy who had really a lot of references and good ones accepted my request but he said this days there was his french girlfriend staying with him in the apartment and she is like bicurious and likes to sleep naked and actually most other surfers they had simply LOVED them so he just tells me so that it won’t be uncomfortable for me when I come(!) O Dio, what had happened to this site.. I remember my travels in 2010, no one in CS wrote me like that. But the good think is that there are still more normal travelers than those who are looking for couchadventures (at least I hope that). HOped you like Poland! greetings!:)

  • “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.”
    My gosh thats very sexist.

  • I completely agree that sleazy guys are something to watch out for. I couchsurfed a bit with a female friend while backpacking for the last year and had some amazing hosts both male and female. It wouldn’t have been the same trip without them. At the same time my inbox is full of suggestive messages and invites from random guys and if I was solo then Id prefer a female to a male host in case of an awkward come on by the guy.

    Im glad you met some great female hosts to help combat your incredibly sexist attitude. I’ve learned so much from the many intelligent and witty female travelers (and guys too of course) I’ve met along the way. If you haven’t its probably because us interesting and funny ladies avoid people with your attitude like the plague- ‘I prefer to hang out with guys cause they’re more intelligent and funny and girls only like shopping and gossip, except me I’m superior and almost as cool as a guy…..’

    Also there’s nothing wrong with waiting but some girls have casual sex with hosts just for funsies not because they have weak personalities, ladies enjoy sex too it’s not just for making babies!

    Good luck traveling, hope you meet some better cs hosts, they are out there!

  • The girls are more pushy than guys? That sounds like a dream come true. If they are both looking for a one night stand, I don’t see any problem with that. But I fully understand that it must be uncomfortable to get sex invitations when you are not interested. If I’m travelling and is able to find a female host (I don’t host myself, neither males or females), my main purpose is to meet people. If I’m alone with the host or with other surfers is irrelevant. I will only have sex with her if we both find each other attractive and she is the one who makes the move. If it happens, that great. If it’s not, I’m not disappointed as I don’t have any illusions. The only thing that will leave me disappointed is if the host is bad company (and I hope I will never be seen as a bad guest).

    But I wouldn’t know, because I only decided to try couchsurfing for the first time last year. After sending requests to a countless number of hosts, I was finally able to find one a male who was willing to host me. Most of the females didn’t even bother to reply, even if I was polite and all that. I did get an invitation from a gay man (he only accepted male surfers, had a shared bedroom and not for more than one or two nights), which was only some dots, so I have no idea what he meant, and I wasn’t interested anyway. Then I was lucky enough to find someone from my own country, but after checking his references, I was clear he only hosted young boys in their late teens or early twenties. For a reason, I guess. As for the host I was staying with, he asked me if I wanted to do him a favor and go out and buy some food for us. Since he had opened his home for me, I didn’t mind doing something in return. He then said something about eating, I don’t remember exactly what, and ended his sentence by mumbling “and then you can eat me”. I just pretended that I didn’t hear it, and nothing more suspicious happened.

  • I heard about this concept and website a few years ago. It was only recent that I joined the movement, but your insight that it is no longer about traveling makes sense.

    These groups seem more like social clicks and posses with the same crab mentality. I’ve been told by a moderator that something is wrong with me, because I don’t want to get involved in the CS moderator organized meet-ups. I’ve been told I lack ‘couch surfing spirit and pride’, and I shouldn’t be in this community anymore.

    The moderator never met me before, has never got to know me or my experiences in the area.

    I’ve also gotten a lot of messages from foreigner asking for money in exchange for travel services or even gay sex.

    I go on here to meet others individually or find foreign travellers to share stories, coffee and learn about their experiences. It seems there are two groups of expats on this site:

    1. The world globe trotters that go everywhere and experience everything (me) without influence of what CS events box people into…

    or

    2. The one’s that sit with the same environment, social dynamics and like mindedness of their hometown and country.

    It seems more like a popularity contest of a “be there or be square” deal.

    I have met some awesome people on here within 2 weeks, but they’re separate from the CS meet-up bubbles.

  • I am an active member of SF and have couchsurfed both solo and with another friend.

    I am all for open-mindedness and open, honest communication. But some people’s comments here that “it is okay for them to ask for sex and you can just say no” are mind boggling. If there is attraction, then expressing it non-aggressively and assessing the other person’s response and going from there is completely fine. But asking for sex when the guest has not expressed any interest is, in my personal opinion, *not* okay. Whether people accept this or not, due to the possibility for rape a woman is *always* in a vulnerable position and, as a woman, if my host asked for sex (verbally or non-verbally), even if he accepted my rejection without any further insistence I would feel extremely uncomfortable spending the night there, for fear that he would try to rape me. The fact that we don’t hear about CS rapes does not mean they do not happen. They happen in hostels and they happen among SFers. They may be a rare occurrence, but the frequency of such rapes is not important, unless you are okay with being the “exception”.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1205794/Rape-horror-tourist-used-couchsurfing-website-aimed-travellers.html

  • Well, Agness, I don’t find it funny either… if some people have to downplay the whole issur, so be it. Even one of my friends goes “sexsurfing”, and to him it’s totally ok. What I don’t like is getting requests from single males, no references, no friends, no cs experience, but obviously online every day (I assume scouring female profiles)… and I’m getting those requests every few months though our profile is a FAMILY profile. My boyfriend, our son and me. Yeah. That makes a correlation between being horny and not being able to read. Those requests are not explicit to the point, but read between the lines, it comes out that they want to meet me, no mention of my family members and they are shady in what our meeting is to be about. If I refuse kindly, they keep on pushing until I write “NO” in a scream. As I said, not so funny. I had nice couchsurfers overs, girls as well as couples, but I’m extra-careful with single males… I totally understand your concern and yes, I agree, if you don’t pay attention to who you’re staying with, it can be dangerous. There were cases of girls being raped by CS hosts and whoever says differently is blind to truths that might happen. I don#t say they will. But there are weird people in this world and it’s good to keep both eyes open.

  • Ok I’ve been following this thread for a long while now and commented above a while back.

    Here’s the thing…people like sex. It’s natural.

    I’m an avid couchsurfer (single male) and CS all the time. With men, with women, with couples, with whomever. I love CSing and its community and staying with locals, experiencing the culture and people and sharing great experiences.

    I’ve had multiple sexual encounters while CSing. NEVER have I gone CSing to expect anything more than just staying with someone and having a good time, no matter who it is.

    But sometimes a female CSer and I will get along, like each other, become attracted to one-another, and take it a bit further. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s natural and it happens. But it’s never expected or forced or even implied.

    I don’t care if I stay with a male or female because the expectation is that we just share our stories and have fun together.

    You can’t down CSing as a whole because some assholes decide that they want to use it as a tool for sex. It’s like saying all bars are rubbish because some guys go there to pick up women. I get it, CSing is more intimate than that because you’re inviting then into your home. Meet them first, grab a coffee or beer before going into their home or letting them into yours. Get the vibes; we humans are really good at sensing a person’s intentions and getting gut feelings about people.

    Most Couchsurfers are good people. My experience is 98% good, at least.

    Sort out the assholes and don’t be afraid to write negative reviews if you’ve had a negative experience. If you don’t write a review of someone you’re doing others a disservice.

    And if someone comes onto you and you reject and they stop advancing, that doesn’t mean s/he’s a bad person, it means they were attracted to you and you weren’t to them. It’s no different to normal life. Chances are they’re embarrassed and they’ll never do it again. If they persist or insist, that’s when you should take it to the next level.

    CSing to me is an amazing medium to meet great new people and share each other’s cultures. Sometimes we “click” and can go further, but it’s never expected. I’ve been incredibly attracted to some of my hosts and guests but don’t mention it if there are no reciprocal vibes.

    The dickheads that push it are the same desperate guys that are out in “da club” trying it on with every woman he can talk to. Again, look at their profile, look at reviews, and meet them before you surf or host.

  • This is a great discussion going , Thanks Agnes for lighting the important topic, after reading you all I also want to speak , I swear i am against sex surfing or all bullshit stuff which happens under the name of couchsurfing, but the way you all are discussing it shows Sex is Taboo. I believe you all are quiet mature & smart in your own way , Couch surfing is great concept which is accepted worldwide,These days some people doesnt know the meaning CS , they are just making their account and thinking as a social networking sight, Which is a much bigger issue, This topic has a mix meaning sweet & salty. I hope you will not stop using couchsurfing.

  • Well…it’s a shame…but nowadays…it’s not so rare…
    Me and another fella called it “cocksurfing”…
    And i love CS but i can’t stand when guys just want to host girls.
    It’s so obvious…

  • it seems people has a lot to say about this argument! Ok, sorry, I had no time to read all the comments, so probably what I’m saying it was just said by someone else, but I give my 2 cents to the discussion (trying to be short):

    I underline two important things you said: 1. On CS happens what happens to the world, it’s not a better world, just a part of it; 2. There is a “viceversa”, that means that obviously if many guys (expecially guys, come on, let’s be honest!) use the site to hunt girls, it’s cause there is positive response on this hunt. This shows a sort specific global needs.

    I add to your consideration one more thing: some time ago CS is changed in its basis, as you know, and now it is no more No Profit, but it’s a B-Corporation. This gives a significant new, the society needs to earn money! And to earn money they need people join CS. And to let the largest part of people join CS, they don’t care to use any means, even turn CS into something much more similar to a dating site, that is much more profitable (sex is a big business!).

    So recently the community grew without control. If I put my couch status available, I can receive hundreds of request per day of completely empty profile (ok, I’m also from Rome, it’s a quite requested city!). The situation is this, too many people that neither know where they are.

    What I think is that CS is not for everyone. It shouldn’t be. It has is specific meaning, and its own philosophy. This doesn’t mean that I’m better than someone else just cause I join that spirit, just that we are different, there are people that likes to sleep in a tent, other in tree houses, someone likes the nature and staying alone and traveling just to isolate itself from the chaos of the city, someone else likes staying into the crowd, meeting people and doing partys. So, thinking a community that can join the largest part of people in the world, it’s unnatural. We are not all the same, we are different.

    sorry, my plan to be short failed miserably :)

    • A claim: “If many guys (especially guys, come on, let’s be honest!) use the site to hunt girls, it’s cause there is positive response on this hunt.”

      That is a very wrong conclusion. One of the reason why many use couchsurfing as a way to get laid, is because they are desperate and are willing to try everything. Take a look at the personal ads and sex ads on the net. You will find millions of ads from males looking for males. Do you think they will get a reply? They write and post them because they have hopes and illusions, not because it works. More than 99% will not even get a reply.

  • Hi

    I agree with your views about couch-surfing. I have hosted lot of my friends from other parts and we never had this feeling of having sex. we enjoyed the time together, had fun, went around places, tracking, even shared a bad too but never tried to be physically attached. we are still in contact with each other like good friends.

  • Hi Agness
    I want to appreciate you for this post.you precisely mentioned the reality,Although the post’s name can creates a pessimistic thoughts toward CS.I have been attended on this great project since 2009 and hosts more than 60 gusts.I have also heard those kinds of stories and offers but all I wanna say is that,we have to be enough brave to leave a negative reference to those members who even ask for sex and let the other members to know him/her to not being trusted again by someone else as a host.most of the members don’t want to give negative references,because they afraid of having back negative reference by the same person and destroyed their profiles.but don’t worry,by checking both profiles and references it will be easy to understand who is honest and who is deserved to have negative reference.
    I live in Iran/Tabriz with my family and by the way I want to invite you both(Agness&Cez)and all of the readers,who are using couch surfing in their trips,to come to Iran and see that it is the best and safest country to use couchsurfing and hitch-hick and to meet the most hospitable people in the world.
    The best regards,
    Masoud

  • Hi Agnes,

    This is a very helpful blog. I just signed up on CS because I am going to EU next year for maybe 2 months or so. I signed up not to just really avail of what could be an inexpensive trip but I also want to meet new friends and people that I could develop long-term friendships. This made me realize to be cautious in choosing my hosts. Thanks!

  • Agness, I clicked on this story from your post recent post. I did read a lot of the above comments. Sorry for the negative ones you two received. Stick to your morals, ethics and being old fashioned. It’s a lost, beautiful characteristic in people. And I’m glad you travel with Cez as an added level of security. All my best :)

  • That’s a very interesting article indeed and you have a real point there although it is described solely from your perspective. I’m just gonna write briefly my experience and I will reply later to the ones that will obviously give me a bad name by expressing my opinion on the matter.
    I registered on CS in 2005, 8 years ago, when there were just a little over 30 000 members at the time.
    I’ve seen the website evolve and grow. I’ve been hosted by over a 100 different people mostly all around Europe and I hostel over another 100. Once I had 12 CS staying at once.
    I’ve attended heaps of meet-ups and probably met way over a thousand couchsurfers.
    I wouldn’t consider myself an authentic “sexsurfer” though in the way that, as I explained, CS has been for a long time really part of my life. I’m on there for the general experience of meeting like-minded people from all around the world and to share good times with them.
    But I’d be dishonest to elude that, in my opinion, being really adventurous and having an awesome time also involve the most natural and beautiful thing in the world mostly disregarded as something hideous and shameful to share with almost-strangers and as absolutely taboo especially on CS.
    I’m a fierce defender of personal freedom and free-thinking and for me a girl that Chooses to BE with another CS isn’t weak and easy but on the contrary, she’s being the strong and smart one!
    The one that won’t let archaic, silly and insane social standards take over her feelings, desires, freedom and passionate and adventurous soul! (I was planning to make it short but, hmm, I can’t help it…)
    Anyway, is to boast about it but I’ve personally shared not with 3/4 but with 80 CS girls this simple and amazing but yet misunderstood act which is “being one with someone else” or more crudely “having sex”.
    Did I abuse them? I don’t think so! Did they abuse me? Maybe sometimes…
    But seriously, there is nothing wrong with adding this ultimate adventure and experience with your couchsurfer if both of you are on the same page, surfing on the same wave!
    But this is the thing, Most people will remain clueless about their own body, mind and heart and the ones of others for as long as the value of sex will remain so insanely distorted and perverted from it’s original beauty and brilliant simplicity.
    Among other things, the unfair Sacralisation of love making by society has turned people into miserable, fearful and cold-hearted robots. Personally I don’t do well with robots. I like to live my life to the fullest and be surrounded by clear minded individuals that live for themselves and others but not for the sake of an abusive and delirious global dictatorship, for a set of primitive and irrational values imposed on us by some ignorants thousands of years ago

    • If the girl is ok then no problem, but the guy doesn’t have to make her feel uncomfortable or forced the things…

      All the girls on Couchsurfing are not looking for sex. Most of them are just looking for meeting someone nice, share a talk or meal and that’s it. Just as friends.

      Men shouldn’t take advantage of women while they are traveling, just because they are abroad, alone, and they don’t know anybody in town, well it doesn’t allow you to be disrespectful and act as a fuckin asshole

      And just because you’re hosting a girl for a couple nights doesn’t mean she has to sleep with you in exchange, she isn’t beholden !

  • Hi, thank you for your article.

    I experienced something similar and I disagree with people that blame us to talk about it.

    First I had a couch in Munich, I’m French and Germany is not so a different culture (I’m telling this to people that are so sure we don’t understand other exotic cultures). The profile was cool, good references, photos, groups. He offers me a couch, I accept and then in the last moment his profile is deleted and he creates a new one totally empty. So I looked for another couch because I thought it was suspicious.

    A guy offered a couch and precised “you have to be aware that you will sleep in my room”, so I looked on the profile, I saw he has a big flat, several rooms and especially he has a couch. I was naive and ask to him why do I have to sleep in his room if there is a couch, is he hosting already too much people and there is no place but in his room?
    he was really rude with and say that he accept only female CSers and that they have to share the bed with him.
    I was really shocked! I argued with him by private messages, and it seems so obvious for him : ” look, I hosted good people by CS but all I got in the end was just nice conversations and dirty flat. I spent a lot of money and time for them so from now on, I expect something in return”

    all this did hurt me, a lot. Ok I never saw him in real life, but I couldn’t accept that people like this with a lot of good references, everything seemed normal, could say this to women. I trust the community, and I hosted a lot of guys and was hosted by lot of guys, so I reported him. Nothing happened so I wanted to do justice myself and wrote to all his references and put a neutral reference with the copy of what he wrote me.

    After that he tried to intimidate me, saying I’m an awful person and that my only goal was to discredit him. He said he would call the police if I don’t chance my reference because I used his exact terms.
    At the moment I wanted to change it a little bit, his profile was removed, so Ok I win, but for me its the community that won, just for some moment. Because I heard a lot of similar stories.

    Ok it’s not a good image of CS, but we need to know about it, we need to know that it could happen.
    Not my intention to be sexist but I noticed that the people that say we are dramatizing our stories are men, and men that didn’t experience something like this (ok ok I read some experienced with gays people)

    I still want to do Couchsurfing, with men or women. Ok it could happen some love stories or sex stories between host and guest but the thing is it has never to come from the host, in my opinion.

    All the best to everyone

    Magali

    • Awesome, you did the right thing, you should be proud of that.

      Most people, including most guys, aren’t like that and it’s those kind of people we don’t want in the CS community. There should be more people that report this type of behavior.

    • I had a similar experience when looking for a last minute host in NYC. I posted on the last minute couch request site and instantly got at least 10 replies. I was travelling with my boyfriend at the time so I asked them if they has room for two, they all responded that they could only fit one person in their apartment and that I can only come alone. They were males with blank profiles and some of them stated on their profiles that they only host females.

  • He added also that I couldn’t be host by him if I don’t want to share his bed with him. And it was for Oktoberfest, so he added “you will not find someone else, good luck trying to cadge a host”

    when I report him, he said “young girl, no one will trust you because all my references say I’m a nice guy and gentlemen”

    This is over, I’m relieved.

  • I want to talk about two points, since I did not went throught all the post/comments because some of then are being biased, prejudiced, non-objective and slight, so I might come with something repetitive.

    I’m a couchsurfer for about 2 years, but I’ve been not that active since I’m stuck in a place right now. Even thought, I’ve been involved in local CS meeting and activities for a few months from now.

    Sex: it is something that can be ask for a man to a woman and viceversa even in a local bar for local people. Third-world-countries, with false modesty and the wrong-use-of control of their impulse and emotions is where you could find this situation more often, including those sex-tourism-countries where general tourists come and the local’s poor-minded/life offer their sex services (I’m been this rude about it because I come from one of those countries and I see that every day).
    So unfortunately couchsurfing’s portal is more like open opportunity for those with false modesty that cannot go open about it and use a mask. I’m not only pick-pointing those countries it REALLY can happen anywhere and we anybody.

    In these meeting/activities I’ve been through back in my country, I’ve found so many different people, and by the good-use of observation, I could see that the most of then are foreigners-true-couch-surfers, but the most of the locals are looking for the ”hook-up” situation, even if it is not mentioned the word ”sex” at all.

    Sexsurfing experience: I DID had a sexsurfing experience with a host, it was not due not having a strong personality to refuse, but surely was more like the ”need” that made me not to refuse, the inexperience on the couchsurfing world back then, the strong connection I felt with that guy, or all of the above. In fact I asked him if that happens often and he answered that it happens from time to time.
    After a few months I had to move to his city and it came to happen that we were together as a couple for the time I was in town, and he became the most supportive, caring, respectful, detached, selfless and loving man.
    From a no-string-attached sexsurfing experiece it became A-string-attach real couple experience. I was lucky
    Today we are great friends.

    All of this tells me, like we say in my country: ”wherever beans are cooked” that it means: you will find every type of person in every part of the world.

    So, your post Agness is more than helpfull, you aware naive girls/boys (like me by that time) to understand that you could find ”anything” on a surfing/host situation and is up to us to make the last stand dedision, taking all the consideration that only the person in the sitauation can evaluate. if someone felt alluded, well, that’s his/her problem.

    That’s liberty of speech all about.

  • Wonderful post! i’ve been on cs since 2007. At first i would get requests from both women and men, but in the last 3 years i only get requests from men. So to make a long story short from the 25 men i have hosted or met for a coffee or drink 20 of them have proposed sex to me. the other 5 i hosted, i hosted them together with their couple and ofcourse they did not proposed sex to me. It gets very tricky when leaving a reference because as you said they will be very nice at first, then you reject them and then they are no longer your friends! jajajajaja so in the end you realize it was a waste of time spent with them, bastards! but still you dont have enough reasons to leave them a negative because they never tried to rape you. its a mixed feelings kinda thing. I once agreed to meet with some married business traveller that was at my city, we went to have dinner only as he was staying at an hotel, he had vouches, and many positive refferences, so i went to pick him up at his hotel and because i was a bit late he sends me a message saying “i will have to spank you really hard”, i thought that message was weird but then i was like “umm he probably has an sarcastic sense of humour or something”, so i arrive he greets me and hes smiling, then we go to a bar, we sit down and hes interesting, very ibntelligent, but then after 3 hours he says we should play a “game of words” wich somehow ends up with him asking me questions such as “do you swallow?”, so at the end of the night i didnt know what to make out of the experience with him, he was insinuating sex but he remained polite all the time. so i left him a positive but very short reference. i dont know, this whole cs thing is getting confusing.

  • Hello Agnese,

    I appreciate your views and your morals on this topic. you really have addressed it well. Actually some of your points even made me laugh. And I appreciate you still being stuck to your morals and values.

    I’m actually a university student living in a university dormitory. So whenever I hosted surfers/friends I pay money to the dormitory management. And the person who comes sleeps in the same room with me, But I have two different beds and they sleep next to my bed. But I never asked them or even didn’t hope to have sex with them. Even after spending my own money for hosting, My only hope and intention was to just help those travellers.
    I totally agree with you saying, that you need to be in some strong connection or in love if you’re going to sleep with someone :) otherwise we could have sex with trees as well…haha, that’s fact which distinguishes as animal with higher mind. :D And people might say we’re closed and old fashioned. Still it doesn’t matter. Travelling helps you to stand for yourself, not to follow the crowd.

    I have travelled by hitch-hiking a lot, quite extensively through countries. I have slept in forests, fields, bus stops, and I have slept in strangers places, been using public libraries as the only place to wash myself for days(when no lakes around). So simply I wanted to say, I’ve been opened up to lots of things. I have travelled weeks with girls I met through couchsurfing sleeping in same tent without romance. I think it’s all about yourself, and what you want in life, how you choose yourself to be.
    All what matters is living your life as you want, appreciate.
    What made me laugh in your post was, when you said some guys who you turned down , didn’t even bother to reply to your facebook message :D Actually, I have the same experience haha… xD, Those girls whom I hosted, were hitting on me, and still I didn’t offer them anything else, now don’t reply to my messages as your experience :D. So it’s not only guys, there are girls also who try to hit on guys and ask for sex. :D

    nevertheless, stay with your moral, don’t be discouraged with others comments. Not all people in the world are like that. Still there are quite a lot of people who support your views.

    cheers!

  • Great article.

    I have been thinking of using couchsurfing for my next trip to Berlin. I have made an account but I have found it interesting that most of the replies I get for hosts that are available for my visit are male. And some men prefer to host women. Why is that? I prefer a female hosts.

  • Any single guy hosting letting hot women stay at his house, does so in the hope of having sex with them. That or he’s gay, or a complete loser.

  • Hi. I am a boy and I have mostly host girls becuase I just feel better when they are at my place. they are more kind and helpful and clean. but I wondered about this. It is terrible if what you say is true. and I saw some part of your context you wrote that ” maybe I am old fasioned” or “maybe I am like 80)… But I think you are right and clean. no matter if it is old or new fasion. the girls who accept to have sex are just free whores. I prefer to be an old fasion or even an ancient fasion (and have just old fasion friends) instead of be a modern whore.
    finally I admire your behavior and what you have wrote.

    Best Wishes

  • You mean people are using a means of social interaction to actually reproduce? I’m in shock…never thought people enjoy sex.

    Seriously, what’s so much against human nature to want to have sex with a member of the opposite sex? Why does it have to be strictly traveling? Where’s the sense of adventure? Looking back when you’ll be 50 you’ll probably think as well that you could have had a better and more adventurous sex life. Life is short after all. Human hypocrisies are long, sadly.

  • Is everything today completely spoiled? I joined couchsurfing kind of late in the game years after I first heard of it. I had couchsurfed before it became a fad or claimed as a website. People you meet on your travels you become friends with, get close to and reunite sometimes staying at one another’s homes. I have so much fun meeting people from other sides of the world and getting another perspective so I signed up to couchsurfing so I could do it a little easier and keep it authentic. Hotels are cold sterile places.

    It turns out it is difficult to connect with people. You get a few messages from them and then they ignore you. I now see why. This trend is troubling in both ways. First it makes it difficult to meet friends because people assume that you might be contacting them for sex. I actually had one lady go through pains to explain to me that she didn’t want to meet for sex. I was only picking her up and showing her around. I was thinking what the heck, why would I assume anything about sex? I thought perhaps she was just neurotic so I belayed her fears and told her I didn’t think she wanted to have sex. It was a little weird but humorous too. But on the other hand I am thinking what if someday you do happen to meet someone you like naturally? It’s all now spoiled by the people that just use couchsurfing for sex because that someone might think you were only using them for that one moment. There is a growing number of lonely people in the world and society is becoming a more lonely place. This may be one of the reasons why. People stop spoiling your own sandbox.

  • Hello my name is Sara and I have been a couchsurfer since 2009. I am happy to read your article because it is an issue I can relate to on a personal level and one that I think is very hard to talk about so I applaud you for bringing up this topic a midst all the controversy that surrounds it.

    From my personal experience I have surfed alone with two male hosts. Both of these hosts were (and still are) wonderful people and through messaging them before my trip about specific details and such they seemed very welcoming and very nice. I was 19 at the time and this was my first time traveling alone, my first time in Europe, and my first time surfing (I have hosted before in the US) so I was very inexperienced and a little intimidated. I experienced similar advances from both of my hosts on the first night I was with them. Both of them seemed to expect a more “sexual” encounter than the one I had anticipated. I turned down their advances repeatedly but this was already after one of them had grabbed me and kissed me without permission while we were watching tv before bed. I felt very uncomfortable in both situations because I like you, wish only to stay with a host to learn about them and their culture and to experience unique locations that only a local can guide you towards. After turning both of the hosts down their advances were fewer but they did not stop altogether, I had to continue telling them no repeatedly.

    This was not the couchsurfing stay that I was anticipating but it seemed very much routine for both of my hosts which made me ponder whether or not there was a more “sexual” aspect to the couchsurfing website that I was unaware of. Keep in mind these two experiences were my first couchsurfing experiences. Now when I surf I request only couples or females and I try to travel with a companion instead of alone.

    I am not writing this to attack couchsurfing or to deter people from using it. I love couchsurfing and it has become a huge part of my life. I simply wish to share my personal experiences with others who have heard about or experienced situations like mine.

    Thank you so much Agness for introducing this topic and creating a space where people can share their personal experiences and opinions.

  • CS is not for everyone, especially not for those who make their guest/host uncomfortable with being pushy in the above described way. One should recognize if the light is green or red. And then, in a fragment of the cases magical moments may be shared. Happily I will never forget some of my couchsurfing trips :)

  • Well, some hosts men are so damned sexy, it is not always so easy to resist to the temptation I must say. I fell in love sometimes with my hosts, I suffered quite a lot on this site, but I like what I learned, what I became. What is shocking is the situation in Dubai on CS, as you can see, there is no safety at all, when women in fact cannot report a rape in the city without being jailed. Sometimes I have the feeling CS is just there to take the money and run, and just does not care about what could happen. For this reason I don’t think it will go on a long time, another website will replace it, with a better ethic. On CS Dubai the ones in power are most of the time Pakistanese, Indians men, they just want to hook up with girls, they don’t want to inform them, and the site does not do anything to inform women better. So on certain aspect, CS can be a shame, an opportunity to make money, a very machist website. It should be something else of course.

  • if you are a women wanting to couch surf and you in no way would want to sleep with your host then DONT stay with men stay with women its that simple..

  • Women should stay with Women if they dont want to worry about sex its that simple.. stop being shocked when a guy tries it on its nature

  • My friend and I couch surfed around california this summer (two girls) and we mostly stayed with male hosts, again partly preference of our personalities, partly because the majority of hosts were male.
    In total we stayed with about 15 different people and sadly, had 1 bad experience out of those 15. It was really surprising as two of us travelling and staying together thought we would be safe, however when alcohol gets involved, inappropriate advances can be made, and people get taken advantage of. We’re not naive girls, in fact quite savvy, however I think we got swept up in the travelling experience having such a good time with all our other hosts that we let our guards down a little bit.
    I’m sad to say we had one bad CS experience because i really love this project and i completely want to have faith in people. The next week we wrote an honest review of what had happened with this man (who had 100+ positive reviews) and bravely, someone else came forward and said they’d also had a bad experience with him.

    I completely disagree that couch surfing is becoming sex surfing! 90% of the men we stayed with were lovely and we enjoyed a platonic relationship with.
    The other sad truth is that whilst travelling, we met two other solo female travellers couch surfing, and they both said they’d had one bad experience each. I think there are just some dodgy guys out there, and they should be dealt with properly within the community and consequently outed.

  • well, Couch-surfing is a great place to do pretty much anything, for safety matter better to trust the number of references each person can have. its not like if you are a girl should only host by a girl or vice-versa for the guys
    anyway, nice article and i do recommend to add some more photo
    Zay

  • yeah.. I totally agree with Agness.. here in India the same trend is approaching “couchsurfing to sexsurfing”. pervert boys planing to hook up with gals, where gals looking to explore expensive night clubs for free with one night stand (optional). I faced it when i communicated to a teenage gal to take a tour together of a city. Her profile was speaking of her being a down-to-earth, tourist, rational, well-mannered girl. In real she turned to be a party/night club freak. It was shocking when she posed a condition “that she will meet only if i would bring her a gold watch and promising her to pick up in a taxi/car”. All is done when conditions are fulfilled.
    I have ben listening stories from guys that “it is an ezy platform get laid down than other social sites like facebook” and u can have choices there.

  • I have been hosting since 2006 (started on hospitality club). The first few years, it never came to my mind, that this might be about sex. I hosted young and old (50+), guys and girls, singles and large groups, people with disabilities (deaf & wheelchair) with dogs, rats, baby(!) and whatever they brought to my home.

    I think around 2009 the composition of the people that requested me changed radically for the first time: the diverse group of all-around ‘funny’, interesting and non-ordinary people were replaced my more and more party groups and free-loaders raiding the city with their EasyJet tickets. After a while I was fed up with this and put some serious words on my profile what exactly I do not want to host. It basically says: You won’t get hosted unless you have 3+ vouchers, 30+ references or write a *really* good request.

    Since then I’m stuck with girls. I don’t get any requests from guys no more and I think the original audience is long gone to other communities (any suggestions?). These girls are all very nice, often ‘highly decorated’ in the community and a *considerable* amount of them is pushy for sex. So nowadays my expectation when hosting is: one third of them are genuine great people to talk with, the other third I turn out not to like that much and just provide them with whatever they need to be happy and the rest of them are there for the sex. Well, whatever – I play along.

  • During my travels I have never got a suggestion to have a sex. Maybe at the beggining I always suggest what I like and what are my priorities. My hosts usually are men usually and I have great contact with them, I always treat them as my brothers. Somethimes I get a message to meet and have a sex. At the beggining I reacted with anger and answered like “how can you do this , it is not this kind of website” but now I am more tolerant. Who am I to decide how each person has to spend his time , maybe he wants to have sex by CS. You can simply answer “no, thank you” and go on:)

  • So many comments and so many different opinions, that it was impossible to read them all. But as an somewhat experienced couchsurfer i would like to respond to the topic if there is a difference between Couchsurfing and Sexsurfing…

    My opinion is a big YES. There is a difference. Also i have seen the website been changing from ‘hippie’ to the ‘new-way-pick-up-girls’. It’s short to go that way, but there have been changes going on.

    I think my way of thinking is: As a host i should NEVER insist, try, ask or in whatever way to have sex with my surfer. I am in a way responsible for the persons wellbeing and safety when i accept a request. I have a higher level of power, because that person relies on me as a host, i offer a bed and the other person could feel guilty to refuse. This situation should be prevented. It’s not the underlying idea of Couchsurfing (it’s not a dating website remember?).
    As a surfer you SHOULD respect your host. In that situation you are more open to me to ask for more when there is a good click. But the first move should come from the surfer, never from the host.

    My own experience in having sex with a couchsurfer was because we fell in love and started a relationship, but only after she and her girlfriend already stayed for several weeks in our house. So in that way we were already friends who find something more. Good things can happen to.

    What worries me is when i look around on couchsurfing, the way you can invite other couchsurfers to your home who are in the neighberhood and only girls are invited. Especially alone travelling girls are the ones who have a invitation of 3+, the rest is wandering around hoping to find someone… it’s strange, it feels wrong… there have been a change…

    Ps. I would love to read the thesis :)

  • Hi i have been a Host of various couch surfing two begin with ww the other with H,i have hosted over 400 visitors from all over the world most have been a very good cultural experiance however the subject of free sex with a host has been around a very long time and is for real.
    The Organisations are super sensitive to any referance to “sex”they have their heads in the shit they create.
    The trend now is for the new out of school females to use their bodys to get free accomodation and experiance all that is available,better than going on these bus tours that are little more than travelling brothels and getting drunk in the backpackers!!

  • Agness I would like to thank you for publishing this article. I am bran new members to couchsurfing and the reason that I found your blog is because I had a suspicion towards some guy who offered me housing and stated that he host only women.
    Santiago, it is so disturbing, regardless if you are a man or a woman to compare hosting in a private house to a public bar or pub. So since you hosted so many people, I guess you require that people treat your private house as a public place like a bar for example. I am not saying anything that YOU HAVENT SAID about yourself.
    Its terrible to arrive at a host’s who I think would be interested in cultural exchange, language exchange and learning from each other’s as traveler, just to hear some statements like “the door of my bedroom is open for you all night”. It is disguising.
    The other factor that raised a red flag on the website is the feedback that women left for guys who they have been hosted by. Unbelievable!!

    These women clearly looked mainly for sex. There is nothing wrong with that but the problem is that it makes it hard to find members who are true to what they say they offer and this is in English called deception.
    When I am travelling I want to feel safe at the place that I am staying at.
    I also heard that some hosts would host people so to get their daily living expenses covered by the person they host for example they would go out with you and then tell you they are broke and expect you to pay for drinks, then breakfast the next day and so on and so forth.
    I just discovered this website and I am going to think on how I am going to use the service that they offer on the website.

    Thank you!

  • Hi. First of all, its interesting to see how many people are posting their responses about this topic. If it shows anything it is an indicator of how controversial this service is. It is not based on anything rather than common sense.
    I have signed up myself to the website only a short time ago after I was introduced to the website through some guy who told me about the website and that he is a member on the website.
    Since I am traveling to Bologna, Italy as its on my way to a meditation treat that is nearby the city, I was looking for tips on what to do in Bologna. I never asked the guy about accommodation and it never crossed my mind to ask a man to host me. I dont have anything against the idea, but I didnt know that there is such a service out there.
    As I have found out in the past few days, there are several websites who provide this service.
    In reference to the sex dating that happens on the website between members, I read tons of posts from men, and occasionally from some women (who are brave to say what they want openly- which by the way is an admirable trait as for itself) who actually not only get engage in sexual relationship with each other but they dont think about it twice before doing it In other words, they are very open to share their bodies with strangers. On one post a guy stated that a woman he met suggested sex after 15 minutes!!!

    I dont know why people do something like this and hide it? If two adults want to have a casual sexual relationship and its in the open and clear to both, then its up to them but when someone offer hospitality and hide their real intentions for me that is a red flag.
    If I want to have a physical contact with someone it has to be based on more than that. But to use the service to invite women in a way or another- to have a fling, is repulsive. Someone I chatted with about this issue said that its like meeting someone in a bar which I dont agree. In a bar when you meet a guy, you are not looking to be hosted with your luggage in his apartment nor you expect him to give you some guide or hospitality.
    When you are hosted by someone, you are in a way putting some trust in the person you were willing to be hosted by, that you dont put in a guy who you meet in a bar.
    Both men and women know that we women give a lot of NOs more than Yes’s in a bar. Not all women though BUT IN GENERAL.

    I want that women have the courage to admit what they are after, just as I ask men to do the same. Women are also sleazy on this topic. All these feedback that women THINK that they are encoded its just a joke. Signing off like “best friend” “close friend” to a guy she just met last night!! seriously!?
    What even worse, is that these women are mature women with careers not always 20 year old college student who just left daddy’s. That really makes me think. Why it makes me thin??. Because these women are the same women who think that they never deserve to be treated well. Period!.
    They think if he treated me with flowers, I have to give him something precious. I feel sad for women like these and I feel that I want to encourage them to stand their ground. Dont give away your integrity or your body to someone who offered you hospitality!. Why a woman would do such a think to herself???

    This of course doesn’t include all women and also not all men. Some men are respectful on that site.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Hi, I just found this webpage http://www.cocksurfing.com
    I am an experimented couchsurfer, and I defend and like the original idea from this web.
    But in the other hand, I confess I use couchsurfing sometimes to met new guys. That´s why I like this concept, mix of couchsurfing and gay meeting community.
    I just want to ask for some others experiences before signin.
    Somebody?

  • Couchsurfing is still great but there is 10% men being a problem on the site. In Dubai for example, if a woman is raped, she would be jailed for this. It is like in Pakistan where 80% of the women jailed are jailed because having being raped. The same law applies. Every time I try nicely to inform women about this, as I surfed not knowing, and took stupid risks, the men on the site, mostly from Pakistan, always delete my comments. And the thing is the safety team seems to always be on their side, saying no women rights activism. In fact it was so obvious the last letter I received from the safety team from a certain Caytee, that I started to have doubt about this Caytee being a woman and being based in United States. As we all know a lot of companies locate their on line services in India. And in India, a lot of workers are from Pakistan as well. So I thought but would it be possible Caytee would be a Pakistanese man, based in India? And if yes, so is it legal from Couchsurfing to pretend to have a safety team run by women in United States when it is in fact men based in India? Which would explain the lack of banner and information in Dubai and the will to not inform women about their rights.

  • Hi!

    I started my coush surfing adventure with hosting. I live in Oslo, one of the most expensive cities in the world, so I get a lot of couch requests.
    I come from Poland, and my girlfriend is still there, finishing her studies.

    Some of female surfers that were staying in my place, tried to have sex with me – since I don’t want to cheat, it didn’t happen. Still every time, I was so embarrassed…
    Even if girl is not alone here, but with hers friends, she waits untill everyone else fall asleep, and get into my bed!
    It is 50% chance of that to happen. I started to host only couples and boys…

    It would be very nice to have option ‘sex available’/’looking for sex’ on couch surfing web page, and people using it!

  • Congras on the brave comment. I totall agree with you in regards to some people looking for sex any way possible. Besides,i am considering your tips/reccommendations on traveling safe. Thanks for that, too. That´s why, i plan to travel with my wife to Brazil and be cautious on how to proceed. Likewise you are invited to come to Costa Rica and my family and I will be happy to show you around.

  • Interesting points really… I’ve been an active member (on the hosting side mainly) of CS for nearly 7 years, and this is only the second time I’m receiving information like it’s a big deal.

    The first one was a negative reference I just happened to come across with, stating that the guest was slightly harassed (not a big deal as far as I remember, the police was not involved at least… May be just a little bit of discomfort).

    But it’s a fact that some people mockingly say that CS stands for casual-sex and it must have some grounds at least.

    However, I still have to say that I have heard no complaints whatsoever from my guests (not only about myself, on CS in general), whose numbers exceeded 50, if I count correctly.

    Moreover, CS is a community over 5 million members, which means there are all kinds of people. So it would be wise to be a little bit picky about who you’re going to stay with. Reading the whole profile, including the references, is advised for a reason, I belive.

  • A guy here in Australia offering coach surfing on the site was just recently caught with cameras in the bathroom. I think you are very naive to believe that this does not go on a lot and is the main reason some guys offer it. They may not ask you directly for sex but they are filming your every move.

  • Your article is very interesting. I tried CS few month ago after strating by CS meeting and this was the worse experience of my entire life.
    Do not trust good comments at all. I went to a guy place and he had good comments. I was scared at the beggining but the fact that it was a sharehouse and that he was very friendly with me make me feel confortable.
    But at the end of the night after he showed me some lookout he acted very weired and try to slept with me and he was very unpleasant.
    I will never try that again it’s too dangerous. I was surprised that nobody alerted the savety service before I did. I told to them my experience and they deleted his profile but I do not think it’s enough. The site have to do something to have more security.

  • I’m an example of the minority of male hosts who never offered or requested sex to their female guests. I host 80% girls and only 20% boys, because requests from women (and their profiles) are better, more authentic, less “copy/past”, more respectful of couchsurfing spirit. Honestly, I host most girls for another reason too: i live alone and spending a couple of days in the company of a nice girl is a breath of happyness for my soul, but this is no in case related to sex. It’s also true that when I host a pretty girl, I dream of how fantastic it would be if I could get into intimity with her, but I never go beyond this dream, and all phisical contact I have with them are innocent fraternal cheek-kisses and hugs. And this is fantastic, too.

  • forget sex, I want to know where I consented to be governed or taxed ???
    as long as people consent it’s cool, even asking or suggesting is cool
    everyone can say no. And it should be left at that, the more focus it’s given as an issue for couch surfing then that’s exactly what it will be come, attracting those types with that motive being the inspiration.

  • I must say that while it is possible that some people misuse the website couchsurfing it is definitely not intended for sex solicitation and great majority of people dont misuse it. infact i have never come across a situation like this personally or with other couchsurfers over the last 2 years. People have been great and we have made some very good friends.
    People will do whatever they have to anyways

  • thank you for your well considered article about Couchsurfing Agness. As the mother of a daughter who recently left home to start university and who has dreams of traveling in the near future, I was startled to hear about sexsurfing. Couchsurfing I can understand buy sexsurfing was something I hadn’t even thought about. You remind me so much of my daughter who is enthusiastic, sociable, attractive and firmly ensconced in travel bug fever!Thankfully, she is very cautious, as you have shared. Thanks for sharing.

  • I only stayed once with a man on couchsurfing. It was in Portugal and he suggested a few times that he give me a massage. That just made me cringe.
    You just can’t be naive when you stay with a man, anything can happen.

  • I’m somewhat saddened that some people use couchsurfing for sex, when it’s clearly not the purpose of CS. I have made some great friends and had wonderful experiences because of CS too.

  • I totally understand and share out the way you feel.

    I feel less alone to read that awkward situations happened to other female couch surfers too!

    I’m French and I’ve been using Couchsurfing many times during my Europe tour.

    I think I used to be very “naive” to believe that people on Couchsurfing were all kind and open-minded, and just wanted to meet cool foreigners. Unfortunately that is not the case for everyone ! You actually have to be really careful, especially if you are a girl !!

    Of course I’ve met cool people, but unfortunately I’ve also met a few guys who made me feel really uncomfortable and I wasn’t feeling totally “safe” with them.

    For example, when I was in Berlin, I’ve had a pretty awkward experience with one of my host.
    The first day, he was polite and respectful. But the second day, the dude proposed me several times if I wanted to sleep in his bed… God no !! And after that, while I was sitting on his couch, he sat next to me and started to touch me on a very inappropriate manner… What the fuck dude ???!! I was so shocked and ill-at-ease
    I finally went to a youth hostel, and it was better that way.

    It’s unbelievable that some dudes imagine that just because they are hosting a girl for a couple nights, they have the right to act as a real asshole and expect sex or whatever … that’s so sick to think that way !!

    Be really careful girls, and really, don’t hesitate to leave the place if you feel uncomfortable !

  • Hi, Agnes,

    It’s great to read your post as I am new to couchsurfing but I am going to have my first surfing this summer!
    so, after u rejected their request, did they still host you ? or were you still willing to be hosted?

  • I understand the concerns completely, but for the original poster’s ostensible shock at the whole concept. Wha? You mean people are using this to hook up on vacation?? Seriously? Well I never!

    Let’s be honest – “vacation sex” is no secret, especially in the calculus of younger women who indulge while on the road. After all, it “doesn’t even count” when you’re on vacation, does it? So no, she doesn’t sound like an 80 year old granny, but the fake surprise makes me think she’s projecting, just a bit. It’s your life – no sense getting sanctimonious with the rest of us.

    If you are genuinely surprised that some strange guy you’re bunking with for the night could wonder if there are other possibilities and drops a verbal hint, would you be equally surprised if a gay man hosting a straight male single traveler did the same thing? What single straight man spends a vacation night at the home of a single gay man he meets over the internet? Ditto for single females vacationing and staying with single guys? So long as nobody does anything criminal or over the top creepy it’s hardly a surprise that some hosts might read into things just a bit. So long as that’s all that happens, it isn’t the end of the world – move on.

  • An interesting article. And I totally agree with you, Agness. I had some experience like that, but lucky me, when I pretended & ignored in a clever way, usually guys stopped. However, I mostly surfed & hosted female, so no worse experience.

    I’m still using Couchsurfing today, because I almost travel solo. I guess in any other things on this world, there’re always bad & good sites. So I’ve tried my best to avoid bad site which you mentioned above, and reduce down to the lowest rate of giving chances for man doing that ;)

    Just the way we have to protect ourselves, since it’s very natural & instinct for male/female in their sex need.

  • My bf, used CS to get sex. I didn’t notice this since we had a long distance relationship until we finally tried to get serious, I moved out to his country, and found ‘suspicious’ pics between him and his guests.

    He got over 100 references and 95% are female (before and after we were together), and the males references were actually his real life friends. I believe he slept with 95% of them if not more.

    According to what he admitted to me, the girls he slept with knew he got a gf but it didn’t matter because they were interested and romance with the host is part of their ‘Parisian’ travel experience.

    Since then, I try to stay away from couchsurfers, males and females. I left him a negative reference as a man who seeks for sex, but yet there are still females staying at his place :).

  • I don’t understand why anyone would host a complete stranger for free anyway, I certainly wouldn’t, what would I gain by doing it? I’m not charity. It would make sense then that the lodger would offer sex as a sort of payment as the landlord gets nothing otherwise, he/she would make a monetary loss by hosting them. Scroungers trying to get something for nothing like the blogger! I find it extraordinary that hardly any women would go meet a complete stranger for a drink from ‘wechat,’ yet they’re prepared to spend a night under the same roof as a stranger in his house ALONE in a completely foreign country! Shockingly dangerous, its obvious to me the females are hedonistic hippy types who are after the ‘possibility’ of sex too. Think of the risks of having sex with these strangers, they could have disease or HIV, especially these dirty third world folks, you don’t know what they’re carrying or where they’ve been!

  • I’m a man so I know pretty well how men thing. Short and briefly:

    “Men are always thinking about sex”

    A man produces nearly 3500 sperms per second or just a 3.5 millions sperms/hours. A woman produce “Zero” over her whole life. Do you need more explanations?

    This is a constant in men’s life, whether you are on Couchsurfing or anywhere else. And you will have the same problem with men until you become old enough to not be sexually appealing. That’s one thing teachers had to explain in school, but they don’t because is embarrassing. “Love” is very different in real live when compared the films. Sperms can’t wait to kiss you on the top of the Eiffel Tower. They live in a hurry for just 24 hours before dying.

    In the mean time, be cautious!

    (This is a message for all women reading this post)

  • I would not stay with guys who live on their own unless they had many positive verifications over 30 let say eg had been operating for a long time. Its putting yourself in a difficult situation and being 54 and having known alot of guys – perfectly respectable middle class guys – they can make fools of themselves and or get pushy especially if drinking. Stay with women as a single traveller and aim to meet up with “meet up “group with guys and gals in the city… is my advice.Also I would be very careful of showering etc in a mans house make sure there is a blind at the window etc.,and a lock on the door. I have been hosting for awhile now.That said not all men are like this!

  • What’s the fuss if people want to meet and enjoy intimacy with each other? It’s hardly shocking.

  • Hi
    I surfed a lot trough almost Half Brasil within 14 Hosts for 2 and half Months and trough whole east china 1 Month I gotted 7 or 8 Hosts and in Berlin I gotted 4 or 5 hosts just 2 of them in Wuxi and Beijing was Guys the rest just girls and I had never sex with non of this mostly really pretty and very kindly girls and non of them ask or do something in that way. So I got to say just that gays who write sometimes and I never would go to them take the Cs Project not seriously and act so. The rest just interested in travel expierinces and something like that! But every lil´german child got just something like that if I told that in their heads! The thang is why you interested to know new people to have sex with them or to see that places and look what happend if you chill together!

  • As the starter, I’m sorry what you’ve been through.
    Depends on your experiences, it’s hard to disagree or argue with you. I’m a Taiwanese host currently in Hualien. Personally, all of my experiences were so amazing and safe (until I’m writing this). For sure you might think it’s because I’m a guy, but as your statement, it’s both sides.
    In my case, when I’m writing a request or an invitation, I’ll spell it out that I’m not a pervert. Maybe it’s not 100% can be trusted like you said, at least it would be better I think. If there’s next time that you use Couchsurfing, perhaps you can respectfully and specifically say your consideration first.
    Last but not least, there are still lots of good people on the world, maybe you can give it one more chance.
    Always enjoy traveling and do not let the sucks thing beat you, I think you’re stronger than that :)

    Paul

  • I don t understand the problem ,if a guy and a girl they like each other and they want to have sex what s the difference if they meet with cs meeting badoo ,we are in 2014!!!! There is genetic manipulations minacing the life on earfh’cvlimatic change ,nuclear climatic etc weapons ,human are going to mars ,on you porn you can see 100000000 girls and 100000000boys having sex with a click and you are still worried about two adults having sex? You should live in medium age

  • Great reading this!

    I have found in the past guys say no to me staying. Couples and girls almost always say yes. Men, for the best part on CS just seem to be after a shag. Shame really. They are missing out on some wonderful cultural experiences.

    Love your blog by the way. :)

  • Hi! I really enjoyed your article because I just had my first couch surfing experience and it was terrible! The man was 43, divorced and had two kids. He had 10 references, so I thought he would be safe. I wanted a woman, but was in a desperate situation and only men were answering. He seemed the safest. Boy, was I wrong! He apparently posts on his site that you must sleep in his bed, but its very small and the rest of the site makes it sound like you have your own room! When I got there, I was confused. There is no couch, just two chairs and the one bedroom. When I explained that I had no idea. He kept asking if I read his profile. I had, but had missed that. He asked how could I and said if I didn’t know it was there, then it would be easy to miss. I slept on the chair and was asked to leave the next morning. I was already planning on it.

  • Hi! I found this very interesting and it’s a well written piece with lots of interesting opinions. It’s good to be aware that the ratio of men asking for sex is very high. I will probably try and pick female hosts most of the time.

    I must say I found your reasons for picking men over women offensive. “[Men are] 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”. You must not have met many women because the vast majority are funny, interesting and intelligent. They are not petty, always arguing and gossip non-stop about shopping. Have you ever met real women? Have you only seen women in movies?

    This is a stupid generalisation by you and it’s especially disappointing coming from a woman. A very old-fashioned opinion and as a woman I’d be very glad not to have your company if you are so judgemental and prejudiced.

  • Hi Agness,

    I think this is a great post. I have been traveling around Morocco and Europe for 10 months and I think you are so right. Most guys have been respectful, a few of them gave hints (also while hitchhiking), but many of them have been just friendly. One of them living in the south of Spain but from elsewhere was not and actually touched me innapropriately and threatened to leave me negative reviews on CS. Oh well, at least he deleted his profile afterwards, maybe tired of being turned down.

    Here in Belgiump can be a bit tricky sometimes, not in that sense but how some (not all!!!) people expect you to be in a certain way, and if you are not quite it can become very cloudy.

    Thanks for being so brave, I think that makes it easier for everybody to speak freely and that makes me ike your articles even more!

    Cheers,

    Leila

  • Sounds extreme, I also hear something from friends and hear some conversation in one meeting but I also though is a joke.

    Anyway I don’t agree with the intention of this blog because call to discriminate by gender which is very closed minded. This things could happen but is not offen anyway.

  • Great article and comments, I recently had one bad experience of this kind with my host that make run away as soon as the sun rise up, and other three great experience in hosting and being hosted.

    That’s a pity that CS is taking this direction, I think the best thing is to write honest reference and not be afraid to speak up, it’s happened to me that I received abusive private messages to ask me to take down my negative review a totally ridiculous reply to me. I believe people can see where is the truth.

    The important thing is to respect each other, and ourself, be responsible and have a lucid mind. And be confident in change your or go away if something goes wrong.

    Enjoy life!

  • Girls have to take a LOT of responsibility for this. There are so many of these easy girls using the fact that they are female to get an ‘easy bed’.

    It’s pretty easy to spot the guy “sex surfers” – just look at their profile feedback and see who they have hosted. If it’s just a bunch of girls then it’s pretty obvious that they are ‘playboys’. A genuine couch-surfer should have hosted a mixture of males and females – as that’s the law of averages.

    If women don’t want to get hassled then they should chose more wisely. But the fact is a lot of women love the attention (and sex).

    • As a dude living Amsterdam I get a ton of requests. Mostly from women, 70-75% or so. I don’t smoke weed which probably weeds out a few dudes (no pun intended). Other times the requests by dudes is just copy paste. I generally think women put more effort in searching a host which is understandable from their perspective but also makes it nicer for the host. (not nearly as much copy and paste work)

  • These are the things come in term of “cost” when people try to get something for free. What most people don’t realize is that what does not cost money will often cost something else. When in doubt, pay for everything, you will have the right to complaint and you will not owe anyone anything after. Hotels will always exist.

  • I heard of couchsurfing through a friend while on holiday. He was meeting up with several other people, and they were all just so much fun to talk to and learn about the world. I became instantly hooked on the idea and as soon as I returned home, signed up and hosted several people.

    After the first week, I started to get an odd feeling about the site because I only had younger females requesting to stay with me (6 girls in 7 days). I took a break and went on holiday for about two weeks and received about 5 requests for the same day (the day after I returned from holiday). I accepted them all and ended up hosting 9 people at once. Everyone thought I was mad, but I immediately noticed a difference in the ‘feel’ of the surfers (it happened to be an even 50-50 guy girl). The atmosphere was both stress free and festive.

    I didn’t know it at the time, and I still keep in contact with many of the surfers, but later came to the realization that many girls might have being trying to hook up. Im sure most guys in my position would have no problem, but Im on couchsurfing to learn about culture and hopefully have people to meet up with in their countries. I have had a few requests from women since, but now I try to keep my place filled with many surfers because women looking to hookup seem to be uninterested when they find the place is busy. This is my tip for anyone, guy or girl, to do because it seems that people are forced to be on their good behavior when there are many strangers around.

    For those wondering, I have not (and will not) sleep with any surfers. I do have a girlfriend, who happens to live in South America (I live in Ireland at the moment). I did not realize for a long time why she was scared of me hosting, and I also discussed not hosting or only hosting guys. While I dont think she is comfortable with the idea, the assurance of many strangers seems to help comfort her a bit.

    By the way if anyone needs a place to stay in Ireland let me know!

  • I think Airbnb is much safer than Couchsurfing in India and Srilanka,Bangladesh,Pakistan,etc.. The more you have knowledge about the place where you are travelling will keep you safe and you will enjoy the travel around the place……. Best of luck and if you want any help while travelling in india than mail me on rudradityasingh09@gmail.com………..

  • I think couchsurfing is an awesome way to know more about different people and meet people from different countries…i joined couch surfing just before a month and my intention is and was is only to meet awesome people, spend some quality time with them and get to know and experience different culture. i mean if you meet people from different countries you come to know about their country and its almost like travelling for me( well not the same but still its awesome. so after joining i hosted a couple ( a hungarian girl and a guy) who were travelling together. I am quite a gentleman ( some use couchsurfing for one night stands and shit) but quite funny as well , so i made their day one of the best. I live in munich so i showed them around munich, then we went to newschwanstein and visited castles and at night we went to bar talked about our lives and how awesome it was to travel. finally after 2 days I had to say goodbye but it was really nice meeting them and they really liked me so much and we actually exchanged something to remember. In between I also showed munich cities to some people (both male and female) and it was quite fun. but once i hosted a girl from spain. she was beautiful but most importantly she was a very good person and i really connected with her. we had a great time in oktoberfest and at night we went to a club. it was really nice and I felt I should kiss her. But I was the hosting her so it made me guilty as well since I was not into showing that I hosted her to just kiss her. and believe me I had no intention of any one night stands or sex with her. I just wanted to show I liked her. So battling between whether to kiss or not , I spent my next 1.5 hours in great pain (yes it was quite nerving and difficult) but then I thought instead of regretting it later I should go for it. I did , but she turned her face away, and obviously she was not interested and i felt guilty a bit but not because I got rejected but because I tried to kiss my guest. But I brushed it away because me being low , will just ruin her night , so I tried to just dance and do some other shit and we also did some other funny shit ( we applied some chocolates to the door of the toilet and watched people thinking it was shit !!). In the end she was really happy and she even invited me to travel with her later, and she told I was a good host ( i hope it was not fake because I really tried my best). I believe that I did not make a mistake in going for the kiss even though I wish I met her outside rather than hosting her and I hope it did not create a bad impression on her about couch surfing.

  • Great Article :) I have some different opinions about this situation…

    Why are female surfers more attractive to male hosters? Why do they have +3 invitations while guys have 0… C’mon let’s get real; Every male hoster thinks (at least once) to have sex with his surfers; they realize it or not but that happens…

    When I host someone, I feel myself like working in hotel and feeling like I am trip advisor… Then I have other jobs besides my current one. I spend time, getting lack of sleep and such… Everyone is different, but god makes the boys (“MOST OF THEM”) addicted to SEX. I also can admit that SEX is the best thing of my life, Nothing enjoys me that much…

    Imagine that Very beautiful Foreigner Girl went to sleep next to Tim’s room and Tim never had sex with that type of girl before, They enjoyed/laughed a lot together + eye connections hapened while talking, Tim Started to like the girl too much… Now The great combination comes up for Tim: “LOVE+SEX”… On the other hand, The Girl doesn’t have any interest in having something more than friendship with Tim… Tim simply can not understand why she refuses, Tim is average guy, not so good not so bad; at least had many girlfriends before so he has proved himself :)) is making the hoster Tim upset by rejecting the offer for only 10 minutes of enjoy better idea?
    What would the girl lose with making Tim Happy?
    Is the hoster Tim worse than the guys she slept before? If that is true, then she wouldn’t be alone and single now…

    I simply do not understand, surfers come here to learn about cultures, travelling… Some hosters are looking for sex – They both see eachother and decide to live together for some period… That is not bad, this is the life! C’mon…

  • I do agree with this topic so far. Since i been join CS since 2009 .been hosted more than 950 peoples so far. I could see this thing happened so often. For my side the member girl in my city they are more so open to pick up the new traveler visit my city for sex in general. as i saw and heard many storied.girl fighting with other coz of one man. Girl host only guy.Many girl local member became annoyed me so much and too much for me.when any guy after stay with them came to stay with me and keep talking about those girls are.Once time one guest of mind stay with me and the girl come to ask me to want my guest go to stay with her.many girl alway come around my place to pick up my guest for sex. i am feel pity to them and hate the way they doing and use cs for sex date.it good luck for me mostly people i host not do like them.

    https://www.couchsurfing.org/profile.html?id=7LD178U

  • This is a very nice topic,
    I agree with you dear. Actually in Turkey the people always try to ask the question from single trip girl. You know always happen the bad things what I know before. I was called policeman after the XX girl sent me message (the guy rape the single girl). I am not sure the CS how is going on in future. I hope the website boss have to find a way to stop how worst thing happen.
    Thank you so much Angess

  • If you want to have sex you have sex,
    If you don’t want to have sex you don’t have sex,
    If you feel offended from something your host/guest says you FIRST tell him and try to talk with him, and AFTER leave a reference.

    You judging what others want to do with couchsurfing looks like the Vatican saying to people in Africa to have sex without condom or saying you don’t have to masturbate.

    Who are you to say what others have to do in their couchsurfing experience?

    If a surfer has sex with all of his hosts, and the hosts are happy with this, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

    People do what they want and gossiping around it is quite odd.

    The worst of all is that when a boy likes a girl, and he does the first move, the girl will say that he almost raped her , etc…
    When is the girl to do the first move then the boy has just to shout up!

    It happened to me many times that my guests proposed me to have sex, when I didn’t like I just refused. If I feel uncomfortable I just say to them.

  • Hi Agness,
    Interesting post. I have wider CS experience. I have hosted mostly girls. Not because i wanted sex. First year i still had a girlfriend living with and it was strange for me why i was getting so many girls request. Lately i got the tricky part that the girls feel more safe. This season i am without a girlfirend and i hosted almost the same amount of people, mostly girls. I am very polite person and i treat my guests very well and respectfull. But somethimes i really like some of them. I was thinking if i am missing something. I think the next summer i will try more open approach to those who i feel i would have closer. Just to clarify…i am not in CS mainly in that but why should i put boundaries on myself when it seem the girls are much more open to casual sex or maybe i can meet the girl of my life. I still remember one girl from scotland she was so warm and funny that i totally stuck on her but i made nothing. Ohhh yeah and one columbian girl tried to seduce me but ok…..she looked a little bit strange so i refused.
    Please all don`t forget that this is the real life and people are different. Some are more open, some are more close. This is how the world spins.
    Should i wait in the bar for girls just because this is the regular way?
    I don`t think so…in nowerdays people have some many boundaries between themselves that we forget infact who we are and we limit our internal desire and possesions just because “it should not be this way” .
    Best wishes and happy travelling

  • I like sex and I like traveling. If two people feel like it, why the hell not indulge. After all, there are few better ways than sex to feel alive and in the moment. (If someone needs to feel more of a commitment to indulge in sex, that’s okay too, of course. Let me observe that such logic is usually out of the window, even in someone pretty conservative, when feelings of romance/passion/magic are strong.)

    I’m in a relationship now but I thought I’d ran some stats. I’ve only ever been hosted by girls because I get along better with them, for sure, but, mostly, because I enjoy the flirtatiousness of it and the possibilities: I like women, if they like me, why the hell not?!

    Out of 11 girls who hosted me:
    – 3 had a boyfriend and nothing happened
    – 2 were single but I did not find them attractive
    – 1 was single but I had a girlfriend
    – 1 was not home much — but had a bag full of sex-toys by her bed
    – 1 was single and we probably liked one another but nothing happened
    – 1 had a boyfriend and I ended up sleeping with her girlfriend in the living-room
    – 1 was single and I ended up sleeping with her friend in the living-room
    – 1 was single and we slept together after I made sure she liked me
    So that’s 3 out of 11.

    I’m not proud of all those stories but most of them clearly are FUN memories where two adults ended up doing the nasty, just because they wanted to!

    One of the funniest part:

    I spend the night out with my host and her friend and end up kissing her friend, at one point, while it’s just the two of us. We all go back to my host’s apartment… After a while, my host decides she’s too tired and goes to sleep. After a minute or two, while we’re both on the couch, her friend says:

    “We should probably turn the lights off a bit, to save some energy.”

    She then proceeds to turn off the ceiling light and turn on a small lamp. After a while, we ended up turning the couch into a bed, trying to be very quiet, and had sex in it :P

  • wow, thanks for the great post! I’ve recently subscribed to couchsurfing but was still a bit skeptical about the safety of it all. Now I feel a bit more assured and gave me a heads up advice just in case someone does ask me to sleep with him.
    My first couchsurfing will be in hawaii and I hope it turns out great!
    Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • Hi there.
    Ok a lot of opinions so i think the topic is clarified enough. Accourding to me Internet and couchsurfing as part of it is a reflection of the real life. We are all humans and declaring “this should not be this way” is pretty ok….lets say non sense. Declaring “yes this happens because the world goes this way and i am ok/not with this offers” is a real realm vision.
    A simple story. I am from Balkans i hosted girl from Hungary. Ok….first we just met for a coffed but after all i hosted her for 2 nights. Very nice, charming girl, pretty intelligent. First night i was a little bit flirty but i think she was on the edge of deciding what to do. Then she suddenly called me for second night mostly because it was suitable for her to take the fligh. But ok we started chatting some flirting then at some time i said ” if you would like you can stay with me for the night” and she was like “i still don`t know yet because i don`t feel well” after that she decided to go to her room alone…so no problem. In the morning she was vomiting and dehidrated very fast so i had to take a free day off and take her to a hospital. I think she hit the star in this case because i am very taking care person so i was with her all the time holding her hand and helping her, dealing with the medical insurance and so on. She was extremely gratefull because of that and i felt it in her eyes and expecially when she took my hand and said “Thank you”. Ok i ended with no sex but i don`t care at all. This was not my first intention at all.
    So i write this story just to light up the situation by a different side for the dissapointed people here. Please, just accept CS as the real world. It is much more possible to meet good boys and girls there and if you wish feel free to live your emotions and share something special with them.

  • Hi there.
    Ok a lot of opinions so i think the topic is clarified enough. Accourding to me Internet and couchsurfing as part of it is a reflection of the real life. We are all humans and declaring “this should not be this way” is pretty ok….lets say non sense. Declaring “yes this happens because the world goes this way and i am ok/not with this offers” is a real realm vision.
    A simple story. I am from Balkans i hosted girl from Hungary. Ok….first we just met for a coffed but after all i hosted her for 2 nights. Very nice, charming girl, pretty intelligent. First night i was a little bit flirty but i think she was on the edge of deciding what to do. Then she suddenly called me for second night mostly because it was suitable for her to take the fligh. But ok we started chatting some flirting then at some time i said ” if you would like you can stay with me for the night” and she was like “i still don`t know yet because i don`t feel well” after that she decided to go to her room alone…so no problem. In the morning she was vomiting and dehidrated very fast so i had to take a free day off and take her to a hospital. I think she hit the star in this case because i am very taking care person so i was with her all the time holding her hand and helping her, dealing with the medical insurance and so on. She was extremely gratefull because of that and i felt it in her eyes and expecially when she took my hand and said “Thank you”. Ok i ended with no sex but i don`t care at all. This was not my first intention at all.
    So i write this story just to light up the situation by a different side for the dissapointed people here. Please, just accept CS as the real world. It is much more possible to meet good boys and girls there and if you wish feel free to live your emotions and share something special with them.
    Best wishes and “Just think like a Proton, positive”

  • I think one issue is the chauvinistic culture we live around.
    I hosted a lone female once. I didn’t think much about it, though I did want to make sure she was not uncomfortable. We just talked and I showed her around the city she was interested in, it was cool.

    The next day, after seeing her to her train, I’m hanging out with a friend and when I tell him I hosted a female couchsurfer the night before the first thign he asks me is, “Didja’ bang her?”
    “No Bill… I didn’t ‘bang’ her.”

    People are looking for different things. I think sex is a beautiful thing and there’s nothing wrong with people having it when they can, but like many have already said before me, one should not have this as their goal when using couchsurfing.

  • Dear Agness,

    How come you are travelling that much? Don’t you study or work?
    I wouldn’t have time for that, that’s why I ask…

      • I can give you my point of view as a man. I was shocked the first time a girl told me that sometimes girls say “yes” to a sexual proposal because they are afraid and they want to be polite and don’t want to hurt the man with a “no”. So it can happen that a honest man feels attracted and tries, and the girl accepts but actually she doesn’t want: so a honest proposal turns into a rape, without the man being aware thas he is raping. It’ horrible.
        On the other side, if I feel attracted and I don’t express my attraction, it will result in a deep pain for me, because all feelings are a form of spiritual energy: if I block my energy hiding my feelings I will suffer and neurosis will arise. How to avoid both my pain for not expressing attraction and the girl’s pain for being put in an uncomfortable situation? Is there a win-win solution to this problem?

      • “so a honest proposal turns into a rape, without the man being aware thas he is raping”
        This is quite ridiculous, if a girl (a woman, a man, a boy, a trans, a ladyboy , a lesbian of whatever) agrees in having sex (whatever situation the couple met: couchsurfing, hotel, bar, beach, from friend’s introduction) it just can not be called rape.
        If one of the two changes his mind during or after the sex his just his only and solely problem.

        In my case I have been ‘victim’ of the opposite behaviour often.
        People that had kind of psychosis where felt a danger that was not there and even if I didn’t even think about sex or anything related, those persons did a wrote a defaming and unfair comment to me:

        http://travelthetheater.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/a-couchsurfing-horror-story-a-negative-reference-that-hides-many-things/

  • Dear Agnes,
    Having read your story and some of the comments I (unfortunately) have to agree with you. Couchsurfing has become a bit of a dating/free sex site.
    We have, my partner and I, made a little bit of use of it and have had very positive and memorable encounters with CS.
    In 2007 we cycled the river Danube. In 2010 from Portugal to Norway. 2012 New Caledonia and 2013 East coast of Australia. All positive.

    At the time someone mentioned that CS had become a free dating agency I didn’t believe it. Now I do.
    This is one of the reasons we only accept youngsters of 30+. We are not in partying and the like.
    We prefer to stay with mature adults and preferably cyclists.
    Any cyclist (even 18 year olds) are welcome. And they like to stay with “oldies” 66 and 70 year young retirees.
    So, my advice for solo girls: try to find families or at least ask if they (males) have a girlfriend living with them.
    Happy travels Peter
    Unfortunately cyclists are not so interested in non cyclists.

  • Hi Agness,

    You re post was amazing. I started couchsurfing a few months ago, and like you, I also get along better with guys. I have always been very lucky with the hosts I have had, they have been truly amazing. I had only one host who was flirtier, but didn’t make it in a bad way or in a way that I felt uncomfortable or didn’t say he had an “open door”. When I choose a host I spend a lot of time, because sometimes you can tell by what they write on a post how the hosts are. I remember once reading a profile, and the guy saying he wanted to show the city and have some fun (some guys have their own idea of fun). When after I read his reviews, he actually had negatives, which didn’t surprise me. But despite everything, there are amazing hosts out there and I have always been very fortunate with my hosts.
    On the whole this article was superb and I agree with what you wrote.

  • I asked my 40 female ex guests. practically all of them had at least one sexual experience on CS, and most of them had many (non of them with me, of course). It looks like CS is mostly used for sex by girls, not by men.

    • I also met several female csers that were looking for sex.
      I think that important is to just respect each other and not gossip around.
      Everybody does with CS what he wants as long he respect other users. The same is for life.

  • That’s really creepy.

    I am a guy and I’ve couch surfed a whole bunch and only one time did someone try to come on to me (another couch surfer who was staying at the same host house as me!) Saying no didn’t even seem very awkward, it was just like “nah I’m just here for travel yo.” I imagine this is a much bigger problem for girls traveling and hosting. If you’re really worried about it (which I think you should at least acknowledge that it could happen) why not just stay with and host girls only? You can always message CS guys in the area about hanging out if you prefer men, but staying/hosting with women only will give you a lot more safety.

    Being a person who loves travel, it sounds sort of wrong to say but I mean it in the most understanding of ways- I am so happy I was born a man. Travel is so much easier in every culture and situation because there are much fewer people trying to take advantage of me. Sorry gals you’ve got it rough on the road!

  • I think CS and Sexsurfing go hand in hand. Both men and women look for and have romantic encounters/sex with locals and others when traveling; it is definitely part of the traveling experience and very common. What a better way to connect with a person in which you share common interests and feel more secure than usual that he/she is not a psycho, than through CS?

    Consciously or subconsciously anyone that agrees to host or be hosted by the opposite sex “accepts/wonders/thinks” about the possibility of it turning into more than a platonic get together, it is just our human instinct. I cannot imagine denying this instinct and missing out on a potential romantic partner based on the thought that CS is not “meant” for that. I always regret not making a move because you never know what it could have turned into, it could have been your soul mate you passed on. That being said no one should expect sex from their guests, that is completely unacceptable.

    I guess it is just hard for me to comprehend a guy “asking you for sex” with no chemistry or it not being led up to that point. Also I would say the country you are visiting makes a HUGE difference on whether the hosts are expecting sex in return for your stay.

    Agnes question for you. Are you saying that you did not have a romantic encounter (thoughts,kissing, cuddling ect..) with any CSrs? And follow up, you have never had any romance while traveling??

    Thanks for the article, I definitely like seeing a different perspective and well written.

    -Dre

  • great article and so true.

    Now I ask a guy in advance, if there is a seperate bed and room for me. Often he will just answer that there is only one bed ! :(

    A girl can feel guilty and feel trapped and as a result not say no. Sometimes she cant get any sleep because the guy wont stop bugging her. I had nowhere to sleep once so i was at the train station and a guy offered me a place to stay. I didnt find out until I got there that it was in a bad area, was disgusting, and a homeless man had the spare bed. In the end i had to relieve him win my hands and then sleep head to toe with him.

    Now i take with me an airmattress and sleep on that at airports instead. And when i host people i make them sleep in a tent (i live in the black forest)

    to the guy who was dry humped by the other guy, that sounds very scary ! I would love to visit canada and i definately wouldnt do that to you.

  • there are some old men, like this one, who are VERY IFFY

    one if my couchsurfers stayed with him and said that the reference left by the guy disturbed him. Fortunately he only stayed for dinner, and he said that the guy acted a but gay.

    https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/ergchebi

    i have nothing about gays, but , people shouldnt abuse couchsurfing for his purpose. Especially to take advantage of young vulnerable people.

  • So here’s a question I have after reading, idk if you’ll know the answer. But about what percentage of girls sleep with dudes when they stay over?

  • Finally, a post addressing this issue with CS! Thank you Agness.

    I have had a lot of experience couch-surfing, most of them wonderful and life-changing.. but a few unpleasant ones.

    I found that the easiest way to avoid pervy male hosts on Couchsurfing was to take read all their references. Whenever I stayed with someone who had at LEAST 15-20 detailed, positive references from men, women and couples, I never had a problem with them!

    If you come across the profile of a male host with mostly/only female references, please be extremely wary. They might be great people, but they most definitely are only accepting female surfers for a reason! Avoid couples only accepting women. From my experience, they are usually hoping for a threesome : /

    If your host is trying to ply you with alcohol the first night of your arrival, take this as a huge red flag and do not drink.

    Remember. Always read references! :)

    PS You can always mention an imaginary bf in your couch request if you like!

  • UGH! I am so glad I found this article. I deactivated my coushsurfing page today…. every single woman I ever asked to host me denies me and i have gotten an onslaught of messages from guys who clearly think it is a dating site… out of frustration I stayed with one man who was totally respectful. The second not so much but you should see his reviews… all from russian and ukranian woman… raving raving raving… it is honestly bizarre…

  • I really enjoyed reading your blog about couchsurfing Vs. sexsurfing.
    I’ve done couchsurfing for about 4 years now i’ve hosted people back home in my parents house, therefore i’ve never experienced such thing when I was hosting people, but now I am in Europe and it happened to me in couple of occasions with couple of girls I met with couchsuring couple of years ago back in my home country, we kept in contact and trust, ultimately it became a reality. I usually get couch requests and refuse them as I have kind of student life here in Europe right now. btw I do not use CS as a dating site, but to meet nice people building relationships and so on.

  • Hi Agness, I was a CSer from April 2008 to Nov.2011. I am from India. My country people always used CS as a dating and a place for finding and having sex with others, especially foreigners.
    They use/used all the means for it, from manipulation to groupism, networking with similar or not even similar minded CSers(be it Indians or Foreigner CSers) to strengthen their manipulation, groupism, commit crimes from theft to ripping off, to dating to sex, to harassing(sexually or otherwise) to raping, to mixing intoxicants in other CSers food to blackmailing, to kidnapping to murdering, and what not :( Some of the foreign CS girls are still in India, working as slaves, as they are blackmailed and compeled due to various reasons to stay in India and work for their sexual criminal maniac Indian masters/organized criminal networks/groups(of both men and women), some of these girls/women you can find in Uttarakhand(Rishikesh,Haridwar), Himachal Pradesh, Himalayas, Leh, Ladakh etc. Some others(actualy many till now) have been married to organized international political criminal networks without them knowing that they are being fooled, manipulated, and their life is being destroyed forever and they will face the dire consequences for it, and/or will have to work for their criminal soulmates to become partners in their crimes(I met many such women,both Indians as well as foreigners, who have become partners in crimes for their boyfriends/husbands/friends etc) and even came in my life for helping their criminal friends/partners etc, still do. I was shocked to experience and know all this, wanted to bring out the fact in front of the people/CSers all over the world, but my CS account was removed due to these networks pressure and drama(manipulations,bullying,cooking up stories,defaming me,assasinating my character etc). I still created fake profiles every now and then, and alerted the CSers, mostly foreigner CSers as most of the Indians were/are either a part of these networks or support/supported them, or ignore such things. Whenever I posted/post on open forum/group on CS, many different person from their group attack my post and even many of them even write there itself openly that it is me, how do they know?(that’s another secret) and get my thread deleted and even my account deleted. They’re using their network still, to commit all crimes and manipulations etc, and ensuring that the fact doesn’t come out in open in front of the entire CS community. They know, I am the biggest threat for them in terms of exposing them, so they spy on me and all other CSers through sensors, cameras, fiber optics etc through which they keep a tab on every CSer as per their wish.
    Hope, you all can understand as to how grave the situation is, at least on Indian CS, if not anywhere else, although, as they have spread everywhere now, to other countries also, especially through CS, now this international network has gained more power, and have become like any other mafia.

  • Tomorrow I’ll be hosting my first couchsurfer ever (before that I’ve always been the one couchsurfing) … I was actually really looking forward to it until a few minutes ago I got messages from him with… well let’s say sexual content. I never knew something like sexsurfing existed. Honestly, this is terrible. Kind of makes me wanna quit this entire thing immediately. Not looking forward to host him at all.

  • I don’t hit on my CS for a simple reason, even if she is a very atractive girl, like the beautiful Polish girl who writes to this blog (initially I thought she was Dutch), the point is that when I receive a person, specially from another country, so I’m not presenting only myself, a Brazilian man, I’m presenting my whole country! And I don’t want a person from another country to think that all Brazilian men are sexually obsessed (as many European women think about the Turkishes or Indians). I am representing my country, so I do everything possible to remove this negative image that many people have from Brazil in Western Europe.
    I remember a situation where I received a girl from Austria. I know that in Germanic countries people, including women, love to take off their clothes when it’s hot. This day, my parents travelled and she and her friend were at pool, she got back to my appartment, and when I left my room, I suddendly saw that little blonde goddess using a really short bikini, sitting at my room. I’ve seen many girls like that before, but her body was really awesome, so I just said, “I see that you really enjoy the gym”, and she smiled, that was all. She could be naked, I would still respect her!
    Come on, guys, are you Humans or beasts sexually obsessed? Put yourself at the place of such girls, imagine it’s your sister or mom, would be glad if someone hitted her? Do you want your people to be taken as a “people of sex freakers” because of your advances? That’s something that I learned in some countries of Eastern Europe, to imagine yourself as a part of a whole, not as an “atomic individual” as many people see themselves at West.

    • Hello,
      I noticed this website for a long time. I read a lot of peoples ideas, beliefs, and experiences on here. Although I do believe it is someone’s choice to go to bed with a person I also believe that just having a couchsurfing experience without expecting sex is fun as well. I am a man and I will be honest… sometimes if I host a lady I would not mind for that to happened. Also, at times I felt it could have but the couchsurfing feeling of being a great host kicks in. I only host about 10 or so people(mostly woman) but for the most part had positive experiences. I don’t think it is a good idea just to blame the man in this situation. Woman alike also want no string attached sex. Believe it,., I would not have until I have started couchsurfing. I do like and enjoy couchsurfing but I think it might not be a good idea if I was single. It would be too tempting for me. On another note, I do not feel you are a “grandma” for getting to know someone before you have sex but I also think it is that person choice and if you do not agree with them or not should not be an issue. Not saying you have but just in general. Keep up with the website.
      kroker namad

  • I see this is an old posting but what you wrote is somewhat true, I ahve only joined CS since March this year and haven’t really host or being hosted by anyone yet, but I have use it several time to meet up with people who lives around the area I’m going to visit. So far, the male and females I have ever met are really nice.
    And I agree with some of the opinion I read on comment, I prefer to go or meet up with female and if it has to be a guy, it would be better if he has a gf or a wife (as the comments said, the mostly won’t be flirting on you and focus mostly on making new friends).
    next week I’m going to use it again and this time I’m going to use it to surf, 3 cities, 2 couches (at the last city, going to stay with my nan). first city, female host, on message she sound very nice and welcome me, also excited to show me around when I come later. the host in the 2nd city, would be a male, but I always do a thorough research before deciding things, same as that, I did some research first and this male definitely focus on helping fellow traveler specially backpackers, he even prepare a place with a lot of room for almost 100 traveler to stay. so yeah not all the male are bad.
    on the 2nd and on the way to 3rd city, I’m going to travel with CS member too, a male but I made sure he has a gf and definitely fallin in love with her, since I have a hubby already :)
    there’s a male (lives in the 3rd city I’m going to visit) trying to hit up on me on CS message, the moment I said I ahve a hubby, the message reply length from him is decreased and decreased until he said OK for his very last message. haha, i find it kinda funny how he back up so quickly knowing that the door is closed and luckily he show his true color before I even got there cuz he might creep me out if he tried to get closer to me in person.
    Well, just make sure whoever you’re travelling with is mainly focus on enjoying the adventure of traveling, not the side benefit (sexsurfing, i find this term funny to use)
    do some research won’t hurt either :)

    Cheers :D

  • I find it a bit sad that you stereotype girls as loving “shopping and gossip”. Usually girls you meet on CS are so much cooler than that. Of course there obviously are some who take it as a Tinder alternative but they usually rather only surf than host or participate events. I have been on CS for a while and whether zou surf with a girl or guy, it’s the best idea to read through their profile really well and try to find somebody who similar to you. Usually those people are quite decent. Or travelling with a male friend, that proved to be the safest option ever :D

  • Oh the arrogance of young beautiful women. They’re 22 years old thinking they know everything and that they’re super interesting to be around. Sadly they couldn’t be more wrong.
    Altruism does not exist. If someone opens their house for you they want something in return. If I open my house to a male engineer I want some interesting conversations of engineering out of his stay. If I open my house to a priest I want some interesting conversations about theology. If I open my house to an uninteresting beautiful woman with no education to speak of…well you guess what I want…And it aint shopping advice or her personal problems.
    It aint fkn rocket science.

  • Hi Agness, guess what?? I have joined couchsurf just now… as I am a techyy so scam was the first thing came to my mind after joining the website. I appreciate your post so much.

    Thanks for such good advice.

  • Hi everybody,

    first thanks for this article, Agness, I should have read it before my first guest-experience https://www.couchsurfing.com/people/olgagermany, though as I checked and double checked …

    Very interesting comments. And obviously some confusion:
    – There is nothing wrong about sex between adults with informed consent at both sides.
    – There is nothing wrong with expressing ones’s interest in a decent and polite way.
    – If someone is nice before he got turned down, and then ignores you, he’s never been nice, but calculating and manipulating! And this has nothing to do with a decent and polite request/offer. Nor with the idea of Couchsurfing, which is to share without expectations (still I personally think, a little gift or help or cooking, doing the dishes or alike is always a fine way to say thank you).
    – When someone reacts angry or ignoring after having been turned down, it IS a potentially dangerous situation. And there is much reason to make “fuss” about it!
    – Even more so, when someone is using lies, pressure or manipulation it is not only wrong, but dangerous, cause it shows about his character.
    – If a women makes an experience as Agness described and only writes in such a blog about it, but not in a negative/neutral reference, she only went half way – and indeed is part of the problem, because she preserves danger potentials for other women.
    – Instead of writing here: “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.” you could – and should – have written references like: “I would have like to give a positive reference, because … [all good points] and because I am grateful for his hospitality in general, and I am sure that other people will benefit from meeting the host, but I want to be honest and give you the possibility to decide for yourself, so I have to mention, that he asked me for sex and ignored me after I made clear that I am not interested. He accepted my No, and I did not felt threatened, still I am worried about this and I think it is out of place.”
    – Yes, CS is part of the society and looking for a sex partner in a bar or in someone’s flat is a BIG difference, cause it is a potentially dangerous situation from the very start, whereas if you are asked for your number or your company in a bar, you are still in public space.

    This host had more than 50 good references from man and women. I checked and double checked. I was as cautious as one could be. After my host threatened to write that I was ungrateful after what he did, if I would leave a negative reference, I am wondering how many women got such an sms from him (or other men like him).

    The effect is, that I don’t trust positive references as I would like to. Even from women. Agness, you are one reason for that, too, by not having written the whole picture about them in your references :-( At least this blog post incited a necessary discussion. Thank you for that!

    Still I do believe in the idea of Couchsurfing and I just stubborn and idealistic in wanting humanity to be good! :-)

    And thank God my next experience, I’ve chosen deliberately a family, was really good – and I am proud to have taken a second chance. I did not want to leave myself with this shock (that has affected my health for weeks!!!)

    Be cautious! And think about the reactions you provoke on the long run with your behaviour! (The probability that I’d stay with a male CS, especially in certain countries, sank immensely, so even those who might have been a good – even sexual – host/guest-match to me, will not get to know me due to this experience.)

    Have a good 2016 and take care!

    Olga

  • I completely agree with you. A few weeks ago, it was my first experience couchsurfing and I thought it would be alright since I was travelling with my boyfriend. However, even though I had written that I was looking for a place to stay that would allow couples on the couchsurfing posts, I got at least 5 messages a day from many men saying that I could only stay with them if I was on my own. Some of them suggested for us to stay at different places for the “experience.”
    Since many of the offers I got were useless, my boyfriend found a couple of places we could stay together.
    However, when we arrived at the first couchsurfer’s place, he was very rude to my boyfriend and was overly kind and touchy towards me. We didn’t have any other option at that time so we put up with this situation for a couple of days. On the last day, he started telling me that I was attractive and that he was looking for girls just like me. He even asked me if I could give him my contact details so that I could introduce some of my friends to him. The creepy part was he was at least 15 years older than me and he seemed pretty desperate, even though he had a huge amount of good references from young girls. He made me feel really uncomfortable and put my boyfriend in an awkward position.

    Luckily, we stayed with a lovely guy during our final days who showed us around and offered us a beautiful room to stay in. He had less good references, but was a great guy who didn’t make us feel uncomfortable at all. We were really fortunate and I realised that we were just unlucky the first time. I couldn’t have asked for a better couchsurfing host to stay with, and he really made our trip an amazing one!

  • Hi
    I understand your situations, When I was travelling to India, I got hundreds of requests in a day, and most of them were not talking at all, so made me uncomfortable, and I m a male, and indian women didnt send andy sexual requests, but men did lol
    Other than Couchsurfing, I found indians thinking white people are very easy to get them to bed, but… hey, I made really great friends in India too,thankfully there were nice and friendly people, who showed me around, and taught me how to make rotis(I love them)
    so Everywhere there are bad and good people

  • Im so glad I read this post. Today I completed my profile on couch surfing and i started looking for hosts (verified with lots of references) and I found a guy with lots of pictures and lots of references (more than 30) all positive. I would always rather stay with a woman.. but I was like.. lets give it a try. Anyway.. I messaged him and made a request to stay and he said yes.. after that he wrote (I’m quoting):

    “Also, I am very open minded, and it happened in the past that I became very close with some of my guests. If you don’t mind the idea, then i’d be happy to host you”

    At first I was confused.. Was he asking me if I minded that he had slept with some of his guests or was he telling me he was expecting me to have sex with him?

    Both questions are answered YES. I asked him about it lol

    I was kind of disappointed but then kinda feel, i don’t know whats the word… grateful? With him being honest before me getting there. What if he didn’t say anything and then I would get there and feel all uncomfortable having to turn him down for sex… what if he kicked me out after that. I don’t know.

    After this i will ask every time specifically what are they looking for in return. I don’t have anything to give but my friendship.

  • Hey Agness, thank you for the post. You are brave and good young women. I can host you if you come to Mongolia. Im on couchsurfing, Angela Anuujin. Only women are allowed. After i read, i dont want to get into that situation. I am more of traditional , like you.

  • A bit late for this comment. I do have a feeling that some people are looking for sex on Couchsurfing, however when I couchsurfed in South America I didn’t feel that at all, except for one guy but I sensed it from the conversation we had before I arrived (then I decided not to stay with him). No one specifically asked for sex and I made such great friends Couchsurfing who I still talk to! :)

  • I think it’s a private thing if it comes through couchsurfing to sex. If two people are sympathic to each other and think they are sexy then why not ? Important is that BOTH want it. To force a girl who can’t say no is 100% the wrong way !

  • lol. Tell me about it. I ‘couchsurfed’ at this guy’s place who kept on insisting that I draw a ‘nude’ portrait of him, and then told me that he wanted me to ‘watch him masterburate’. He was super creepy and disgusting pervert. When I turned him down, he got pissed and starting harassing me along with his roommate. It was a pretty shitty experience overall. I won’t say I hate couchsurfing itself ‘coz of it, but it was definitely is a great lesson that you should ALWAYS listen to your gut feelings, and if something FEELS off, it IS off. I had a bad feeling about the guy from the beginning, despite the ‘good reviews’, and all I want to say it…definitely NEVER IGNORE YOUR GUT FEELINGS, even if it doesn’t make sense in the beginning, it is nonetheless true, and it going to make very good sense later. Use your senses, stay alert and don’t take any shit!

  • I made my couch surfing account yesterday as I will be moving to conecticut, US this fall for my masters studies and so I was searching for various places where I could able to live affordably or I guess for free(may be )and I came across CS where I found that here we can visit to a strangers house for free and explore that place with there help with warmth and friendliness. At the same time I was wondering how can people take chances to move to a strange country and then start living with strangers. Dont they get afraid and worried about unforeseen bad circumstances it might turn to. I have been researching alot about CS and I came across positive as well as negative reviews but mostly negative and after reading your post I think its not safe to trust with couchsurfers as it is definitely a risk and pose a threat as well to stay with a stranger. I think I probably deacivate my account and find other ways for accomodation. Thanks for your post. What you did was brave and you are truly a women with dignity and honor. No you dont sound like my granny but you should know that you are a virtuously bold soul and I wish you remain at peace always.
    Thank You,

    Regards
    Suraj

  • As. A extra after you gone I’ve thought of you continually? True ask others I not sure if true LOVE
    Can happen without sex but no mater what name one put on
    Feelings like,love,admire,even though what ever I have I
    Felt complete with u want back and if u have that cool
    My feelings whether u have or not are there and I’ve said
    Them now you define b out back or ball ? Please come in
    Its muchb easy to talk than TeX b???

  • Its 3 years on ,,, Im just thinking of CS im going to travel form NZ to the UK im on shoestring budget.It is appealing as it allows one to meet people and perhaps stay over in the UK for longer than one could afford. I am frankly shocked that this sort of thing goes on. Not that I would have a problem as I am a plain guy with no illusions of attractiveness.But like you Agness I am a bit old fashioned in attitude and would be pout of there like a shot even if I had to sleep rough for the night.

  • Hi Agness, good thing for you that you are firm on what you believe when it comes to couchsurfing which is about experience and making friends. I did try that one with a male host but it turns out that before you were able to stay with them you need to have sex. Even they requested for that I refused. Before we engage doing the couchsurfing, compatibility and safety issues are really important for both host and the couchsurfer.

  • Hello! I think that this topic should really be discussed! I am having many troubles, too. I get TONS of messages of people wanting to go out for a dinner and stuff, some even suggest money for a date.
    I usually travel with my boyfriend. It is really hard to find a host – I mention that there are two of us, I guess they don’t even read it – just look at my picture and suggest a stay but then I say again there two of us – and they might even block me or say that they will only host me. I do understand they can decide what they want, but it is really sad so many couchsurfers just wanna have sex and care about nothing more. And it’s only some stuff that happens.

  • Sorry for the long reply but and this being slightly off-topic, because this is about spontaneous couch-surfing, or rather bed-surfing, but this experience is why I want to start hosting myself because I felt bad.

    A month ago or so a friend wanted to celebrate his birthday but his place was no good option, so we had it at my place. We started on saturday, drank a lot of booze, repeated that on sunday, on monday late he left as did most other guests who were still around, but missed his transport (it again was late) and he mentioned to me how bloody cold it was outside while waiting for transport. So he left tuesday morning and I woke up around 7pm. Still slightly drunk. And I finished what was left of the booze.

    Tuesday night my doorbell rang around 3 AM and there was a really cute quite drunk girl who asked if she could come inside. She was 18, give or take a few years, I wasn’t sure. And I’m 35 years old.

    I asked her why she wanted to come inside and she used a bit more seductive voice which really hit my alarm bells, even while I was far from sober. And in that tone she told me she was looking for a place to sleep.

    At that hour my home was probably the only place where the lights were still on, and it was bloody cold outside. I told her no and sent her away, because I didn’t trust myself.

    This situation seems like the start of a porn or horror movie and I like both.

    But when I sobered up I realized how bad it was to send a young girl into the cold.

    If I were sober, I could have invited her in, let her sleep on my bed or couch and ignore her advances. Or pay cash to buy her a taxi home. I was just too freaked out with this situation.

    To this day I still regret my choice and hope she didn’t end up with some creep.

  • I was actually about writing the same post. As for me couchsurfing is the next good idea spoiled by human nature.
    two years ago i have been hosting people, mostly somehow couples and we had great cultural exchange.
    nowadays i am rying to get couchsurf host in Paris and what i get back.. suggestion for nude photoset, foot massage from some maniac. my only impression from couchsurfing today is WTF?
    the latest experience was just ridiculous. I posted the request to the city group. after having around 10 answwers from 40years suspicious guys i stayed at hostel. but there wa an asian guy who suggested to show me the city as he was also ourist but staying there for 2 weeks. we had a nice walk around the city and i have told that i have a boyfriend a few times after what the guys with the hope in his eyes asked if me and my boyfriend have ‘open’ relationships.
    buut the thing that amaze me the most is the girls behavior. not one time i was asking the girl for the couchsurf she positively agreed. so, what can i say..i deleted my profile from couchsurfing and googd luck for sexsurfers)

  • I’ve experienced hosting for one German guy in Dubai.. And I am strictly up to meet up only in my profile in CS. It was my first hosting someone in CS and it turned out to inappropriate approach from that guy.. He insisted to come up to my flat and have sex with him.. Since then I deactivated my account in CS and got disappointed.

  • Thank you for such a topic. It happened to me once in Paris. Eating dinner with my young Hungarian host I suddenly felt his hand brush mine and I thought it couldn’t have happened, surely not. How disappointing. We were enjoying a few drinks. He started flirting with me and said I could share his bed. I felt belittled. It was all very lighthearted but I was afraid he could have got angry. He told me I was his first CouchSurfer and apologised. He said I could sleep in his room and he would take the living room. Definitely not, and then that kind of scenario made me nervous and iI couldn’t sleep. He took me out to breakfast and I stupidly wrote him a reference, He didn’t write me one. It was as if I didn’t exist. He referred to his next surfer as his first couchsurfer. I do know a guy who had a prostitute come stay who asked him for money. That’s what he wrote, but then that mysteriously disappeared. This particular man I has a very charming profile but there is a predator lurking there. You have to be very careful on CS.

  • Hi Agnes,

    This is my first couch surfing experience which unfortunately was very uncomfortable rather than unforgettable. I m definitely not looking for a one night stand as a part of Couchsurfing experience. But my first host had exactly that in mind and I literally had to tell him how incredibly uncomfortable he is making me and that if hooking up is mandatory then I would rather move out now to a nearby hotel.
    That whole night I didn’t sleep fearing my security since I sleep somewhat deeply.
    I learnt my lesson, I may not couch surf again or if I do, I will be upfront in laying these ground rules beforehand so host can reject if he has such inappropriate expectations!!!

  • My CS experiences are really limited,I had surfed two times and hosted three times, but i had really nice experiences with my hosts and as guests,
    Some of them really not cool,only thinks of just getting an accommodation by writing some sweet words.Trying to get your backpacks taken by telling they are really interested in your culture. (thanks to a turkish girl to get me that understanding).Cleaning out your toilet bin looking for Sanitary pad (by two french girls) thank god i found it next days as it was completely empty because as a single man i normally need two weeks to get it filled),And these guys telephoned me for a couch request as no. given by other french girls who stayed with me two days before)

    Any way now i am stopping it for a while but overwhelmingly saying i enjoyed it.

  • I don’t WANT to be raped by a Gay couch-surfer! I’m going to hide in Prison! But, seriously, I’m a middle-aged member who hasn’t hosted yet? Should I use my late parent’s bedroom or the foldout couch in the family room?? Any thoughts? And do you hide your financial statements somewhere the guests can’t See them??

  • Couchsurfing offers amazing sex opportunities for guys and girls. Nothing should be forced. I was a host for more than 3 years and i had amazing sexual experiences and i loved it. Comed with the fun. What is your problem? If you are asexual than why do other girls who enjoy sex have to follow your example. Buy a vibrator and stay home.

  • I realize this is a rather old post but I decided to comment anyway. I am a female CSer and have been doing CS for the past six years together with my girlfriend (nowadays my wife). We have hosted and surfed with a lot more guys than girls for the simple reason that there are much more guys on CS and we never had a bad experience.

    It is different, of course, travelling as a couple but on the other hand some men have a dismissive attitude towards lesbian relationships and tend to imagine their services are needed in form of a threesome or sthing like that. I am very happy to report that we have never had any CS guy suggesting anything that would make us uncomfortable – yes, maybe once or twice a guy made a comment on how he wouldnt mind us kissing in front of him or sthing to that effect but nobody has crossed the line.

    Then again, I have heard of several stories of girls travelling alone being harassed by their CS hosts or guests which is just wrong. Yes, I agree that when two consenting adults click they are of course free to do whatever they want together. However anybody making the pass should be able to read the signals and realize whether their advances are welcomed or not. It would make a very uncomfortable situation for both when the advances are refused so you should really take it easy, try the waters discreetly and if you are not getting a positive response, leave it before it gets awkward.

    It is really a shame if women feel they have to give up on using CS for the fear of being harassed as essentially it is a wonderful way of getting to know the country and the people in a much more personal and interesting way.

  • Really good post, I think it’s definitely a concern for girls wanting to travel cheap. I know it’s a concern for me whilst I’m planning my trip to Europe. I think it’s just important to keep in mind that some people who are hosting may be hoping that you’d be willing to sleep with them as part of the “exchange” of them letting you Couchsurf at their home, and in some extreme circumstances, may even expect it.

    But I see nothing wrong with sleeping with a host if that’s something both people really want to do. As long as there is total consent on both sides. And I don’t think we should judge people for it, because in the end, sometimes people just want to have a couple of flings while they travel.

  • Thank you SO much for this post. I had horrible experiences with perverts from Germany and Turkey trying to take advantage of me on couch surfing. I had to RUN out of the house twice-both were Turkish men. After the sick idealogy of the muslim male in Turkey I will never travel aone to another muslim country. They do not respect women neither did their prophet so they will not respect you no matter what you do-so don’t try and don’t pretend that “some muslim men” NO. Their profit states very clearly that they have a RIGHT to hit and abuse women-even if THEY do NOT use that right they still Believe IN THeiR ReLIGION THAT THey HAVe THe RIGHT.
    I was very distressed by these occurrences and I hope some woman reads my comment and does not couch surf in Turkey or any other nation where the predominant religion is Islam. As far as the German pervert he was a voyeur, a peeping tom and he enjoyed photographing women-he had cameras ALL OVER his apartment and he had MOTION SENSORS-he was like a serial killer. So I left of COURSE I DID NOT STAY!!!! I went to a hotel.
    You are NOT old fashioned.
    Couch surfing began based on the premise of LOVE FOR TRAVELLING not LOVE FOR SEX. Some creepy predators and perverts took advantage of the forum and hijacked it for their perverse sexual needs. Screw them for ruining a GOOD service. BUT NO you are not wrong-this isn’t tinder-CS was supposed to be about people who love the art of travel.

  • I got to know much more how these creeps and predators have taken over Couchsurfing since 2008 esecially. Customer Service of Couchsurfing is handled in India and Turkey for many countries, hence, you see creeps and predators always surviving on Couchsurfing even after committing rapes and other crimes and the genuine ones gets kicked out.
    Read the psyche of Indians also, Tatiana and other ladies, here:
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1023053

  • I just got the app and was very suprised as this was the first mention of this I’ve seen so far.
    I would be interested to hear more about this from you. I personally find it exemely inappropriate that such a thing is even offered/expected let alone done..
    I’m stupified.

  • This article is very-very actual! I never host guys (since I live alone), and I have acquired the best of my friends all over the world via CouchSurfing, however, although NOW my profile says “wants to meet up” for the purpose of cultural exchange only, still, 2 out of 4 guys I have ever met, jumped at me with kisses, 1 was hinting that his apartment is nearby while walking around the city, 1 wrote me after saying bye-bye, in the evening, saying he wants to spend night at my place. All of the guys had positive references.
    I am seriously thinking of closing my CouchSurfing account! It stopped serving what it was initially created to serve for!

  • I think these comments are misplaced by sullying the name of CS. There are risks to interact with people in general. CS is as safe a venue as this sort of interaction gets short of paying for a bed and breakfast and paid host. There are hostel horror stories as well. In my opinion someone having an adventurous lifestyle needs to travel responsibly and not view VS as a cheap night, but rather as the cultural exchange and interesting conversation & company for which it is intended. If someone i unable to care for themselves, they have no business tarnishing the image of a wonderful resource, and I disagree with Agnes’ click-attracting blog and feel it does a disservice to the community of travelers.

    This may not be apparent to many people who haven’t thought carefully about what they read, but by labeling things like this, it actually attracts the attention of bad actors and fear-mongers off peoples’ insecurities. Let me compare it to hitchhiking. This was a perfectly acceptable and Kerouac or free-spirited thing that fizzeled out after the 1990s. Now hitchhiking is basically relegated to history and frightens everyone. No one can put a finger on what drove this environmental, cultural, and economic wonderful experience into the ground, but the fact is the media hype and fearm-ongering played a key role. Now if you want to have a cheap trip you have to go on a disgusting Greyhound and we’ve lost trust in our gellow humans.

    What does this have to do with Agnes’ post? Well, clearly she expects more form a matching system than her good judgement, and would rather type safely behind a keyboard and stir up the pot for clicks. That may be fun for her but it is precisely this sort of activity that did hitchhiking in. Not all people are equipped to deal with risks and protect their own safety. They should stay home or not get so close to their fellow humans. Couch surfing certainly did not invent the fact that people can be attracted to each other! It would be nice to focus on a balanced approach. There is nothing wrong with being respectful and clear you are not looking for hookups. The real problem is that many actually are comfortable with hookups (which I am not), and they certainly are usually respectful humans and deserve respect. Out of millions of successful matches the rate of abuse seems so far below that of date rape or even much milder forms of abuse that pointing to 5 cases out of 1 million is simply unfair. One in 7,000 people with drivers licenses die from auto accidents annually, which with a little fear-mongering would get driving banned and scare people out of their wits to do. To be positive, you need to drive defensively and you increase your safety incredibly. Same here, being fair and balances and not with inflammatory or click hungry jabs on the internet.

    • Al-I bet you are a male. There have been numerous RAPES innumerable in fact on couchsurfing and this is a balanced and appropriate warning to women who travel on a budget because this is a misogynistic world. we still have countries where women cannot report a crime and have it taken seriously-even in Turkey. So I think your comment is ignorant and insulting.
      And as a woman who had to raise a knife to a “host” in Turkey in order to prevent myself from getting raped I can Take Good care of myself. I got away. I would not let him rape me. I had to run out of the house and down a mountain road to get help. In Venice multiple women have been raped by a couchsurfer. But really, should I have had to learn the hard way that there were perverts on Couchsurfing-NO. Don’t answer I do not CARE what you think-my question was rhetorical. And if you are a woman I feel sorry for you that you are so ignorant about our world.

  • Hi Agness,

    I’m a wee bit disappointed to read this (but not totally surprised).

    I use Couchsurfing a lot, and have met so many amazing people this way.

    I tend to avoid single guys/girls though – I’ve been staying with various Couchsurfing hosts as I walked down the Meditteranean coast of Spain:

    http://www.kiltedwalker.com

    I usually find it quite easy, when reading references from former guests, to work out who is using Couchsurfing for what, and who I will have some sort of affinity with.

    When my trip sadly ended in tears, it was a previous Spanish host (and her complete stranger [then] of a friend, who came to my rescue).

    I’m intending to do the same in the US next.

    Yes, there are always people who will take advantage of any system. But it is not too hard to unearth some complete gems.

    Iain

  • Good evening,

    The must crucial thing to travel safe are the references! If you find somebody with ten positive references you can be sure it’s going to be a decent person.

    I remember a polish girl I hosted saying her previous host was constantly trying to hook up with her. She showed me his profile and no surprise he had 3 out 5 negative references. Later I asked her why did she stay at his place . She answered:

    ” I didn’t even read his profile :) ”

    Choose wisely your host. Besides the cs profile ask him his Facebook, number, try to give a call before so you can have a better judgement.

    To finish I thing if you want to travel safely and in there are two type o f host you can avoid right away:

    The dangerous one. An old creep living in the suburbs, with no references, (sometimes no pictures), who is already sending a request to host you not even waiting. It seems very obvious but besides the example I mentioned above a lot of bad stories I was reading on the internet happened with this stereotype. Seriously why would you put yourself in this position?

    The young guy with great travelling pictures with amazing references just from women, mostly attractive. Although he is not dangerous as the previous one you can be sure he is using the app to hook up.

    Be safe :)

  • Hey, this is a very great post! I’ve been wondering this kinda problem after traveling in the Philippines. So, I am a newbie solo backpacker. It was my first time stepping my feet on another country land. My first experience of Couchsurfing was in Manila. My host was an Indian guy who has lived in the city for like 2 years. He seemed so nice. I read his profile and we already talked on WhatsApp before I had arrived in the city. In the beginning, he was nice. He talked a lot. We actually talked a lot. But suddenly he said he can read someone’s personality from palm. He grabbed my right hand and opened my palm. He started to read and was telling all the personality thingy. After that, he said he could read from my soles. I said, “really? Oh okay!” He grabbed my foot and touched my sole. He ‘read’ me again. But then, he started to touch my legs. And then thighs. I was like, “hey I think this is wrong.” I didn’t yell and get angry. Because it was my first experience with Couchsurfing. I was thinking, if he had kept doing it, I would just leave his flat and find a hostel around. But he stopped and I preferred to sleep on his couch. But not every guy host seeks for sex. I had a very warm, kind, and friendly host in Cebu City. Thank you for writing this post. Love your blog :)

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