CouchSurfers Beware: The Internet Creeps Your Mother Always Warned You About

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Surfing For Sex

The popularity of CouchSurfing as a tool for finding sex first came to my attention earlier this year when I placed an open request for a place to stay in Sao Paulo. I was approaching the end of my travels in South America and I thought spending the last few days with a local would be a nice way to end my trip.

Underestimating the hospitality of Brazilians, I placed the request a good two weeks before I was due to arrive in Sao Paulo. I quickly received over twenty replies from locals. Many lived with their parents but they were still kind enough to offer me a mattress or couch to sleep on.

I told another backpacker at the hostel about my plans and his response was, “It’s easy for you, being a girl. You could pick any guy you like and easily have sex with him if you wanted to.”

He told me that he too had been looking for a host to stay with but from the sounds of it, he had been much more selective about it than I had been – he’d been going through all of the female profiles for the area and sending requests to the ones he deemed attractive.

 

Where Things Start To Get Creepy

CouchSurfing’s official line is that the website is to be used for those seeking friendship only and contacting members for dating is considered harassment. However, this hasn’t stopped people from actively seeking out sex from other CouchSurfers.

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Scouring CouchSurfing for sex is publicly endorsed by the much maligned Roosh V and his forum provides likeminded men with a space to exchange tips on how to pick up CouchSurfers.  If this isn’t disturbing enough, I found one thread entitled “Bangs from CouchSurfing” where members discuss the overall attractiveness of female CouchSurfers and even post up individual profiles to be rated by other forum users.

Some excerpts from the website:

“Listen, the times I went out with a single girl on CS, it worked out fine, often ended up making out. But I have also wasted nights out with girls who were taken and thought it was going to be innocent fun.”

“It’s an easy way of getting women over, they are most of the time very easy to bang – but ugly as hell.”

And from Roosh himself:

“CouchSurfing has the ugliest girls of any country.”

 

A More Traditional Type of Cultural Exchange

While there is nothing wrong with having sex with another CouchSurfer (if you click), there is something fundamentally wrong with treating the site solely as an outlet for sex.

It can be argued that many people stay at hostels with the same intention but hostels are neutral spaces with staff you can go to for help and you can easily leave if you feel uncomfortable. The same cannot be said if you are sleeping on a stranger’s couch.

Most CouchSurfers are looking to experience and learn about different cultures and it would be a shame if people were turned off after having negative experience with members only interested in sex.

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As with any website, people need to exercise caution when meeting people through CouchSurfing. Where possible, it is always a good idea to meet up in a public place before agreeing to stay at someone’s place or have someone stay at your own place.

I didn’t end up staying with a host in Brazil as I arrived in Sao Paulo later than planned but I am positive that most of the locals offering me a place to stay were genuine and did not hold any ulterior motives. Most travellers I’ve spoken to have had overwhelming positive experiences with CouchSurfing and it is still something I would like to experience one day.

If the circumstances were right, having sex with someone from CouchSurfing is something I would be open to. But hanging out with a creep who has carefully screened my profile and thinks I owe him? Definitely not.

Anneliese is a travel blogger from Australia. You can read about her travels on her blog All Signs Point To Yes.

About the Author

Anneliese is a blogger from Australia who writes about her travels on her website All Signs Point To Yes. You can read more about her sexcapades herehere and here.

51 COMMENTS

  1. This is an interesting post as I have experienced/seen more of this lately. I just couchsurfed in Kos Greece, and as usual, I asked my host how many couch requests and messages she gets a week. 20 – not surprising. How many does she accept – I am the 2nd. Most of the men are Turkish or Italian and the intent she explained in the messages screamed creepy. I havent had any problems finding hosts (except in Italy and Turkey).

    I am not one to chide people for having sex on CS, as I would be a hypocrite, but it should be a natural occurrence. In other words, the word “beautiful” or any derivative of it should not appear in a message or request – otherwise – hit delete. I cant tell you how many women CSers I have spoken with where this is the case. This is unfortunate, because CS should be a place people should feel open and not being lurched/preyed on.

    However, on the point on RooshV and the girls being less attractive. I have met some cuties, but I would say the stats are on his side on this one. It is meant as a cultural exchange, as such, it shouldnt be surprising that you arent seeing bombshells on there. Ergo, I dont know why people are using it to try to score. But it is also a two way street, as I know girls in Eastern Europe who use it to meet cool dudes. Just my two cents.

    Oh and one last note on CS- In my opinion, although it is getting more technically easy to use, I would say the quality of people is going down. Whenever anything goes mainstream and the majority enters (just normal travelers vs early adopters), the kind of people you encounter are not as open, fun, cool, interesting. There seems to be more people just trying to score free places and are pretty boring people in general. I have seen this from people I hosted in Ukraine and a friend of mine who was an ambassador has also seen arise in this as well. But such is the world [cracks open beer].

    -T

  2. I think CouchSurfing is a great concept but as a solo male traveller I’ve recently had trouble finding places to stay. This despite a good profile with references. My female friends, by contrast, find they are bombarded with offers. I can only conclude that large numbers of men on the site are only there for one reason.

    I have no objection to people hooking up serendipitously but if people are only hosting or surfing in an attempt to get laid, that is both creepy and against the spirit of the site.

  3. I’ve been surprised (I don’t know why) by how many times I’ve seen a man’s profile where they list “females only” under who they’re willing to host. I’ve been even more surprised by how many references they have. If I were a woman, I wouldn’t be trying to couchsurf with a man who only wanted female surfers. To me that automatically says what he’s probably looking for. If they’re hot and have a fun profile, fine, let’s meet for coffee, and if we click then we can talk, but it is supposed to be a cultural exchange first and foremost. If another type of exchange occurs as a secondary result, well, bon!

    I travel with my son so that probably helps me in these situations. That and the fact I’m not a hot girl (or hot guy for that matter), but we did stay with a gay couple once. One of them was so coquettish toward me that my usually oblivious child even picked up on it. It was uncomfortable enough that I wouldn’t take a shower in the home. Great motivation to find another place to live. During our 2nd night there, he informed he was in love with me. We left the next morning. I felt so bad for his partner of 25 years. He knew something was up but had no idea what exactly the problem was and kept apologizing “for whatever we’ve done.”

    While I don’t think they host people for the purpose of hooking up, it was definitely inappropriate and really made the experience a bit unsavory. It’s a whole different feeling when you feel somewhat trapped in the situation.

    Thankfully, the vast majority of our experiences as surfers and hosts have been wonderfully positive. I’m often surprised at the number of surfing requests we get, but then I see stuff like this and am less surprised. Perhaps the idea of staying with a dad who has a child feels a lot safer for people.

  4. It just depends on your “screening” abilities. As with anything online, one must be careful. I am happy to announce that, except in one instance, have had nothing but great experiences on Couchsurfing (that means NO CREEPS).

    The one time it went wrong? I ignored the initial red flags + it was one of my initial experiences. After that one, lesson learned.

    “I have no objection to people hooking up serendipitously, but if people are only hosting or surfing in an attempt to get laid, that is both creepy and against the spirit of the site.”

    ^^ Touché.

    I like to think of CS as eBay. Please, REALLY make use of that “feedback system” and only stay with those that have 100% positive feedback from all types of travelers (male, female AND couples). Also, make sure you stay with someone who has something in common with you. Otherwise, it’ll be awkward.

    We live in an imperfect world – good and bad things. Get used to it.

    Use your judgement accordingly.

    – Maria Alexandra

  5. I live with my boyfriend in DC and we have hosted a bunch of people over the last 2 years. Since it’s the two of us we’ve felt comfortable hosting men, women, couples etc, and we’ve never had a bad experience but if I lived alone I would most likely stay away from hosting men. Better to be safe than sorry.

  6. I’m a member of the Queer CS group, and this topic comes up over and over again. Among queer members, there are an alarming number of profiles that are either overtly sexual, or just downright creepy (hello, fleshjacks guy….*shudder*)

    Do I think CouchSurfing should be used to find sex? No. There are plenty of other tools for that. Just go to a bar or use a dating website. Is it OK if two CouchSurfers find each other attractive and have sex? Yes.

    I’ve used CS before in several countries. I met a guy in Turkey and we ended up fooling around, ditto a guy I stayed with in Sydney. I stayed with four separate hosts in Poland and Lithuania this year, but nothing like that happened at all – they were aware that I have a partner now and respected that. There was no mutual attraction anyway.

    Also, Roosh V is an absolute tool.

    • I am not the real Roosh. however hes not a tool. He makes money like everyone else. Men are men that want like sex. However, its not like these guys are raping girls. All they mentioned is once in a while hook ups happen. That is life. They do not do anything bad to make it happen, nor are they family reckers.

  7. Ahh I know this story. Couchsurfing can be fun and good. I stayed with a lady and she specifically put on her profile that she’s not looking for sex or a boyfriend and that she has a daughter. However this doesn’t stop some people because apparently she let one male sleep in her place but he wanted to have sex with her so she threw him out! It’s amazing how some people can’t read.

  8. Here’s a news flash: men and women have sex. Who are you to be a judge in determing how people should meet? Last time I checked, CS women are voluntarily having sex with their hosts and aren’t complaining about it. Free room, board, food, and sex…. sounds like a good deal to me. Only a prude would complain about that. Maybe you should go move to Saudi Arabia where inter-gender relations are more constricted and normal human behavior is punished for some crackpot extremist ideal. But of course you wouldn’t move to a Muslim country, because we know that you like sex too. Being from Australia and all, I can only imagine how much of that you’ve had with your CS experiences.

    • hi roosh,

      you are absolutely right. what nonsense to judge this kind of things. I bet she has no children and no lover. what an asshole.

    • Like I said, there is nothing wrong if sex happens to come out of CouchSurfing but it is pretty clear from your forum that many men are specifically on CouchSurfing looking for sex. I read plenty of comments from men complaining about “wasting” their time on girls who weren’t receptive to their advances.

      • So what? Why does this bother you? Don’t reply to messages from guys that are just trying to get laid. Takes a lot less time than writing a stupid rant that makes you seem socially awkward.

        • Well the vast majority aren’t going to be upfront about wanting sex. I think you’re the one that is socially awkward – why can’t you hook up at parties or through your social circle? That’s what normal people do.

          • Yeah but that cuts both ways, the women who are on CS looking for sex, or who have sex are not writing that on their profile now are they, but they are still doing it. So your article is quiet sexist and bias and wreaks of misandry, it is portraying it as a bunch of horny men preying on these defenseless women when nothing could be further from the truth. It takes 2 to tango, so how do men get labelled as creeps but the women who do the same sex aren’t.

            Your comment about parties and social circle is laughable. You do not realize that in your social circle there is someone going out there and meeting strangers, if there wasn’t then your social circle would have no one in it. And how is meeting someone on couch surfer any less of a social circle than meeting them in some class or any other social activity. IMO couchsurfer is safer than a party or a class because you have the option to screen someone before you meet them. In real life its the opposite, you can only screen someone after you meet them.

            Anyways, it goes back to Roosh’s original point, you are just judging HOW people choose to meet which is quiet retarded. So if you meet the love of your life on couch surfer avoid them because they are a rapist in waiting creep. But if you meet them through your social circle ie. they message your friend on coucher surfer and stay with your friend then its cool to hookup with them. You have the worst logic.

            I can see why Roosh never responded to this, you are just spinning the Hamster wheel.

      • Aneeliese, stop chasing your tail as you spin yourself in circles. Only a fatty like you would have a problem with what legal acts others do behind closed doors.

  9. > But hanging out with a creep who has carefully screened my profile and thinks I owe him?

    Ah, i was waiting for this. Whenever posts like these are thrown up, unfounded accusations like the ones above usually surface.

    Why do you think he thinks you “owe” him? Let us look at the situation for what it is. The guy wants an attractive girl he *may* get a chance to sleep with. This is a distinct possibility and might me amenable for both parties.

    But what do you turn that into? You claim that he thinks you “owe” him (sex).

    Even apart from that, this is one of those whiny, pointless articles written by a certain kind of western woman. What is it’s purpose? To tell women that some men, gasp! might want to have sex with them?

    There is always something that bothers me about the type of thought exhibited in some article like this which is that if the author does not like a practice, it should stop despite the fact that other people are perfectly fine with it.

    I mean, people do have sex from coachsurfing right? So if you are one of those who does not, just turn the guy down.

    • Mister, thumbs up.

      This Western woman archetype wants everything on her terms. She thinks the man is hot? He should be receptive to sex. She thinks he’s a loser? Sex better not cross his mind… He better not even try! Men she considers lame must be completely asexual, neutered entities.

      Like you said, she had to contort the reality to make her case. These men have women over, casually try to determine if she wants sex from him, and if not, he leaves it at that. The last thing these men want is negative feedback, lest it poison the pussy pipeline. So they try to operate smoothly. If a man were to seriously make a girl uncomfortable, she would leave negative feedback.

      Is there still some risk? Sure, but as a girl, you also get way more freebies.

      • The ultimate irony is that these conservative views and rules are being published on a blog whose title is Travel Sex Life. For a second I thought I was reading the Christian Science Monitor. Too bad, this blog had some potential.

    • If you were sleeping over at a woman’s house and she started making advances on you and you had no interest in her, wouldn’t it make you feel uncomfortable? You would have to pack your bags and leave – or worse ask her to leave if you were the host. I don’t think it is as simple as turning someone down.

      Hitting on someone at a bar is fine – if you aren’t interested, you can easily get up and walk away but making advances on a couchsurfer who isn’t giving off any signs of being interested is pretty inappropriate in my eyes.

      • “If you were sleeping over at a woman’s house and she started making advances on you and you had no interest in her, wouldn’t it make you feel uncomfortable?” Serious full hamsterbation overload. You should try hitting on all your male couchsurfers Anneliese, see how many turn down that tight azz. Do you realize how ugly a woman would have to be for that to even happen? Unbelievable tool, western women are so incredibly stupid and lame.

        • Exactly, one would think Anneliese would be liberal and not the morality gustapo because she is travelled and writing for a travel SEX website. A girl would have to be horrendously ugly to be rejected by a guy, and if she was that ugly then he’d probably not stay with her in the first place. But the fact of the matter is Anneliese is grossly exaggerating how bad it is to be hit on by someone your not attracted to. Have girls hit on me who I did not desire to fuck, yea sure, but it wasn’t the end of the world, and after a short time the average man/woman will stop trying to make advances.

          • I don’t generally mind being hit on by guys I’m not interested. In a place like a bar, it can be enjoyable or amusing up to a point. But if I was staying with him or he was staying with me, it would be highly uncomfortable and I’m sure most girls and guys in the same situation would agree.

  10. I find it hilarious how the most normal of male behavior is increasingly described as “creepy.” Normal men have always enjoyed the company of women, the more attractive the better. In the context of Couchsurfing, if you give a man he choice of potentially staying with a woman they find attractive, and one they don’t, guess which one he’s going to choose? And when he’s in her presence, he may either aggressively or passively gauge his opportunity for sex. THIS IS NORMAL. His host may in fact welcome this, or feel uncomfortable and ask him to leave. SO WHAT. Men and women can meet in any and all venues and circumstances – and those venues don’t need to be designed for the purposes of men and women ending up having sex. Couchsurfing was designed for traveling strangers to meet and spend time together. What happens after that is up to the individuals themselves. Women can’t really be so naive as to believe that men aren’t always looking to meet and have sex with women they find attractive. If women on CS are so worried about getting hit on, specify women and/or couples only. Just don’t complain about men being creeps.

  11. Well, people fuck.

    Problem with considering creepy ‘people who use CS only for sex’ is that its impossible to screen which people are using CS solely for the couch, people who want the couch but wouldn’t mind a roll in the hay and people for whom the couch is an afterthought.

    I don’t think a checkbox in people’s CS profile saying ‘Open to fucking’ would work very well. That dynamic works on a more subtle level, for both sexes.

    Besides the fact that the author says she is open to having a sexual encounter in a CS situation is a bit hypocritical.

    What she actually has a problem with is men who she considers unattractive to make advances on her, while she would very much enjoy the attention of other men who she fancies more.

    Well, I get looks and lewd comments from undesirable chicks too, its a dirty world. Being in a hostel is no guarantee of safety from that creepiness either.

  12. This whole article is just one giant strawman. It’s essentially burning an effigy of Roosh upon which the author has projected the myriad of sexual insecurities she possesses.

    This idea that there are predatory males on CS who ensnare hapless women in traps to extract sex from them is also probably a projection of one of her warped rape fantasies. At the end of the day, if a woman falls for a man’s charms, whether manufactured or not, then it’s not really your business to slander men as “creeps” for fulfilling a biological imperative.

    This is like me calling a girl a “creep” for wearing make up or some article of clothing that might hide some waistline chub. Get off your high horse.

  13. It’s funny, of all the women I’ve hosted I’ve never had sex with any of them or suggested we have sex. I shared beds with female couchsurfers as well when on the road – still nothing happened. Maybe it;s a question of me not being that attracted to the girl I’m hosting or surfing with? I would imagine some men would jump on anything that moves as they are so desperate.

    A pretty girl will certainly have no problem finding a couch – I’ve heard of some girls having bad experiences, one girl I met who was supposed to surf my couch was actually quite paranoid about staying with a man again – she ended up not staying. If there’s a mutual attraction and consent, I don’t much wrong with CS members having sex. Maybe some girls are looking for HOT guys. Many women don’t even bother to reply to all the requests or offers they get. When I hear woman say “That’s why I don’t stay with men” – It kinda makes me cringe.

    Although I may base my selection on common interests more than looks, I still prefer to host women – I like their company and showing them around. When I’m on the road I find it’s sometimes easier just to stay with a man. Besides in some countries if the local girl has a string of males staying at her apt. every week, she may be seen as a “bad girl” – lol Hence why some women only host women.

  14. I think you are a little naive to human nature.
    I constantly get ‘creepy’ chicks wanting to surf with me. Most of them are interested in one thing…. and some are pretty blatant about it! When women look for sex online, nobody says a word. But when a guy does it, it’s ‘creepy’. WTF? Female hypocrisy, I say. You’ve never looked at a cute guy’s CS profile and thought about having sex him? Of course not. But when the likes of Roosh and others talk about it openly, you shame them publicly. Not cool.

    PS – If I were you, I’d rather hook up with the ‘creep’ who ‘screened’ me. At least that shows he’s a selective gent. 🙂

    • O mark u are just being bias because you have a penis, like all the world’s problems are due to penises. Here is a travel sex blog about how to travel and have sex with foreign men, but you are the creep for wanting to have sex with these women who are travelling looking for sex with foreign men outside Australia, why don’t you just meet women through your social circle, even if you don’t have one anymore because your boss is 62 and your not in university any more.

    • Sure there are women out there who behave in the same way – and if it is to the point that they are making guys uncomfortable, then yes, I would also label them creepy.

  15. No they would not agree, when I look at all those girls slobbering over justin biebler, even grown ass women twice his age, Am I suppose to believe that if they had him alone in a corner in their house from couchsurfer they wouldn’t being all over. HAH HA HAHA. You are only claiming it would be uncomfortable in situations where you were not attracted to him, but I doubt you turn down a “hot guy” hitting on you in your couchsurfing adventures unless your either lesbian or a liar. And if you are neither gay nor lying, you are certain in the minority of women who reject men they are attracted to.

  16. “Anneliese says:
    December 4, 2012 at 4:09 am
    Sure there are women out there who behave in the same way – and if it is to the point that they are making guys uncomfortable, then yes, I would also label them creepy.”

    Problem is that is not what the article is about, the article is about internet creepy bad men. Not internet creepy bad women and bad men

  17. hi, my experience has been different. i have been couchsurfing for over 3 years. yes, i am a girl and a pretty one 😉 by guys’ standards! i always get good couches, friendly people and nice food plus fun visits. Yes, of course sex included, it is a way of me paying for the free stay/food/travel. i have had great experiences and adventurous ones too…but most of the time it is gentle and nice. Yes, i too often screen profiles, because i am a girl and i ought to be safe;-)

    • So, you’re a responsible legal adult? According to Anneliese, women aren’t supposed to be responsible for their actions nor do they have common sense. You have sex and do it on your own accord? In a non-criminal manner?

      Hmmmm.

  18. I have mixed feelings about Couchsurfing. I am a guy, so you’d think that I don’t have to worry about creepers, but I think that it works both ways. I have met some really great people through couchsurfing, but you always have to be careful.
    I have also heard some stories about some weird events taking place once inside the house. So, every time I take a trip I am still hesitant to use the service, although it has great potential.

  19. People have sex, get over it. I have slept with a lot of women on couchsurfing. A lot of women are enjoying the free lunch and now the buffet is closing and your upset.

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  22. I had sex with a Couchsurfing host once – some guy from Ecuador who organized plantain exports, haha. He was hot, but it was the worst I ever had – a few years later I found out via Facebook he was gay. Not surprised!

  23. A touch creepy, but if the host and the surfer consent to it, I don’t see a problem with it. On the other hand, it does sully the reputation of the site…!

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