Couchsurfing Love Story

July 15, 2012

Project 365 - Day 103 - 17/10/08

I recently had the chance to host a beautiful young lady as she was passing through Austin for the first time. As is often the case between Couchsurfer and Couchhost, we exchanged travel tales, and horror stories of Couchsurfing. Since she was a lovely woman, I asked her if she had ever had a problem with male CSing host trying be to anything less than a gentleman during her stay. Of course, she had… with a few.

The main question I want to pose to readers today is: why do men try to pick up women they’re hosting or surfing with? Let’s overlook the most compelling reason, which is some people are just immature and sleazy. Why Couchsurfers in particular? Some women feel it necessary to state on their profiles that “This is Couchsurfing, not Coochsurfing”, but is it really what it’s all about? Men hoping to find lonely women to share nothing but sex, albeit between travelers?

Maybe I’m just naive about just how shallow members of my sex can be, but among Couchsurfers, such a unique shared interest group, I think they’re honestly hoping to find someone special.

Let me tell you a little story about my Couchsurfing friend Michelle. She was going to school in San Antonio, Texas. She had a roommate also on Couchsurfing, and together they hosted their usual share of cool people and weirdos. Michelle told me that before I arrived, they had both hosted a Turkish man for nearly six months before he finally returned home. Six months. At the end of which, he and Michelle became a couple. It just happened. And it turns out, he’s a prince of sorts with his own island. They just got married yesterday, in Istanbul.

I’ll admit, Couchsurfing should not be about random hookups, as it dirties the principle of the site. Nor should single men only surf with women or host them expecting something to happen. But things do happen, and not just one night stands. As you spend time with someone new and exciting, you find you have a lot in common (your love of travel, for one), and you might be tempted to try something… but, no… it’s Couchsurfing, and it’s not about that. Imagine how awkward it would be for a woman to be given an advance by a man she had come to trust as a host: now she’s trapped, possibly in the middle of the night, with a creep?

I think the main reason a lot of these unfavorable encounters go unreported on the site is simply because they’re impermanent. Everyone is just passing through, and you know exactly when they’ll leave; many just suck it up and move on. Some do write negative references and try to get the person banned.

But what if it’s a mutual feeling? What if you’re like Michelle and her surfer, trapped by the principles of CSing yet wanting to act on your feelings?

Well, I don’t have too much experience in this area. All I can say is: leave it for another time. Couchsurf and be done with it. Afterwards, when you’re finished with your official hosting or surfing duties and want to contact this special someone, be clear in your intentions, and try to explain why you’re contacting him now, as opposed to doing something while he was staying in your home.

Back in 2010, when I was on the road a lot, I stumbled across a single female Couchsurfer who liked Stephen Colbert, was into theoretical science, and seemed to be a runner (turned out to be mistaken). It was too late for us to meet, but I sent her a message letting her know I’d be passing through in another few months, and would she be available to host? She would, and we ended up exchanging CSing messages a few times a week until we finally met later that year.

She only had a single apartment and a blowup mattress, but we ended up exploring the ins and outs of Pennsylvania and I had an amazing time: Amish country, frozen custard, the Hershey Park… when it was finally time for me to catch a bus back to Philadelphia, I kissed her. She responded. We didn’t say anything, but ended up exchanging more messages that week and arranging another meeting, sans-Couchsurfing. Things didn’t work out, but it was a fun and memorable experience. All because I searched for nearby hosts in the middle of the night in the backwoods of Pennsylvania.

Does this happen all the time? Of course not. I’ve hosted attractive single women and haven’t been the least bit interested in some of them. I only search for female hosts when I’m in the mood for a cleaner place to sleep (sorry guys, but you know you’re messy). But am I secretly hoping that one day someone special will put in a request to stay on my couch, and I have the chance to get to know her, and she me, so that we both might find ourselves feeling the same? Maybe…

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4 Responses to Couchsurfing Love Story

  1. Edna on July 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I once surfed with a couple in Dublin who had met on CS. The girl had been traveling through, messaged the guy to meet up for coffee because he looked nice, and they really hit it off. By the time I surfed with them they were living together and had been a couple for nearly two years. I don’t think they worked out in the end, but still, a four-year relationship out of a CS message is impressive.

  2. Jessica Hill on July 15, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Couchsurfing is one of the greatest ideas I’ve heard of. I think any time you put two people with similar interests in the same room overnight, feelings are bound to develop. But I agree with you in that it would be best, if feelings develop, to wait until Couchsurfing is out of the picture. Thanks for your honest post!

  3. Nara on July 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    I hosted many many people from CS and many of them were just guests, but also had 3 gorgeous guys from foreign lands that I totally fancy and they fancy me. So why not? It was like an adventure, great memories, haha! :) Of course CS is not about hookin up, but if two grown people want it to happen, why not? c’mon, we’re not nuns.
    So people should stop pretending it’s something that doesn’t happen or it’s a bad thing, because is other people’s private life and it should be IT.

  4. Romita Dey on August 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I just had a TERRIBLE experience with a couch surfer who hosted me and my friend in New Delhi for 5 days. Now, from day one I

    felt that something was wrong and I advanced my date of departure by 24 hours just because the moment i went inside the

    house, I knew something was going to happen. Ok so everything was fine for 2-3 days, on the 4th day the host and my friend

    were drinking and I joined them for some talks….(I did not drink), …it was nothing offensive….but that was the first

    time I really talked to the host….I was always aloof and formal…I did not feel like even smiling at him although he gave

    us a separate room and everything…

    So now the real story starts…..I left that place on 6th Aug and my friend came to the station to see me off….the host had

    left in the morning and I did not see him on that day…..I sent him an sms thanking him for everything…

    After 3-4 hours I got an sms from the guy stating that I had STOLEN some jewelry from his house and that he had proof !!!!!!

    I was SO SHOCKED that I actually thought he was JOKING!! I sms-ed him back saying I didnt steal anything and that he should

    stop accusing me. He replied back saying I was playing games with him!!! He also said he has had such experiences before??

    What does that mean??? Couchsurfers have stolen stuff from his house before?? If yes then WHY did he host us???

    The real SHOCKER was the next call I got from my friend ! SHE was supporting him ! I asked her whaT PROOF they had and she

    said nothing….she just told me to return the jewelry. I sent an sms asking the guy to send police to my house if he wants

    to because I have nothing to hide. I M NOT A THIEF !!

    As soon as I reached home I saw that there was a missed call from my friend ! I called her back and this time she accused me

    of stealing her money!! I reminded her that she had stayed with me for like 3 days and she had lost NOTHING ! She told me “I

    cant hear you” and hung up….I sent her a detailed message saying that she stayed at my house so freaking peacefully and

    suddenly I turned into a thief as soon as I went to Delhi???

    I am goin to file an FIR with the police

    I have reported the host to the CS system as well though I dont know whether they will take any action….

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