I’m not here to knock couchsurfing sex. We’re a generation of thrifty, open-minded nomads with sexual appetites and a thirst for connection. It’s no surprise that likeminded travelers who find themselves temporarily cohabitating often end up falling in vacation-love and getting it on. But what I am here to do is clear up a bit of the glamour surrounding the concept of gorgeous foreigners showing up at your doorstep. As a long-standing member of the couchsurfing community, I can assure you that it’s not always fun and games. And it’s definitely not always sexual.
1. Couchsurfing is not easier than picking someone up at a bar.
Picking someone up at the bar requires approximately three hours of lame, dry martini-fueled discourse. Picking someone up at the airport, preparing your home for their arrival, making them feel comfortable and safe and taking them on numerous adventurous outings is actually quite a bit more work. Hosting couchsurfers can be an excellent experience but it can also be costly, time-consuming, risky, and detrimental to your work schedule. This is not more convenient than a one-night stand. It’s usually more like a series of one-night stands where you’re making them breakfast but not necessarily getting laid.
2. Nobody looks exotically beautiful after three days of sleeping on a couch.
This is not a first date. This person is living with you for a specified period of time. For the majority of this time, they will be un-showered and picking clothes out of a suitcase. You are more likely to see them barfing after a few too many glasses of wine than you are to see them seductively rubbing up against your body. Living with someone — even for a short time – shatters any glamorous illusions you have of him or her quickly. It’s like fast-forwarding to the stage of a relationship where you wear sweats and fart around each other. Trust me, it’s not always pretty.
3. Surfers can tell when you are just trying to hook up with them.
THE JIG IS UP. Travelers are aware that some people use couchsurfing as a glorified dating site. It becomes apparent approximately three seconds after a host starts boozing you up and slides in next to you on the couch holding a movie about promiscuous young party animals. This is a great way to make the couchsurfer leave.
If the plan is getting to know your couchsurfer, forming a relationship with them, experiencing mutual attraction and then sleeping with them, great. But you’d better make damn sure it’s a consensual feeling. Not to mention this plan sounds like the same kind of work you’d put into forming a relationship. This really isn’t a revolutionary new trick.
4. Women traveling in pairs usually aren’t looking for a threesome.
Inviting two foreign women over to your bachelor pad in hopes of bedding them both is in no way a clever ploy. Women often couchsurf in pairs because they specifically want to avoid being sexually propositioned. It is a safety net that will more likely block your advances than fall prey to them.
5. This situation can get awkward — fast.
So you have a mutual attraction to each other. You flirt. You get to know each other. You finally fool around. It is perfect, consequence-free bliss… Maybe.
Except unlike the aftermath of a bad first date, you cannot just blow off your couchsurfer. If you fool around with them on day one and discover that they drive you bat-shit crazy by day three, things are going to get awkward. This turns into an exercise in extreme avoidance or an exercise in uncomfortable sympathy sex. Either way, be prepared for the possible fallout.
6. Bad vibes = bad review.
And you can’t take those reviews off of your page. The second someone feels uncomfortable in your home they’re going to leave. And they’re going to leave their opinion of your advances for all future guests (and hosts) to see.