How does couchers support hosts? Avoiding leeches, lechers, and losers

I couldn’t find any substantial article describing what hosts are experiencing. I came across many, many articles on how to get a host through manipulation and targeting. One writer divided hosts into four crass categories: trial, lonely, diplomatic, and global. Trial is a newbie host, lonely speaks for itself, global are the chatty ones, diplomatic wants a surfer to have a good impression of their country. Is there anything about this that has any appeal to someone who’s interested in meeting sincere people? No, it’s a complete turnoff. The worst are the articles that sigh, 'You might have to actually spend time with your hosts, and talk to them."

There would be no couch surfing without hosts. Hosts are what makes it possible for couch surfing dot com to attract subscribers. Their whole marketing is about offering other peoples’ homes! Hosts are the geese with the golden eggs - “free” space. No costs! I gave up couch surfing when I was expected to pay a fee to host! Nah dawg.

How can make hosting attractive? There aren’t ever enough hosts. I liked hosting when people exchanged time and energy. But most found me an inconvenience. Does hosting seem like fun then? No.

I believe the best way to be a happy host is with VERY strong boundaries. Boundaries that impress the difference between a couch and a hotel. That surfing means you are a guest in and not a consumer of, someone’s home and time. Boundaries lessen the consumerist attitude and encourage self-sufficiency. If you’re going to attack capitalism then you have to attack consumerism which I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere. It’s all about finding a host and at some point, it’s more about finding a host to a parasitic mindset.

So I have LOTS of rules. No keys. No hookups. No demands that I change my lifestyle because my guest is a vegan or vegetarian. It’s all on my profile.

Maybe some people don’t have all the things they need to stay at my home. That’s going to be too bad.

The one thing I believe will help with safety is having video meetings beforehand on zoom or facetime or whatever conference app. Talk, show ID, discuss plans, needs, and rules.


I like how badges are awarded here and that a trust level system 0-3 has been built into the design (Understanding user trust levels).

Something like this could easily be used as a foundation for scoring the reliability/trustworthiness of people. Once you have hosters and travellers reviewing each other more frequently, then that could also feed into a person’s score. That way, you could eventually gauge - as best as is possible on the Internet - what sort of person the coucher is…and also, let’s not forget, what sort of person the host is.

I think everyone is going to have their own idea on this. I’m the opposite to you: boundaries for me can immediately create the sort of relationship that you repudiate (capitalism and consumerism), as it sets up a master/mistress of the house - newcomer or at least landlord/tenant relationship. I basically just apply the same rules to couchers as I do to housemates: we’ve both got equal right to be here, so let’s make this work. The difference is that you get to pick your couchers, not always your housemates!


Well, I completely disagree with you on that. Boundaries show respect and self-respect. Who decides who gets to be a housemate? Do you let just anyone come in and live with you? No. You have standards and expectations of mutual respect. There’s nothing wrong with boundaries, NOTHING. I will not reward bad behavior when they’re crossed by allowing bad guests to stay in my own goddamn home.

This is totally something that an individual, like yourself, can do. But truth be told in my experience, I would likely turn the other way and most likely would, not because being on a zoom call is something with which I’m not comfortable, just rather it’s a bit cumbersome. People looking for hosts in their travels don’t either have the time, or desire to “interview” for hosts. It’s an administrative step, but you are entitled to do what you wish to feel safe, so you do you!

I’ve always seen the couch surfing community as a place of trust, and while obviously their are some bad seeds, it’s a community of shared-minded individuals. Knowing what to look for and being able to cultivate a culture takes time and experiences (good and bad), but the first step is always with the request.


Some hosts are very particular some are very laid back.

It is up to the host and guest to have a conversation, so they both know what to expect and feel comfortable with the arrangement.

Sometimes I escort my guest to their next host if they are unfamiliar with London. This can be quite an eye opener. There are a lot of different styles of hosting. Guests also are quite varied.

Some people intuitively understand the dynamics of this kind of hospitality exchange. Others….be they hosts or guests sometimes get the wrong idea.

Community forums like this hopefully help to promote an understanding of how it all works.

I don’t have many rules, but my last few guests I have at social meetings and that has worked out very well. Obviously that would not be practical for everyone, but it certainly helps to chat with others in the community. They all have tales to tell.

I wonder if this site will see the return of the power hosts who either pack in are many people as possible into an apartment or host new guests very frequently. These hosts really did provide a very simple level of hospitality, but they were the backstop of the community.