Shared beds!

Does anyone have any experience, good or bad, with sharing beds with hosts when couchsurfing.
Shared bed was an option to tick when looking for a host.
A lonely, sex-starved host actively seeking a single surfer to go to the pub and drink with and then share a bed - what could possibly go wrong.
Or would having the shared bed option be a really good thing to also adopt in couchers.org?

Another great question. Here are a few things that come to mind when I think of people being able to indicate that they are offering a “shared sleeping space”:

  1. Some people have very limited space but would still like to host, so they can only offer a shared sleeping space.
  2. Giving people the ability to advertise a “shared sleeping space” is inherently suggestive to some people.
  3. Shared sleeping spaces increase the likelihood of unwanted physical interaction.

My opinion is this: While I understand #1 above, I think the potential downsides outweigh the benefits, so I think we should not give people the ability to indicate that they are offering a shared sleeping surface.

I agree that having a shared sleeping surface can lead to unwanted advances, or suggest them, but I really think surfers who are uncomfortable sharing a sleeping surface should be able to see which hosts have that, so they can avoid it. Rather than showing up to a host’s home and finding out then that there is just one sleeping surface they have to share. We should arm people to be able to be more descriptive, not less.

3 Likes

Good point. Perhaps we should make it clear from the start that shared sleeping surfaces are not allowed at all. My personal opinion is that if you don’t have some kind of sleeping surface separate from your own (a couch, bed, mattress, floor space, etc) to offer guests, then you should not be hosting.

Having the “no shared sleeping surfaces” rule could still allow for some edge cases (“I was already hosting X number of people and couldn’t fit anymore people in my apartment, but John said he was okay sharing my bed with me so I offered him a spot anyway”).

4 Likes

How about just having a “Bring your own” or “Your sleeping bag” option, instead of shared bed? That comes up frequently anyways.

3 Likes

Mentioning shared bed shouldn’t be allowed, not because it’s wrong (it’s not), but because it creates incentives that will change the demographics of the community in a negative way as you can imagine if you have CS experience.

4 Likes

I like this alternative! Let’s people know the host doesn’t have that extra sleeping surface while taking the focus off of sharing a sleeping surface.

6 Likes

During a pandemic, it would be unsafe to share beds. The option to wear a face mask during sleep would be impractical.

2 Likes

Yeah, that’s the most elegant workaround imo. We couldn’t effectively forbid shared surfaces anyway, but by making this the default we wouldn’t suggest the idea to anyone who didn’t think of it in the first place.

In all my years of surfing I haven’t had any host who actually suggested a shared bed, though I’ve often shared a bed with my travel mate/s (sometimes laying in opposite direction if we had two pillows, and head-to-head if not). Bringing your own sleeping bag, and in some cases even a tent for the garden, is the reasonable default if no room was available but still bathroom or dinner as far as my anecdotal evidence is concerned.

3 Likes