Shared beds!

I agree with others that “bring your own” is the best option here. There may always be edge cases, as mentioned, but I agree that we shouldn’t encourage this and therefore should not offer “shared bed” as an option in order to discourage it.
This may sound daft but I have received messages from several surfers wondering if “shared bed” meant the surfer would be sharing with the host, with another surfer from their party, or with another surfer from a different party. This may be just a language barrier but I think we should have an option to make it absolutely clear where the surfer will be sleeping:

  • on their own in their own room

  • with their party (girlfriend, friend, mum, whoever) in their own room

  • on their own in the same room as the host

  • with their party in the same room as the host

  • with (an)other surfer(s) in a spare room

  • with (an)other surfer(s) in the same room as the host

…and all of these would need to explicitly state what surface the surfer will be sleeping on, whether it’s a four-poster bed or bring your own sleeping bag and fit into the corridor wherever you can.

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Just as a random thought, I really like Airbnb’s visual language about bedrooms and beds. Obviously we don’t need that same detail and filters here, because this is not about payed accommodations, we’re not searching for hotel rooms.
But I like how clear and easy to read it is.

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One idea is to make “shared sleeping” a filter box you can tick when searching for hosts, so the default is not, but you can choose if you want. Shared sleeping should be a mandatory field in host profiles, with room to explain further if necessary. Unwanted advances should be very easy to flag confidentially. I agree that profiles should be more descriptive. I agree that while there is no moral argument for preventing people from mentioning shared sleeping @couchguy is right, it’s about demographics. I’ve been an active member of CS since 2008 and trying to find hosts in some cities is impossible without first trawling through pages of “nudists” and “bed sharers”.

Sharing a surface

I think we should not be narrow minded.
It is a fact; Indeed, sharing a bed does not automatically mean that you are into sexual acts. But! To say: we forbid to post you have a sharing bed is weird. Next o that, here are plenty people that do not mind sharing.

Now a days everything must be separated and over-protected “safe”:

  • Slices of bread, cheese etc, in separated foils at the company restaurant (Wow that is great – NOT!)
  • The promotion of chemical soap, (everybody should use detol, to have healthy clean hands (NOT; As it infecting our immune system)
  • Put older people in elderly homes (A modern concentrationcamp sollution)
  • Keep gays preferable in a closet (according some people offering a couch under a heavy stone – I guess guaranteed a separated stone, as just only imagine, when not).
    All set?
    Now we live an appropriate, holy-moly, fine life…

To prejudice (I very much do not like this) that sharing a bed, is permanent equal to a host who is in for a f#k, is a dangerous narrow minded vision in my opinion.
In the past whole families, and friends that stay over, poor people in homeless shelters (I used to be homeless for over three years, I do know) etc.etc. shared there sleeping surfaces. To me it reminds me a bit to school camp: All together sleeping in the straw on a farm and telling stories, jokes and having fun.

Sharing when you have a small room.
Why taking the option away from people that live small, to enjoy couchers too and open their altruism to people in need?

Shower together, sleeping together, eating together, the sauna together.
The human body is still a product of nature, and we are all equal on that
Although we are destroying nature, and the way we look at each other quite a bit ourselves, which worries me much more – Is there a nature environment group already?

Just do not make it different from what it is and do not implement prejudices of habbits or offers that in other cultures, for instance: India, Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Sweden etc,etc,etc,etc are soooooooo normal.
I think if you giggled about a naked penis or boobs back when 10yrs old, you probably will never ever understand.

I think, but that is for sure my opinion, It is sick, a sickness of the modern prejudge mental world. Something I very much do not like.
Something that does not fit an open-minded community as couchers.

But yes vulnerable people should be protected, but not over protected though.
When a host or Surfer (why not a surfer) behaves inappropriate, you can make a note at the moderators and eventually go to the police of the town where you stay.

Feel free to react
Amsterdamned good couch in Amsterdam (Shared)

I don’t think it is the right mindset to first let people make a bad experience and then to react as a filter for future events. I guess prevention of as many uncomfortable situations as possible is the goal and allthough there is place for acceptance of people who are cool with sleeping surfaces the sheer amount of women (and some men) with bad experience in couch surfing of inapporiate offerings would make us naive not to react to.

I checked your profile and you are very specific about that you are only hosting men, which exludes a big portion of humankind. It made your post of telling people to be narrow-minded, prejudices and the alleged openess of some societies shine in a different light. =/

@Topic: I like the option being mentioned as “bring your own sleeping surface”. many of my surfers offered sleeping bags, camping mattresses and don’t forget that offering people to put up a tent in the garden can be an option.


Additional to my writing

All I try to say is that couchers need people that can think with people, rather than FOR people!
A bed does not do anything but comfort you (if it is a good bed) It is a dead thing!
It is the people, a very few btw ,thank god, that goes beyond acceptable behavior.
It is the people doing that, that should be monitored. Not the options how we sleep or are offered to sleep.

Sitting on a couch, watching television next to your host, he can wrap an arm around you, grab whatever he hopes to be able to grab, besides his beer.
Should we now avoid couchers with a couch too? and people with showers you can not lock, maybe as well people with too high fences, as for otherwise neighbours can not check what you are about too?, next to that, :pssssst: I have heard that red haired people, with a big nose do more dirty things than blond peole with big feet. Seriously, we should block them all

I am sarcastic kidding, creepy bullshit.
Of course, this is not the way as it should be done
Protecting each other, giving tips…, wonderful, good job.
But people, if possible, please in a healthy way



Amsterdamned good host.

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The landowner I live with let me only host male persons, It is not even my own choice, but you could not know that. Just as much as you could not know if a person hosting a shared bed, has bad intentions.
It as well has nothing to do with me being gay of whatever.
Of course, what we can prevent is nice.
But it is the way how we do it.

See Niklas, that is exactly what I am trying to say.
You checked my account and assumed.
You refer and judge.

While the whole reason, why and how I host is way different and far from what you might think or think it looks like (according to your reply).

This is what makes me…
I just very much dislike this

Then again…
Life and to understand others within huge culture differences, languages, visions, a frame of references, a backpack loaded with all different experiences, unlike all other people in this community, as we are unique.

It is not easy.

What I do know, well think to know, is that your intentions are good.

We are equal on that too

Take care,

Amsterdamned good hosdt

True. But I think what’s being discussed here is cultural. You want it to be less “safe” (in this context) because there’s plenty of times when sharing a space, a bed, whatever is wonderful and you don’t want to be censored in this. But no one is stopping you from doing what you want in your home with people who’ve agreed to do that with you, despite your version of open mind being perhaps more relaxed than others. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of people in the world who are neither as mature or as comfortable with their bodies as you are.

For me this issue is not about policing either sexual or platonic interactions, its about the formation of a culture. One of the many problems with CS is it’s tacit open door policy to dating, nudity and weird sex stuff. Not that I have a problem with such things, but then, I’m not an 18 year old woman heading out on my first adventures.

Given the known multitudes of unpleasant interactions and serious real life (and often traumatic consequences) people have had as a direct result of not really understanding what they were stepping into, there is an opportunity here to build into the fabric of the Couchers community some simple filters that allow space for all, but basically stop the naive and vulnerable stepping into a situation where consent is already thrown out of the window.

This is why I suggest leaving all things open, flexible and filterable. That way if people want to share a bed, for whatever reason, they still can. And those who definitely don’t want to share a bed can filter it out, no problem. Personally, I think this should be set as the default, with users able to open their profiles to such possibilities through an option in settings.


My two cents (again):

  1. I think one of the original discussions here has been to choose whether “Shared Beds” should be a standardized option in the profile checkboxes or be replaced by something else, like “bring your own surface,” or whether sleeping privacy shouldn’t be a checkbox at all. My personal view is that sleeping arrangements should be clearly described for transparency reasons, and that “shared sleeping surface” shouldn’t be a standard option. this is because that option has historically been associated with promoting potential sexual advances, and because it’s one of the core values of to not be used for dating.

  2. That being said, shared sleeping surfaces are not necessarily evil; however, we should be wary of how people who offer that option justify it. Hosts may want (or only be able) to offer a shared sleeping surfaces whether it is for cultural reasons or simply because they don’t have enough space. In these cases, I think you can always judge by the context if someone is abusing that feature. For example, a profile may say"

“I live in a small studio apartment so I don’t have an additional sleeping surface. You may feel most comfortable bringing your own air mattress or sleeping bag to sleep on the floor, but I am also fine sharing my bed, as there is plenty of space and is common in [my culture] even among strangers.”

Vs a profile of a guy who writes

“I am single and I only host women. We will be sleeping on the same surface. I usually sleep in my underwear and tend to move around in my sleep, hope you are comfortable with that.”

I think it’s clear that the second case is more likely to be abusing the platform for dating/sex. The question is, assuming we want to discourage that use of the platform (and prevent it before something regrettable happens and gets reported), is there a smart and scalable way that we can identify and flag profiles like the latter?
For example, could an algorithm periodically scan profile texts for certain word combinations?



I will try to reply as good as it get to your reaction
Please first read completely, if necessary twice, bofor you react.
Thanmx in advance

Take care,

But I think what’s being discussed here is cultural
I agree, see my former writings, Ithink removing the option of showing you offer a shared bed, is no good as well.
People should know upfront what you offer (Altough host might change that once you are there).

You want it to be less “safe
No I want it to be more safe but realistic.
People with bad intentions, you do not avoid by adding, removing or censoring a text.
It needs something more But it does not need prejudging.
( I explain options lower in my text, but first read whats next :slight_smile:

Your version of open mind being perhaps more relaxed than others
According me open mindness stands for:
Understanding all people, or at least try to. But no need to agree, still open to change your vision when it comes, no fingers pointing. Respoect anybody all the way. ALL the way.
I know it is not easy……

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of people in the world who are neither as mature or as comfortable with their bodies as you are.
I traveled more as 40 countries (NO hotels/ no restaurant, no couchsurfing: but sleeping and eatingh at and on the streets., I have been in prison, been homeless, been a professional military scout fighting in wars….
Trust me, I know.
This writting above is in no way ment to compare!
I just try to make clear that I was in positions to see people through all their emotions, in all cultures, in all circumstances…
When I hear certain sounds, trust me, I am far from feeling safe.
It is know as PTSS. But I try to adapt, I try to see visions, try to ground people(s) intentions.
I am careful, I listen, I do research……
Above all I act as an adul take my responsebillety before I even start to traver.
However as you might understand now. I know there are people (even over 50) that are far away from that point. ANDSadly enough there are people that had to act as an adult although they were only 8 years old!

For me this issue is not about policing either sexual or platonic interactions, its about the formation of a culture.
I know and I hope it is

One of the many problems with CS is it’s tacit open door policy to dating, nudity and weird sex stuff. Not that I have a problem with such things
To be honest: I do not wanna know the fact that you have no problem with weird sex stuff. Maybe it is too much info

I’m not an 18 year old woman heading out on my first adventures.
Couchers is for “certain” people…. But what certain?. Who fits in? Who is wise enough, who is mature enough? and who is not? Who decides? and who can decide?
People using websites like this, you must be at least 18 btw, should do some research first.
But here comes the trick. Lower educated, people, youngsters from over protecting families, Youth that want to escape…etc: They will not listen to what more experienced people tell them, no matter how you protect.
They have to find out the hard way, like with booze, drugs and relations.

Then how if they do mot listen, do you protect a webside ;like this.
How do you enter the mindset of people with bad intentions, without aiming for the innocent, the good fellow?

There is an opportunity here to build into the fabric of the Couchers community some simple filters that allow space for all, but basically stop the naive and vulnerable stepping into a situation where consent is already thrown out of the window.
The opportunity might be; People can only create a profile and sign in with a valid ID.
And even only enter with a valid ID.
Such technics are not everywhere available yet.
It takes time to get agreements with all officials that has to deal with this.
and in some areas, it would not work for other reasons.
Next to the fact that many people prefer to have their privacy.
Yes…. As well people who has nothing to hide.
But, when possible, and everybody agrees on this check, yes, that would be a big difference with the way it is done now. Most people think twice when their personal details are kept in a system that can be easily connected to the police/ government.
What??? Sharing info with the government?.
Baeeeh… I get a bad couchsurfing ( AirB&B) taste in my mouth, while writing this.

This is why I suggest leaving all things open, flexible and filterable. That way if people want to share a bed, for whatever reason, they still can
Nice, but was’t that what I was writing in my first reactions?
The fact that I showed my disagreement about blocking people/ profiles shared beds
Dude…. Pfffffff.


Amsterdamned good host

Nice, good idea using algorithm,
But it must be algorithm that understand all cultures and not just those of the U.S (sorry to say).

Another option: Only be able to log in using your official ID
People think twice before they misbehave.
Still, many people, as well people that has nothing to hide, are not font of sharing their info that way… It is called: privacy, which is in Europe for instance a high standart.
Then again it is the host defends against the surfers defends, during an interegation.
Not easy stuff.
not easy

try to avoid pointing fingers.
as well
keep in mind cultural differences.
What is very not done to one other, can be so normal to the new connection. (host or surfer)

No matter how we look at it.
Sex is not and should never be the reason why people create a profile at websites like couchers.
There are enough other options on the web to do so…

And finally
If it happens that both find a connection, during the saty and feel the mood to do whatever they wish for, with consent of both…
Let there be love…

Take care,

Amsterdamned good host


I agree with this. Although I don’t see anyone talking about censoring anything…

Sure, respect everyone. I guess my version of respect doesn’t include sex pests who have come to dominate platforms such as CS under the banner of “shared beds”, which is really what this thread is all about.

That’s great that you are wise. Unlike many travellers. Personally, I don’t subscribe to the school of hard knocks version of travel. Nor do many others.

It’s not too much info in the context of a serious conversation about implementing some filters so that people can choose who they interact with.

Probably the subject of another discussion don’t you think? I’d certainly like to discuss the ethics of privacy vs ID tradeoff. Not sure it’s what this thread is about though.

Sometimes people write things that are in agreement with you.


Thanks for sharing thoughts.
I apreciate good sharing of mindsets.
For now, I focus back on the issue itself and couchers overall.

Take care

Always welcome in Amsterdam


Amsterdamned good host

Yes, let’s stay focused… the topic question is:

To me it’s important that we don’t suggest there’s a set advance agreement to share a bed with your host, even if you don’t feel comfortable in the actual situation.

I think that outweighs other considerations and is relatively easy to communicate by not offering ‘Shared Bed’ as a default option.


I want to point out that, if the “shared sleeping surface” isn’t a filter-able option (for “culture” reasons mentioned previously in this thread), but “bring your own surface” and “shared room
are available filter-able options (which people on this thread have been pretty positive about), you still have a slightly imperfect but still safe filter that you can use to exclude people who can only offer you a shared sleeping surface. It’s “imperfect” because you are also filtering out some additional people who don’t intend to share their bed, but it still meets the needs of the majority of people who would use that filter.

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… but you are all tinking about a flat surface, limited in space (so an area).
Think about x²/a² - y²/b² − z²/c²= 1 where the two person are on 0,1,0 and 0,-1,0 .
Would you worry about it ?

I honestly don’t understand what you are trying to say with that equation…

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the name tell everything, but it is considered a single surface.

If anything, this makes it even less clear.

so imagine to top part as an hammock where one person sleep, and the bottom as the top of an [infinite] pillow where another person sleep.

Or simpler, and maybe ready made: Have you ever seen some furnitures made with steam folded beech wood, glued in a way to form an U
just to give an example:

here the chair has handrests inclined, but think are orizontal, and are not just the side but form a complete surface, 2 m long.
You admit that it is a single surface. and when in ⊂ shape at a sufficient distance one can sleep on the top and one on the bottom (I have really seen beds made this way but i do not find the picture) so share the surface, bas it is just a a bunk bed.