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“I’m always sending him links like, ‘Hey, do you like this chick? ’ Then he always asks to do Facetime because he wants to see them.” “The first time,” he says, leaning over his beer, “I had two girls that stayed … She was in the process of moving to New York and needed a place to stay for four days while she looked for a permanent home.“We went out for drinks the first night,” he says, “and I hit on her. She, was like ‘No, no, no—I don’t want to make it awkward.’ I was like well, whatever, so we kept on drinking, dancing, and having fun.” Riccardo later learned he’d made a critical error.

This system allows friends you’ve made globally or locally to vouch for you and the unlikelihood of you being a serial killer.His friend later advised him on a more direct strategy.“Come, get in my bed,” he’ll say, just as his guest is preparing to hit the sack.Members can request a couch, host a traveler, or find new friends to meet up with locally.Riccardo agrees to host only female travelers and stipulates that they be younger than him.But with anything social, there is sometimes a spark. But once there is a connection, there isn’t much holding me back.” For instance, this guy in Wales.

“There was a very strong attraction on both of our parts,” she recalls.

Nowhere does the profile state explicitly that if you are an attractive female traveler, you might skip the couch entirely and wind up in Riccardo’s bed, but it’s a good possibility.

In eight months using the service, Riccardo, who is 32 and works for an ad agency, has let eight visitors crash at his apartment, of whom he’s hooked up with five, for a 62 percent “success rate.” If you count the additional two who climbed into bed with him for a cuddle and then fell asleep, the percentage climbs even higher.

(Riccardo and other Couchsurfing users quoted in this article asked to be identified by pseudonyms.) On the business front, the crowdsourced hospitality site has been experiencing a rough patch lately.

After a controversial transition to a for-profit model in 2011, which brought $22 million in funding in the past two years, growing pains have set in.

encouraged to report other members who are abusing the site to our Trust and Safety team, who will take appropriate action, according to our policy, when Terms of Use violations are reported or observed.” Perhaps, but use of the site to find sexual partners (a practice known in some bro-friendly circles as “cooch surfing”) is nonetheless quite routine.