In October, layoffs claimed an estimated 40 percent of the staff, and CEO Tony Espinoza announced his departure — giving an opening to competitors like Be Welcome and Hospitality Club.Although the company has initiated a doubling down on mobile, the experience of users like Riccardo might suggest another path to profitability. The almost decade-old Couchsurfing, which is available in 100,000 cities across the globe, is becoming the go-to hookup app for a certain class of young world travelers.I didn’t know CS was a bangtool,” reads one response. just turned in her two-weeks notice, a final preparation for her upcoming road trip through the Americas along the Rocky/Andes mountains to arrive in Brazil just in time for World Cup 2014. “But I have made out with about 10 different guys.” While she encounters plenty of prospects in Philly — men she works with, men from her martial arts school, men on her community soccer team — she prefers to do her hunting further afield.
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’ I’m like dude, it works.” Riccardo is asked if he feels sleazy.
“I do feel guilt, but not like I took advantage of somebody.” Instead of calling his friend with tales of his latest conquests, he has recently found himself calling to complain.
Riccardo G.’s profile on Couch Surfing.com, the website that partners intrepid wanderers with willing hosts, notes that he lives in the “best neighborhood to go out and have drinks,” that he offers a “cozy/clean/nice sofa/couch” and that he’ll even let you bring your “small dog, if you just can’t live without him.” He describes himself as “amazing, outgoing, funny, smart” and says his interests include friends, eating, drinking, the gym and puppies.
His photos show the good-humored Latin American native — dark, handsome, and fit — in exotic destinations around the world, from Cairo to Capri.
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.
At first, Riccardo could not believe it was that simple. “I’m going to sound like such a jerk just telling them.” But he tried it on his next guest and bingo.
“We got home just laughing and telling jokes, and I just said it. ’” “My friends say, ‘You’re telling me that line — get in my bed — it works?
“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.