*UPDATE: i finally decided to report to Airbnb Experiences this morning. Thanks so much to all those who shared their experiences and advice. I still feel really conflicted and even writing out the details to Airbnb had me questioning if it merited reporting, but i told them I’ll give them the facts and they can decide what to do with them. And to all the men in this thread that 1) called me sweetie, 2) further objectified me, 3) told me to just stop smiling and say no, you’re not helping. Please stop.*
I’m a mid-30s solo traveler with extensive solo travel experience, yet I still struggle to know how to handle sexual harassment when I travel. I recently did three different Airbnb experience tours in central America and in all three I was the recipient of completely unreciprocated flirting for hours. I was shocked that even in the group the guide had zero problems flirting so openly with me, which made me beyond uncomfortable. As a paying customer and a ‘captive audience’ so to speak the power dynamic gets weird and it’s so hard to know whether or not to speak up – you never know how a man is going to react when you shut it down. I usually smile , but I never do anything that I think is obviously reciprocating their advances – yet the harassment continues until the experience is over and I can leave.
I’m debating reporting the experiences to Airbnb since all three made me immensely uncomfortable and ill at ease , but at the same time I don’t want these people to lose their livelihoods when it didn’t reach the level of assault . Their actions are clearly inappropriate but it also feels really serious to potentially end their careers . Any thoughts?