Toys in the airport

Dear Rachel and Claire,
My girlfriend and I are planning our first trip away, alone, since we've had kids (3 years!).  A remote beach house, the ocean breeze, and us….  Since we are flying to our destination, I am concerned about airport security and bringing along my assortment of toys, some of which contain metal that could trigger attention.  Any suggestions about how to travel happily and with some sense of privacy?  I have visions of all our business being laid out for the seniors in FLA!

Toys in the airport

A:

Dear Toys,

Due to security precautions, airport security personnel are searching carry-on luggage more often.  What this means for the sex toy carrying public is that you might want to check your bags rather than carrying them on.  When you carry on the bag the security is not just looking for explosives, but for any item that could be a potential weapon.  So it is common for them to ask people to open their bags if they have any doubts as to what something is, or if you are picked for a random search.  I once had an enormous dildo (Ultraskin Large) in my carry on and, as it passed through the X-ray device, the woman running the machine stopped the conveyor belt and called over a (female) colleague.  They both looked at the screen giggling and looked over to me.  I raised my eyebrows and nodded to them acknowledging “yeah, that is a really big dildo.”  They laughed and sent it on down.  It was fun for me, but a few years ago I would have been mortified.  Less happily, a friend was wearing a strap-on dildo under her clothes and the metal of the harness kept beeping as they wanded her with the metal detector.  She had to show them (by pulling her pants down) what it was or else they wouldn’t have let her through.

If the items are in your checked baggage, you will most likely be spared any exposure as being the owner of the toys in question, although they may appear on X-ray screens in the baggage handling department. New measures implemented as the Federal government takes over airport security mean that  checked bags get searched occasionally.  But who cares, you’re not an outlaw, you’re a pleasure seeker.  If that does happen and the prospect of an embarrassing moment is enough to make you leave the sex toys at home, you could mail your toys to the address of your hideaway and have them held for your arrival.  Or, you might want to purchase and pack a few "discreet" toys, that to the untrained eye look like other gadgets. The Lipstick and Ducky vibrators are two of our most popular "vibes in disguise!"

For International travel, bags are subject to search anytime they pass through customs.  I just figure they’ve seen it all before, and if not, it might be one of the more interesting things to happen in what looks like a pretty boring day.  Unless you’re headed somewhere that sex toys are illegal  (Iraq?  Texas?…) they won’t confiscate them, the agents will just have something to laugh about with their spouses or friends later.  Who knows, it may give them some ideas to make their own lives happier.