It's peak travel season and that means you and your partner probably have a trip planned. Whether you're going across the city or across the world, bringing sex toys with you helps ensure you have great sex while away. Traveling with sex toys presents some unique challenges -- specifically how to pack them and what to do if your bag gets searched.
We've already discussed some Do's and Don't for traveling with adult toys. I have even more tips to make your traveling even easier!
Adult Sex Toys are Among the Most Common Items to Get Flagged
While traveling last year, my bag got flagged for a hand search. Given that I only ever take a carry-on, my sex toys were inside. At this point in my life, I could care less if my toys get waved around in the airport. But also it was 7am and I really needed coffee! The conversation went like this.
ME: "Just FYI, there's a vibrator in there."
TSA: "Did you say a personal device ma'am?"
ME: "Yup! A vibrator."
TSA: "Oh ok. Those are some of the most common things that get flagged. Plus there's newbies screening right now."
ME: "Really? They trigger searches that often?"
TSA: "Yeah, especially among newer agents."
*hands me back my bag*
"You're good to go."
She had kind of gone through the (VERY carefully packed) bag before zipping it up and letting me go. It fascinated me that sex toys, or more specifically the electric parts inside of them, inspire TSA searches. Consider this a #lessonlearned.
Having Your Bag Searched Isn't the End of the World
Unless you are a sex educator, this scenario might sound super embarrassing. You probably don't want your relationship enhancement products being touched or displayed for all to see. Of course it could happen. If so, remind yourself:
- You've done nothing wrong. Vibrators are legal (for someone to own) everywhere in the US. So you can't get "in trouble" for having them. Note: if you are traveling outside the U.S., check the country's laws. Toys are illegal in certain countries including but not limited to India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates.
- TSA agents have seen everything. Your toy(s) and other sexy things (lingerie, BDSM gear, etc.) really won't phase them. You aren't the first person to travel with them and you definitely won't be the last!
- Vibrators are just another electronic device. If there's any question, just respond with a straightforward, "That's my vibrator/marital aid/romance product/adult sex toy/relationship enhancement product/passion product/whatever word you're comfortable with." Only its use differentiates it from things like cameras and computers.
Still feeling really embarrassed or nervous? Then, ask to be screened in private. This way you don't have to worry about anyone else seeing your toys.
6 Ways to Make Travelling with Sex Toys Easier
Now that you're worries are calmed, what can you do to make traveling with sex toys easier? Here are 6 tips:
1. Bring a toy that doesn’t look like a sex toy. If it gets removed, it's less likely to draw attention.
Sexpert tip: Most toys from My Secret Luxury are discreet. In fact I often have people say, "What do I do with that?!" or mistake certain toys for something else (e.g. the Minna Limon Vibrator looks like a stress ball).
2. Prevent vibes from accidentally turning on. Always remove the batteries if your toys have them. If not, see if you can lock the toy. This means your toy won't turn on even if it's buttons get pushed. Check the toy's instruction manual for directions how.
Sexpert tip: Bring the instruction book with you or take a photo of how to unlock the toy. Every toy is a little different and this makes sure you won't be stranded with a locked toy.
3. Put your toys in a clear plastic bag. This way if someone inspects your carry-on OR checked suitcase, they don't actually touch your toy.
4. Don't forget toy cleanser. Yes -- even if you put the toy in a plastic bag, you still need to wash your toys before and after each use with toy cleaner. I love S+HE AfterGlow Cleansing Tissues. They come in a thin package and they don't take up precious space.
5. Remember: size matters. Anything more than 7 inches is considered baton- or club-like and isn't allowed in your carry-on. Checking it is a better option but there is still a risk the toy will be confiscated. Unless you can't live without it, leave your heavy and larger toys at home.
6. Remember the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. Personal lubricant, toy cleanser, and other liquids or gels need to be in small containers (3 oz. or less) and then placed in a quart-sized plastic bag. Anything bigger? Check them! Another option would be to get a sample or variety pack of lubes. These individual packs are less than 3 oz., ensure your lube won't spill, and let you try something new. A final option would be to order lube, toy cleaner, etc. from My Secret Luxury and have to sent to your destination.
The Rules for Other Sex Toys Vary
The tips above are great for dildos, vibrators, and liquids. But what about other sex toys and accessories? When in doubt, check the TSA website or contact the TSA directly.
Definitely okay to carry-on
- Strap-on harnesses or other gear made of leather, fabric, buckles
Gray Areas: might be a good idea to check
- Toys longer than 7 inches, especially ones made of hard or heavy materials like glass, stone, or stainless steel
- Whips: Riding whips and riding crops are okay for carry-on but other whips must be checked
- Paddles & Floggers: ping-pong paddles are ok; anything bigger should get checked
- E-stim: TENS units for pain treatment are okay to carry-on, so you e-stim should be too
- Objects with sharp edges or points
- Objects that are similar in size/shape/weight to clubs, bats, or batons
Traveling with sex toys doesn't have to be so hard
Yes, there's a risk of embarrassment. But with at least half of the people in the US using sex toys, they're common and not all that surprising. Take a deep breath, practice saying, "That's my sex toy," and focus on the fact that a fabulous getaway (complete with hotel sex) is right on the other side of the gate!
Written by Kait Scalisi, MPH, Director of Education and Training, My Secret Luxury