Most of us have experience with the vast set of rules the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has put in place for travel, including shoe removal and examination of pretty much any item containing metal. However, many travelers may be unaware of the rules concerning vibrators and other pleasure devices.
While some toys can certainly be placed into your carry on, other toys are best left in your checked baggage. Vibrators, dildos and other toys that are shorter than seven inches are acceptable for your carry-on. In order to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations in the security line, remove your batteries from a battery-operated vibrator. Many rechargeable vibrators now come with a lock feature to help prevent any sudden vibrating in your bag.
Lubricants will go by the same 3-1-1 rule as other liquids, meaning that a bottle may contain no more than 3.4 ounces, all containers must fit into one one-quart plastic bag, and each traveler is allowed only one of these bags. Other carry-on approved toys include handcuffs, rope, strap-on harnesses and other products made of leather, fabric or buckles.
There are some toys that fit into a grey area, and may be best to put into your checked baggage. These include whips, paddles and electrical stimulants. Riding whips and crops are approved for carry on, while whips and bullwhips are considered defense equipment, and must be placed in checked baggage. When it comes to paddles, ping-pong paddles are approved for carry on. In this case, comparing your paddles’ size to that of ping-pong paddles can help you decide what is better left checked. Electrical stimulants that are used for pain treatment are acceptable in carry-ons; however, the rules on stun-guns are a little hazy, so your violet wand may be better left checked. You are better off to check any items made of stainless steel or glass.
Items that absolutely cannot go in your carry on are those with sharp edges or points (it’s probably best to check that sexy spiked collar) and those that are similar in size, shape or weight to clubs, bats or batons. The 17-inch dildo your friends got you as a prank is best left in your checked baggage.
Discussing the vibrator that a security worker has found in your bag can be nerve-wracking. However, many modern vibrators come in such odd shapes and such a wide variety of colors that their appearance doesn’t automatically categorize them as a sex toy. There are also several terms you can use to describe it besides ‘vibrator.’ You can call it a ‘personal device’ or ‘personal toy.’ You can reserve the right to be screened in private, which can allow for a search and discussion of carry-on contents without calling attention to yourself from other travelers. If nothing else, you can always check your toys and save yourself the stress of the security line. If you are traveling within the U.S., you can most likely find an inexpensive vibrator at a pharmacy at your destination. Whatever happens, tell the truth when asked about the nature of your carry-on items. It’s a good idea to place your toys in plastic bags, so security workers can see what it is without contaminating it.
Another thing to be aware of when traveling with personal devices are the laws of your destination. Alabama is currently the only state with a legal ban on all sex toys. Many other countries have bans on personal devices. Make sure to do a little pre-travel research to know what is and isn’t okay for travel.
Check out airsafe.com/issues/baggage/sextoyplus.htm to learn more about TSA guidelines, as well as the AirSafe.com seminar on “How to fly with a sex toy.”