Illustration of sexpert Chris Hart
E. del Rosso

Awkward: sex toys at the airport?

At the airport, a customs officer finds a rubber penis in a lady’s handbag and asks her if she is married. What can she say?

Respecting privacy

Nobody likes taking off their shoes, removing all metal objects, and making their way through airport security lines. But the process can often be a little more revealing and embarrassing.

Because no end of people have been stopped at airport checkpoints by an official who’s found vibrators and dildos or some sort of sex toy in their luggage.

Mostly they’re just doing their job, and are trained to respect passengers’ privacy and to treat them with respect and dignity. But that’s not always the case. And so people often have to endure comments about sexy lingerie or condoms.

Pack it carefully

Packing items you want to keep private in your checked luggage is the simplest way to avoid problems with your carry-on, though there’s no guarantee that your toy won’t disappear from your suitcase. Baggage screeners may remove it just because they don’t know what it is. To say nothing of thieves…
Choosing a smaller toy for travel is a good idea, as it’s less likely to attract attention. Pack it in a carrying case or bag and place it between layers of clothing. Should your bag get searched, this will buy you time to think through what to say, or to request that the bag be searched in private.

Be honest

If questioned, answer honestly. While it may be tempting to insist your sex toy is really something else entirely, lying could land you in hot water. Keep it brief when answering all questions and use straightforward, clinical terms. Security personnel have seen it all and have been trained to be discrete in these matters. Once they understand what your curious little gadget is, they’ll most likely send you on your way.

But what if you’re asked something really insensitive, like whether you’re married? Best to look officials squarely in the eye and tell the truth –in effect daring them to take the matter further.

Know the legal situation

But you should be aware that sex toys are technically illegal in many jurisdictions, for example, Alabama, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Maldives, Malaysia, and others. So you do run the risk of having your toy confiscated there. This is highly dependent on the mood of the person inspecting your baggage, but you should check the customs websites of any countries you plan on visiting. And if you couldn’t bear the embarrassment at security, or potentially having your toy taken away from you, leave it at home.

Do you have awkward stories about travelling with your sex toy? Share your story in the comments below or leave us a message on Facebook.

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