Sex Toy Travel Tips

Are you packing for your holiday travels? If you’re driving or taking a train, it’s pretty easy to bring your favorite sex toys, but what about flying? Every year, we hear stories from folks who have had trouble getting through airport security with their vibrators and other toys, so here are some handy tips for trouble-free travel. These suggestions are focused on travel within the US. Some countries will confiscate sex toys at customs, so be sure to read up before you fly.

Check It

Putting your toys in your checked bag makes things easier, but there are still things you should know.

Always take batteries out of your toys before packing them. Security will open your bag up if they hear anything making noise (including alarm clocks or battery-powered shavers). Another option is to put a small piece of paper or cardboard between the battery and the connection. That way, you won’t have to search for the batteries when you get where you’re going. Many of the rechargeable vibes like the ones made by LELO and Jimmyjane have travel locks that keep them from turning on in your suitcase.

TSA says screwdrivers, wrenches and other “hand tools” may be brought aboard in carry-on luggage if they are less than 7 inches in length. Larger vibrators are best put in your suitcase.

Put your lube in a plastic bag in case the bottle leaks. If your favorite lubricant comes in a pump bottle, check to see if you can lock it closed. You definitely don’t want to get it all over your clothes.

It’s also a good idea to put your toys in a clear plastic bag, in case TSA opens your suitcase up. That way, they can see what’s inside without handling it directly. You can also write a label on the bag to make sure they know what it is. The big disadvantage to checking your toys is that you’re not there to explain what they are and it might get confiscated if they don’t know what to make of it. A label can help.

Carry On

If you’re flying carry-on (or maybe you want to join the mile-high club), be prepared for the possibility that a security agent will look in your bag. Remember- they’ve seen it all before and you have a right to travel with and use sex toys. If they ask what something is, simply tell them: “it’s a vibrator”. Some people pack theirs in clear plastic bags so TSA can see them without actually touching them. That’s a good idea for travel anyway since it’ll keep your toys clean. You can also ask for your bag to be screened privately.

Billy clubs aren’t allowed in a carry-on and I’ve heard from folks who have had trouble getting dildos, especially the larger ones, through security. I personally know one person who traveled with an Njoy Eleven in a carry-on, but I wouldn’t risk it. Besides, it weighs almost 3 pounds, which is a lot to lug in your bag. You might want to put it in your checked suitcase.

Be sure to pack your lube in a small bottle (no more than 3.4 oz/100ml) and put it in the clear, zip-top bag with the rest of your liquids. Again, be sure to lock the pump bottle.

You’re actually allowed to travel with whips, floggers, and restraints, so if you get asked about them, don’t back down. It’s totally ok to have them. You can also get restraints that don’t have any metal like the Corset Restraint and the Jockstrap Restraint, or something with minimal metal like the Super Cuffs. Besides, they’re lighter so they’re easier to carry.

What If…

If you do get inspected, keep calm. When asked what something is, just say, “It’s a vibrator/dildo/etc.” There’s nothing wrong with owning or using sex toys and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And since agents are on the watch for people who seem nervous when questioned, your best bet is to treat your toys no differently than a hair dryer or any other travel appliance.

Lastly, if you’re traveling with a present, don’t wrap it until you get to where you’re going. If TSA needs to open it up, they won’t let the paper and ribbon stop them.

Safe travels & happy holidays!

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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