Don’t Let The TSA Vibrator Note Keep You From Traveling With Your Toys!

Folks have been all abuzz about the story of the note that a TSA employee left in Jill Filipovic’s suitcase telling her to “get her freak on” because she had a Silver Bullet vibrator  in her bag. Fortunately, the employee has been disciplined for it.

I just hope that this isn’t scaring people away from traveling with their favorite sex toys. So here are some useful tips for minimizing the odds that you’ll have problems.

1) Take the batteries out of your toys. If your suitcase starts buzzing, TSA is going to take a look and make sure your vibe or electric shaver isn’t a bomb. If you prefer rechargeable toys, run the charge down before you pack it. Even though a lot of them are pretty silent these days, if they’re pressed up against something in your bag, it might make some noise. Anyway, you can always recharge it when you get to where you’re going.

Some vibrator manufacturers like LELO and Jimmyjane make theirs with travel locks. The buttons need to be held down for a few seconds before turning on, which is great, but if you pack like I do, there’s a chance that it’ll get switched on anyway.

2) Since TSA does sometimes open up suitcase, even when they aren’t making noise, pack your toy in a clear plastic bag. That’ll let them see what it is without having to handle it.  Some folks even put a note in the bag to be sure to avoid confusion. (“This is a vibrator” would suffice.) And if you get a notification that your bag was opened, it might be a good idea to wash your toys before using them, just in case.

3) Unless you’re traveling carry-on, put your toys in your checked bag. I’ve heard from quite a few people who have had their dildos or harnesses pulled out during a bag check and it’s simply not worth the hassle.  But if that does happen to you, the best way to deal with it is to be matter of fact about it. “That’s a dildo” should be enough of an answer to any questions they might have. Whatever you do, don’t try to convince them that it’s something else- that can land you in hot water.

4) Restraints, paddles, and other BDSM gear should definitely go in your checked bag, as should any “club-like object” since there are rules about those. (Although I know at least two people who got an Eleven through in their carry-on and at 11 x 2 & 2.75 lbs. of steel, that’s certainly a club-like object.)

5) If you do get stopped by security, remember that there’s nothing wrong about enjoying sex toys, having lingerie, or condoms in your bags, even if the TSA agent raises their eyebrows or makes a comment. Pleasure is your birthright, whether you’re at home or on the road.

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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