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Getting through TSA with Your Vibrator

Getting through TSA with Your Vibrator

Getting through TSA with Your Vibrator

TSA agents see literally everything on a day-to-day basis - just check out their Instagram feed. Sex toys are so commonplace that they hardly earn a second glance when passing through the x-ray machine. 

That said, it's one thing to be aware that the vibrator in your carry-on is the norm for airport security, but it's a different thing to feel comfortable carrying one on yourself, especially knowing that anything in your bag is subject to examination, sex toy or not. 

To help ease any pre-trip anxieties you might be feeling around carrying on your vibrator, we've pulled together some tips for a pain-free journey to the other side of the terminal.  

Store smart.

Keep your vibrator in a clear plastic bag. If an agent does need to take a quick look, the bag will be a barrier between their hands and the vibrator. It will also make it easier to identify the object quickly, so you can be on your way.

Keep it at the top of your bag. It's tempting to bury your vibrator at the bottom of your bag, since good burying means good hiding in most cases. Fortunately for in-flight safety, x-ray machines don't let anything go hidden, so keep your vibe on top and avoid the potential excruciating wait while they dig through your things. 

Stick to the 3.5 oz rule if you're bringing lube. If you're nervous about getting your vibrator through security, you certainly don't want to get pulled over for an unrelated mistake that could've been avoided - so stick to the rules in general. You can find empty travel sized bottles and jars at most drug stores or travel shops that you can make a simple transfer to from a full-size container of lube. 

Power off.

Most of the risk in bringing a vibrator in your carry-on is not actually getting it through security, but in the vibrations accidentally setting off in your luggage, which could be mistaken as a weapon.  

Remove batteries and/or mind the power button. If your vibrator is battery-operated, simply take out the batteries and store them separately. If its rechargeable, make sure the power button is not placed where it could be accidentally pushed. The best bet is somewhere soft, liked nestled in a sweater, where the power button won't get pressed down on.  

Tell it like it is. 

Label the bag holding your vibrator as "vibrator", "personal massager", "adult toy", or anything else that tells TSA what it is without having to ask you or investigate further. If you label it, you could also line the clear bag with some tissue paper or newspaper for some additional extra privacy. 

Be honest about what it is. Transparency is always the best policy when it comes to airport security and the last thing you want to do is risk raising flags with purposefully misleading information. Their goal is the safety of everyone traveling so once they know it's just a vibrator, their job will be done. 

Double check for international trips. 

Ideally, your vibrator would be a welcome tourist anywhere and everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, there are some destinations where you could run into more serious legal issues if you attempt to go through airport security with a sex toy. 

If you're traveling outside of the United States, it's a good idea to do some research on the laws of the country you're visiting. India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates are a few countries that criminalize the sale and ownership of sex toys, even if you're just a tourist. 

Also, be cautious if traveling to Alabama (yes, Alabama), as the laws around sex toys are still pretty iffy there due to 1998's Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act. 

Know your other options.

You can request to have your carry-on bag screened by a same sex agent in private if you're particularly nervous about having your vibrator visible in front of other guests and TSA members. 

Check your bag. Your bag will still go through a security screening if it's checked onto the plane, but you won't need to provide any face-to-face explanation. For the smoothest process, you should still have your vibrator bagged and labeled at the top of your suitcase so there isn't additional digging needed. 

Buy a vibrator at your destination. You can find moderately-to-low priced vibrators in many drugstores and all sex shops, if you feel that it's worth it to get a short-term vibrator. Just be sure you're not sacrificing body-safety for a lower price tag (always say no to porous materials!). 

 

Regardless of how you choose to travel with your vibrator, remember that the worst-case scenario is that your bag is screened by an agent and you have to tell them that it's a vibrator (not a pipe bomb). It almost certainly won't be the first or last sex toy they see that day or hour. You'll be past security before you know it, with plenty of time to grab your go-to magazine and overpriced bottled water.