By Jen Mallia
Updated: Apr 04, 2019 @ 8:32 am
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An incident at Berlin’s Schoenfeld International Airport on August 7 left many a female traveler shook. A vibrator in a passenger’s checked luggage triggered an emergency police response when it was mistaken for a hand grenade by a baggage screener. Check-in counters where closed, and the terminal was evacuated. English language Russian news site RT.com reports the passenger was detained for an hour before a member of the bomb squad — think The Hurt Locker levels of protective gear — walked out holding the offending toy, and laughing. I. Would. Die. To add insult to injury, the reportedly “red-faced” passenger ended up missing their flight home.

It isn’t just random tourists who have to deal with bad vibes at the airport. Sex toys can cause headaches for professional travelers too. New York Times correspondent Jada Yuan has seen her share of airports since beginning her year-long assignment to visit each place on the Times’ "52 Places to Go in 2018" list. On Twitter, she laments needing to explain her sex toys (and tampons) to security personnel. 

Listen you can’t put your whole life on hold every time you have to leave town, and self-pleasure is totally a part of normal life. If your chosen travel companion is of the vibrating variety, there are some things you need to consider. Heed these tips, or risk a major buzzkill on your next trip.

Following the Rules is TSA Lube

Want to ease through the line like you’re covered in KY? Follow the rules. You don’t want to give security a reason to have to open your bag up for a better look. Since we’re on the subject, lube is a liquid — as Ms. Yuan reminds us, all your liquids have to go together in that baggie and be under 3.4 ounces each. Don’t have a knife in your carry-on. Put your laptop in the bin. Don’t pack weird ass stuff (feel free to read that as “weird-ass stuff” or “weird ass-stuff”) that is incomprehensible on an x-ray. You know the drill. Just do what you’re asked, and everything will be easy-breezy nipple squeezy.

RELATED: A Surprising Way to Improve Your Masturbation Routine

Choose (and Pack) Wisely

When packing your carry-on, you want to think like the agent working the x-ray. So, the toys that are more ideal for travel are the ones that look like exactly what they are. (Which is to say, a vibrator that is vaguely penis-shaped.) The hand-sized LELO Sona Cruise is a little gem that packs a punch and won’t take up much space in your bag, but the shape of it (best described as an elongated bean with a stubby beak) is unusual and might cause a screening officer to need a closer look. Same goes for the take-no-prisoners MotorBunny system with attachments (sometimes literally) up the wazoo. If you're going all-out with a ride-on sex toy, well, good for you, but may we suggest you carve out some space in your checked baggage, instead? But back to the TSA-friendly choice: Take a look at something like the Elise from LELO. The traditional shape means its not likely to be mistaken for any thing other than what it is.

RELATED: 9 Sex Toys Every Woman Needs, Besides a Vibrator

Leave the Buzz in the Bedroom 

Imagine lifting your bag onto the conveyer belt when a familiar little hum starts up. Not ideal. Even if it doesn’t raise any suspicions (or set off a full-blown bomb scare), it might raise a few eyebrows, and you are going to have to go into your bag to turn it off. Simple solution: Take the batteries out before you leave. That way, if your rolled-up socks rub up against the on button, nothing’s gonna happen. But also: Don't forget to pack batteries.

RELATED: WTF Is Mindful Masturbation?

Who cares if they see it?

You don’t need to be embarrassed about bringing your buzzy little friend along for the ride. The TSA website spells out that sex toys are fair game in checked or carry-on luggage. Rest assured, the folks at the airport have seen it all. Unless your adult toy is extraordinary, it likely won’t even be noted. And whatever you’re packing, it’s probably not the wildest thing they’ve seen. So go ahead and pack yours; there's a good chance it won't be interesting to anyone but you, and the people you choose to share it with.

Finally, if you don’t think you’d be able to handle being pulled for additional screening for a matter related to your personal devices, put your toys in your checked baggage, and fly worry-free. Unless, of course, security mistakes your vibrator for a grenade, and immediately alerts the bomb squad. But what are the odds of that happening twice?

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