How to Pack Your Vibrator for the Plane, According to Sexperts

During the pandemic, vibrator sales surged as people realized the stress and anxiety-relieving benefits of getting off. So it's no surprise that as people are vaxxed, waxxed, and ready to get their travel on, they're looking to pack their emotional support vibes with them. But before you do, you're going to want to read up on how to pack your vibrator for the plane.

First thing's first, while sex toys do meet TSA guidelines, there have been instances where passengers have been questioned about their arousing carry-on items. In 2018, an incident at Berlin's Schoenfeld International Airport 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 were 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.

So if you want to avoid these bad vibes during your first trip back to the airport and 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.

Have Your Vibrator and Bag Prepared for TSA

Good news: Sex toys are totally approved for travel by the TSA, in both carry-on and checked baggage, according to New York City-based psychotherapist and sex and relationship coach, Rachel Wright, MA, LMFT.

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, so a reminder to keep it under 3.4 oz. 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. "Unless you are packing tons of extraordinary bondage toys, no one will likely say anything," says Wright.

However, when it comes to international travel, you should definitely still do your due diligence and research when it comes to traveling with toys. Some countries have restrictions on sex toys, so to avoid any troubles getting through security or customs, educate yourself on your destination's policies beforehand, says Lelo's sexpert Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of Becoming Cliterate and A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex.

Pack (and Choose) Your Vibe 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.) Take a look at something like the Elise from LELO ($120; lelo.com) The traditional shape means it's not likely to be mistaken for anything other than what it is.

Another option is downsizing your toys (because size does matter here). As they say, good things come in small packages, and Wright advises choosing the most compact device in your collection as your travel companion. She also suggests giving the toy its "own travel bag" to prevent damage or accidental turn-ons (of the device, of course). Mintz says a transparent plastic bag will allow agents to quickly identify what the item is in the chance your bag is searched.

For a swift pass through security, try the secretive yet sexy MIA 2 from LELO ($64; lelo.com). Mintz says this small but mighty device looks like a little tube of lipstick but packs a punch. "The MIA 2 massager looks perfectly at home in your purse or carry-on suitcase yet has the hidden power to get you to the peak," says Mintz. "Its lipstick-style design makes it an especially discreet toy to travel with, and the integrated USB charger means you will never run out of juice."

Keep Your Vibrator Quiet On the Plane

To avoid any random sounds, pulses, or vibrations, Wright says to look for toys with travel settings. A flip of that switch will prevent any embarrassment at security. Mintz adds that Lelo's toys have a "lock" feature "meaning it won't accidentally turn it on in your carry-on if bumped the wrong way."

And if you're stressed about batteries going off in the X-ray machine, Mintz suggests a rechargeable toy with a USB port and cable. Worst comes to worst and you're unable to get your hands on a chargeable device, remove the batteries and pack them in a separate area of your bag or in your checked bag.

Also, Who Cares If TSA Sees Your Vibrator?

In case you need a reminder: There is nothing wrong with bringing your buzzy friend along for the ride! And if your little friend goes off, Wright's best advice? "Play it cool! There's nothing to be embarrassed about, and you aren't the first person its happened to. You aren't breaking any rules." (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 — just check out the TSA's hilarious Instagram account.

Finally, if you don't think you'd be able to handle being pulled for additional screening, 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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