The Gay Man’s Guide to Traveling With Sex Toys
We all have that one friend … the one who brazenly packs a 12-inch dildo in his hand luggage with no cares in the world, begging to be searched at airport security in order to make the TSA workers blush! Thankfully for that friend of ours, this happened at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport — one of the gayest places in the world. But how do you travel with sex toys if you’re not as bold as our friend? What if you don’t like drawing attention to yourself and just want to go about your journey with all your toys safely tucked away?
In this guide we’ve put together our top tips on how to travel with sex toys, including ways to minimize attention being drawn to them and how to keep them safe. For more practical advice about traveling safely, be sure to check out our gay travel safety tips, which we think all LGBTQ travelers should read!
Here are 10 tips for gay men on how to travel with sex toys:
1. Stick to non-metallic cock rings …
… especially if you’re going to wear it while traveling! It’s going to set off the airport’s security alarm, and the consequences can be pretty interesting.
Our personal alternative to metal rings is rubber. Others opt for silicone and leather.
If you’re going to pack your rings in your carry-on luggage, one useful tip is to “hide” them amongst your clothes or even hang them to your trouser belt loops so they look like a fashion accessory.
Or you can always pull it off like it’s a bracelet …
2. Avoid packing poppers!
Ahhh, the good old Amyl Nitrite that helps to loosen things up a little. While poppers are now illegal in most countries, in some places — like in the UK — they get around the law by marketing them as “room deodorizers.”
But for all their bottoming benefits and that brief, euphoric head rush, poppers can have some pretty nasty side effects, particularly for those with heart conditions or blood pressure issues. More pertinent to traveling, they’re highly flammable and therefore banned by most airlines.
So, the sensible conclusion: avoid packing poppers altogether on that next trip to Fire Island or Madrid. In any case, you’re likely to find a local sex shop where you can buy them on arrival, and simply leave your poppers behind ahead of your return journey.
3. Hide your dildo in your shoes.
Legit advice from that same friend of ours: In the event that you’re going to have to open your bag at security for a search, it’s better to have your dildo tucked away in a plastic bag somewhere, like in your shoes.
If anything, the more wrapped up and packed in among your clothes it is, the less likely it will trigger a security alarm. And even if it does, it will certainly minimize any embarrassment.
4. Pack your vibrator with your toiletries.
The same may apply for your dildo … assuming it’s small enough to fit.
Placing your vibrator with your toiletries in your wash bag is a pretty savvy way to tactfully hide it, thereby minimizing embarrassment with security staff. If anything, the security cameras are more likely to confuse it for deodorant rather than a pulsating pleasure tool.
5. Fold your hoods and store with your underwear.
Maybe your version of ‘travel with sex toys’ means taking your fetish hoods with you. If so, pack them with your underwear. If you have a soft hood, like lycra, you can fold it up and place it with your clothes, which completely hides it away.
For other hoods that can be folded up, store them in a plastic bag away from your toiletries – any spillages risk long term damage to latex hoods, so take care!
6. Remember that lube is a liquid!
It may seem obvious, but it’s happened to us a few times when our bags set off security alarm bells due to a small sachet of lube that wasn’t placed with the rest of our toiletries inside a transparent bag. So don’t forget to pack your lube with your liquid toiletries!
And remember, when taking your lube inside a carry-on, limit it to 3.4 ounces (100ml).
7. Harnesses shouldn’t cause any problems.
We’ve been on many trips around Europe and North America with our trusty harnesses on-hand, and at no stage have they ever tripped a security alarm. A harness is not as “in your face” as other sex toys, so likely won’t raise as many eyebrows.
As with all toys, we recommend placing it in a secure plastic bag to keep it safe and out of harm’s way in the event of a spillage.
8. Consider budgeting for a checked suitcase.
While most of us prefer to travel light, particularly for short trips or when booking a checked suitcase bumps up the price of your ticket, sometimes it’s prudent to just swallow the extra cost and check a bag. That way you minimize all embarrassing situations with airport security.
If you’re heading for quite a heavy weekend of fetish play, or attending an event like Folsom, you’re most likely going to want to take a whole selection of toys with you. In this case, it may be easier to check a suitcase you can fit it all in. Rim seats would fit far easier in a suitcase than in your carry-on, as would that 12-inch dildo!
9. Remove the batteries from your vibrator.
When packing your vibrator(s), remember to take out the batteries. There’s nothing more annoying than an impromptu buzzing, which is of course guaranteed to happen at the most embarrassing moment in front of all the security staff.
Even more importantly, this will avoid draining your batteries if it accidentally switches on mid-transit.
10. Avoid sex toys if going to a homophobic country …
… especially those with anti-gay laws in place, like the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore. We’d also recommend exercising caution when heading to a country notorious for having a homophobic reputation, including Turkey, Poland, Russia and Indonesia. These are places where you don’t want security staff waving your 12-inch dildo in public!
So we strongly advise doing your groundwork before any trip. Check the local government’s advice and be aware of LGBTQ laws, particularly in relation to sex toys!
You’ve decided to travel with sex toys. And you’re caught. Now what?
Just own it!
What’s the worst that can happen? The only person who will really be embarrassed is the security staff, who will most likely laugh it off. Just smile — you’ve probably made someone’s day!