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Air travel with gear

I was asked this over in my yahoo group and thought it might be of interest to some of you so I thought I'd re-post it here.

As you know, I travel a lot so maybe my two cents might be of interest to those who want to know the scoop of air travel and gear. Here's my personal guidelines to travel by with the least amount of hassle. Please feel free to add your experience as well.
And don't just take my word for this. Please make sure to check the current info with TSA (if in the USA) as well as governmental information from the country you plan to visit.
Here are some helpful links.

US Transportation Security Administration/Homeland Security web page on prohibited items for air travel with the most recent updates

US Department of State, International Travel Info, Travel Warnings, Country Specific Information & Travel Alerts

- Dildos and vibrators: Not a problem in carry-on as long as you are matter of fact about it should they need to take it out. Put each item in a zip lock bag to keep it clean when handled. If you feel you might get embarassed, put it in checked luggage. But really, there's no shame in it and they've seen it all.
Whether carry-on or checked, make sure to remove batteries from battery powered items. It's funny/awkward when your bag's vibrating and it'll be dead when you want to use it. Do not take more than one or two if going to potentially conservative countries. Don't take any to countries with religious / legal limitations on them.

- Any striking implements => into checked luggage

- Any restraining implements => into checked luggage

- Any sharp things, like knives => into checked luggage

- Needles => unless you have a doctor prescribed reason to have hypodermics, don't take them with you. Ship in advance or have a contact on the destination end arrange to have them ready. For foreign travel I personally never take needle play equipment with me as I don't want to be suspected of drug use or trafficking.

- Electrical toys: If it's anythings with lots and lots of cables and power supplies it can look like some suspecious explosive item in the xray. I travel with electrical items only domestically. I also make sure to pack the manual in a clear plastic bag with the items and make sure the electrical sex toys are with them and very obvious.

- Stun guns are illegal in many places. Don't take them unless you know for certain it's ok. For example they are illegal in Canada and Australia.

- There are other items that illegal in many places. So items that are a bad idea to have, if you're not sure are: real or real-looking hand cuffs, sjambochs, stun guns, sap gloves, black jacks, nunchucks, etc.

- If asked about items don't pretend like they're stage props or something. Just be honest and say that you like some naughty sex play with your lover.

I don't tend to ship items in advance as my travel turn around times are so short I can't afford that time lag. But if you don't travel much or need these items all the time, it might be an option for you.

Also, I have a whole section in my book "Wild Side Sex" on this.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Safe travels!




( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Really, they should sell it in airport bookstores.

You should also always have a spare copy of Wild Side Sex to read while traveling.
Mar. 17th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
One should always carry a diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.
Mar. 17th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
Amusing, I was actually reading that section of your book just yesterday!

"Make sure to pack the manual in a clear plastic bag with the items". THANK YOU. I'd never thought of it. Might come in handy for other items.

I might also add:

-Don't pack more than 2-3 corsets (or similar items of clothing that involve metal parts) in the same luggage. I had a very bad experience in which I had to explain what exactly was in the suitcase, and missed a flight because of it.

-In case of doubt, assume security personnel will err on the side of caution involving anything suspicious. So err yourself on the side of caution.
Mar. 17th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
Exactly, when in doubt, check it. You can also always call airport security and ask them about stuff that's not on the list but might come across as suspicious.
Mar. 17th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
My best friend lives in Panama and one of the things I generally take to her (because they're either hard to get or really super expensive) are sex toys. One year, I went around X-mas time, and so I brought a whole back pack full for her friends too. (Plus the requisite batteries). I must have had at least 8 dildos in my bag. Imagine my dismay when the TSA people didn't even blink an eye.

SIGH!!! My inner exhibitionist was heart-broken.
Mar. 17th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
Any issues with Rope? Does TSA consider it a "restraining" device?

Mar. 17th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Check it.
I recommend checking your rope. Tied up nicely like we have it makes it even look more suspicious. (slip knot chains)

It doesn't say specifically rope anywhere. But they had a small blurb on parachutes which would have much cording. But anything suspicious could and would trigger an entire search of all the baggage it did say.
Mar. 17th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, they can.
I've had ropes that I forgot to pack in the checked bags that were stuffed in my carry-on get confiscated.
It doesn't always happen, as I've heard, and it's up to the inspector's discretion, but do you want to find out the sad way?
Mar. 17th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
I've had enough of my hemp rope "wander off" hat I want to keep what I have.

And sadly I doubt I'll have a need for it on the plane... :(
Mar. 17th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
recent TSA anecdote
Depends on the airport, too...

When I flew up to Seattle for Bang 4 the Buck, I was in a hurry, coming straight from work, and didn't want to check anything. I flew out of SF with a giant purse and a medium-sized carry-on and no problems. However, I shopped quite a bit in Seattle -- and won some lovely raffle items! -- so not everything fit into my suitcase when I was set to come back home. No biggie; I checked the suitcase and took the giant purse and the shopping bag full of shoes on the plane. :)

Only SeaTac security didn't like the size of my face cream. Or my applesauce cups (oops!). Or, um, the wooden paddle that had passed muster in SF without comment. It's a blunt instrument. I guess they were worried about me storming the cockpit with moisturizer and my Yo-Yo paddle.

I checked the purse after all. And I got the free TSA massage TWICE. And the pleasure of watching the agents' faces, especially the one who'd just complimented my super-cute rubber ladybug rain boots while her partner pulled the offending items out of my purse onto the table behind her. 0:-)
Mar. 17th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
For those of us who don't have travel schedules as rigorous as the wonderful Midori, I've found FedEx Ground to be my best friend, not only for items I *really don't* want to explain, or take the time to figure out whether they're legal in a specific state, but ALL of my gear. I've found it to be more reliable and less expensive than checked luggage, even before the airlines started charging for checked baggage, plus, I don't have to deal with large bags between airport & hotel.. it's all there waiting for me when I get there.

About 10 days out, I check to see the estimated travel time and set my "ship date" to allow an extra day of slippage. Using FedEx's website, I also go on and run a return label and pack it with the shipment along with a small roll of packing tape. When I get ready to head home, I pack the box up, slap on the return label, and call for pickup.

Mar. 17th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
I also have been known to put a note on the top of the luggage that I hvae checked saying, "Please note, there are contents of an adult nature in this luggage. Most of them are clean, however I still suggest using gloves if you need to inspect the contents."
Mar. 17th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
That's glorious! It really is a good idea, and seems considerate of TSA personnel.
Mar. 17th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
where do you stash the char sui buns?
Mar. 17th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
mmm cha shu....
in my stomach, of course!
(Hey, I'll be back in London in May, along with Kumi)
Mar. 17th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
My experience with TSA on the Phoenix-SeaTac route has been exceedingly unsatisfactory.

The first time I flew out for Paradise, the TSA apparently decided to make an editorial comment about the naughty gear in my checked luggage by putting one of my bags on the plane gaping wide open. When it came up the conveyor to drop onto the baggage carousel, it flipped over. The only thing that saved me from having to chase countless items of pervy gear around the carousel was the fact that I'd packed my pony saddle on top of everything else. That kept things tucked in well enough that I could retrieve my bag, right it, and close it up without exposing my fellow passengers to a non-consensual lesson in ponyplay and latex fetishism.

Last summer, in preparation for the same event, I mailed my camping gear in two boxes, and my pervy gear in another box. The camping gear box went via FedEx, and the pervy gear and another box of camping gear went via USPS. All three boxes were printed with the exact same label.

Guess which box got returned as "Undeliverable, address not found?"
Mar. 18th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
Which is why I use UPS-have never had an issue with a package of pervy stuff going across the country.
Mar. 18th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
I was quickly waved through Canadian customs flying through Vancouver when I answered the query of the very attractive uniformed customs agent with, "That [checked] one is full of kinky sex toys - whips, chains, etc."

She really didn't want to get into it. A similar comment has gotten me through the Canadian customs at Blaine many times.

If you can't be embarrassed, then they have no way to embarrass you, simply put. Past that, there is no real game for them.

I've never had a problem with checked piercing or medical supplies, by the way, but haven't flown other than domestically in the US or into Canada. I would follow Midori's advice for international travel.
Mar. 19th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
when we have to travel for genitorture presentations we simply put notes all over everything! They touch it, poke it, giggle about it, but so far we have managed to travel with everything from needles to stun guns and blow guns and whips and the like.

While I have been tempted to be takcy and put "dirty" notes in the bags I don't. Ma'am says "I am telling them this if for educational uses only."... uuummm yes Ma'am!
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
ok so you have got to tell us what the notes say!
Mar. 19th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
To whom it may concern:
I am a sexologist and an educator. I am teaching a class to like-minded adults and these are the props I need. It is about enhancing your sexual experience and I cover a wide range of topics.

Simple. Effective. And to me VERY funny.

Mar. 26th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this list. I wandered by because I love your work - imagine my delight when I found the answer to a question I've had regarding whether or not I should check my rope on an upcoming flight from the US to Newfoundland. I was really dithering about it cause I've had airlines lose checked medical equipment (not to mention my wheelchair) before, and I really don't want to lose 100 feet of high quality rope too, but after reading this, the rope's getting checked and I'll take my chances.

.... even though I'd really, really love to see the faces of the TSA screeners when my gimpy innocent-looking self comes through with a carryon full of nothing but medical equipment (including medically necessary needles), a doctor's note, and 100 ft of rope... but in the interest of not having the rope confiscated, I'll check it instead. ;)
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