News & Politics

Guess What? The TSA Has Probably Rifled Through Your Sex Toys

Travel on an airplane with a sex toy? Prepare to have your bag searched.

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If you travel with a sex toy, prepare to have your bag searched. A report in the New York Post chronicles how airport-security screeners routinely search through the bags of passengers who are carrying sex toys.

While there’s nothing illegal about carrying sex toys when you fly, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still goes overboard when it comes to kinky toys. TSA rules say that you’re allowed to have vibrators and dildos in carry-ons as long as they’re not more than 7 inches. Sex lubricants are okay too, as long as their volume falls within the allowed TSA rules. But “handcuffs, floggers, police batons, whips and other things that could be weapons are best flown in checked bags,” the Post reports.

A number of sex educators and sex toy sellers have experienced the TSA’s heavy hand. “My checked bag is searched almost every time I fly. I guess I’m just lucky, or look suspicious!” sex blogger Rori Sweet told the Post.

“They always go through my bag!” a sex educator said. The New York Post notes that “sex-toy fans usually know when their bags are searched because federal Transportation Security Administration baggage screeners leave official printed notices behind.”

One sex-toy seller named Vicki Kriner had what she said was a “creepy” experience.

“His name was Jim, and he dotted the ‘i’ with a heart,” Kriner told the New York Post. “The note said to have a nice day and had a smiley face scrawled next to it. It seemed unprofessional, and a little creepy.”

The Post story is not the first time that the TSA and sex toys have made headlines. In October 2011, editor Jill Filipovic revealed on Twitter that a TSA worker had left a note for her about her vibrator.

The worker wrote, “Get Your Freak On, Girl!” The TSA worker was then fired.

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.