Everything You Need To Know About Bringing Sex Toys On Vacation
For our first anniversary, my girlfriend took me to a beautiful, remote log cabin in snowy Wisconsin. We spent two days sitting naked in the hot tub, cooking delicious meals, rescuing an itty bitty mouse, relaxing with the mellow sounds of a “log cabin” playlist, and having incredible vacation sex.
Now, don’t get me wrong, sex with my girlfriend is almost always incredible (hey, sex can’t be perfect every time). But there’s just something extra special about vacation sex. “You're out of your routine, less stressed, somewhere new where you don't necessarily know anyone, and you don't have to clean,” says Kait Scalisi, MPH, founder of Passion By Kait.
For many people, vacation sets the perfect scene for sexy adventures (and damn good orgasms).
But there’s one thing I wish I had on our vacation to a winter wonderland: my strap-on. In the days leading up to our trip, I hemmed and hawed about whether I should pack the dildo and harness. But, ultimately, I was too nervous and left it at home. My vacation sex adventure was still amazing, but it could have been even better.
So, to help you avoid the teensy bit of regret I have, I’ve spoken with Scalisi and sexologist Megan Stubbs, Ed.D, about everything you need to consider when bringing a sex toy on vacation.
Vacation Sex 101: How to Get Your Toy Past Airport Security
Part of the reason I chose not to bring my strap-on was the airlines. I’ve packed small vibrators in my luggage before, but never something as large and intimidating as a bright pink dildo and strappy harness. But the TSA isn’t any reason to leave your sex toys at home, Scalasi says. “Remember that your pleasure matters — and that TSA agents have seen it all,” she says.
TSA-APPROVED: A tried & tested guide on traveling with sex toys!
Still, a senior TSA agent once told her that sex toys are some of the most commonly flagged items going through airport security. Their shapes and sizes can be confused for clubs or batons or simply puzzle the agents screening your bags.
So, in the case that your bag gets checked, here are the best tips to "sneak" your sex toy past airport security:
1. Put your sex toys in a clear plastic bag
This way, if someone inspects your luggage, they don't touch the toy.
2. Size matters for your carryon
Keep your sex toy to a max of seven inches or under. Anything over is considered a baton or club and needs to be in your checked bag. Even then, there's still a risk the toy will get confiscated.
3. Don't forget lube and toy cleaner
And remember the 3-1-1 rules for liquids. Consider checking these items or getting sample packs.
4. Check the laws if you're traveling internationally
Sex toys aren't legal in every country. Be mindful and do some research before you travel.
Vacation Sex 101: Travel-Friendly Toys
Some sex toys are specifically made for travel. Are those the only ones you should bring on vacation?
Not at all, Scalisi says. While you may find it convenient to have a travel-size vibrator, it’s not necessary. These sex toys tend to be smaller than the full-size versions or have lids that cover the most sex toy-looking parts.
The only feature Scalisi and Stubbs suggest a sex toy you’re traveling with should have is a travel lock — and many of them do. “A travel lock will prevent your toy from accidentally turning on while in transit or from bumps and jostling,” Stubbs says. “The first good thing about this is that your toy won't be dead when you arrive at your location. Secondly, you won't be the person having to fess up to the suspicious, vibrating bag.”
If you’re not sure whether your sex toy has a travel lock or not, Google it. It’s usually a series of button-presses that will lock the toy down, Stubbs says. But if it doesn’t have one, Scalisi suggests wearing out the charge beforehand — you’ll have to charge it when you get to your destination, but at least you’ll avoid a potentially embarrassing situation on the plane, bus, or train.
Best Toys for Vacation Sex
Still, it can be convenient for luggage space to pack something small, especially if you’re the type of person who overpacks for every trip. To save space, you might want to consider packing something like the Le Wand Petite or the Le Wand Chrome travel-friendly vibes — which pack a powerful punch in small packages.
Vacation Sex 101: Be Mindful of Others & Cultural Norms
Now, what about the noise? Depending on where you’re headed, the noise-level of your vibrators may be a concern.
My girlfriend and I would have been totally fine with the loudest, most rumbly vibrator in our log cabin because the nearest neighbor was far, far away.
But if your vacation is at your parents’ house, or if you’re staying in a hotel where you have 20 neighbors all on the same floor then you don’t have as much noise luxury. “If you're thinking about using a sex toy in close proximity to others, definitely test out the loudness before you pack it,” Stubbs says. “You can always try using a pillow to muffle the sound, too.” Or, if it comes down to it, you could blame the sound on your toothbrush, she says.
Scalisi almost always suggests people buy whisper-quiet sex toys like bullet vibrators because they’re versatile and can be used almost anywhere. “That being said, part of the fun of vacation is vacation sex and if that includes noise and exhibitionism [for you] go for it,” she says. Of course, you should still be mindful of where you are and that the people around you haven’t consented to see you have sex, though hearing people have sex is a thing that sometimes just happens with thin hotel-room walls.
If you’re at your parents’ house, Scalisi suggests making a game out of having the quietest sex you can, and that can include your sex toys.
And if you’re traveling internationally, she cautions you to be mindful of cultural norms and laws that may be different from what you’re used to.
Vacation Sex 101: Be Respectful
Finally, if you are staying in a hotel, please be respectful to the waitstaff.
So your first night of vacation sex was an absolute blast — you had sex in every inch of your hotel room and passed out on the bed at 2 a.m. Now, it’s morning and you just want to head down to breakfast, get some coffee, and start your sightseeing. But wait: There are probably a few things you need to take care of first.
“When it comes to hotel anything, I always say be courteous,” Stubbs says. “You can get as kinky and as wild as you want, but don't destroy the hotel room.” That means making sure that any single-use sex toys you buy, like disposable cock rings, lube packets, and even nipple pasties, end up in the trash and not on the hotel room floor. That goes for condoms, too. Don’t leave them out on your nightstand and don’t flush them down the toilet.
When it comes to the sex toys you’ve brought from home, make sure to put them away in your bag — and you might want to clean them first, too (bringing your own toy cleaner or a UV sterilizer pouch is probably a good idea).
Hotel cleaning staff, like TSA agents, have seen everything, Scalisi says. But that doesn’t mean they want to see your used sex toys or accessories laying around or have to touch it so they can clean the room. Either put your toys away or, if you’re really too tired to pick up before you go out, opt-out of having your room cleaned. “And don't forget to tip,” Scalisi says, “especially if you leave a mess.”