5 Tips for Traveling With Sex Toys

Nobody enjoys taking off their shoes, removing all metal objects and making their way though airport security. But for some the process can be, well, a little more revealing and sometimes embarrassing.

Ann Lombardi was recently going through the Transportation Security Administration's checkpoint in Atlanta before catching a flight to Zurich when her carry-on bag started buzzing.

It wasn't a bomb or a terrorist weapon but a vibrating massager Lombardi was bringing to a friend in Switzerland who had said she -- seriously -- wanted to massage her sore thigh.

"Naturally I was flagged by TSA," said Lombardi, an Atlanta-based tour guide with The Trip Chicks. "When the male TSA agent pulled out the unwrapped device, it was in full view of a bunch of travelers, including a man of the cloth."

"I distinctly remember the scowl on the pastor's face and his wife glancing away self-consciously in the other direction. Of course several other people in line giggled," Lombardi added. "Just when I was recovering from total embarrassment and as I sat engrossed in my magazine at the gate area, two young guys next to me jokingly asked: 'Hey, aren't you that woman who just got buzzed at security?'"

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Travelers pack all sorts of items in their bags from an extra T-shirt to that perfect beach novel. Some of those items however are a bit more private.

Monica Hurtado and her husband Edgar endured a similar embarrassment in October 2001 traveling from their home in Arlington, Texas, to Nueva Vallarta, Mexico, for their honeymoon.

"My bridesmaid decided to pack my luggage for me the night before and filled it with tons of lingerie. Being right after 9/11, when we got to Mexico they dumped out my suitcase on the table," Hurtado said. "I was mortified when the guy at the airport put a pencil thru one of the straps of my garments on the table and smiled and asked `honeymoon?' I was truly a blushing bride at that moment."

"Edgar just about fell over laughing, while I was almost in tears," said Hurtado, now expecting her first child in two weeks.

Airport Security Wanted to Inspect What?

The TSA said it "respects passengers' privacy and strives to treat the traveling public with respect and dignity. All passengers have the option to request screening in a private area."

But while TSA agents are trained to respect travelers' privacy, some passengers say that's not always the case.

Jennifer Kellas was once returning to Detroit after a trip to St. John. The TSA agent was going their her bag and for some reason stopped when he found a few condoms.

"He took them out," Kellas recalled, "and said `Oh, you went to St. John to party, huh? Was it fun?' It was embarrassing and rude."

While the embarrassment can be mortifying for the passenger, to airport authorities on high alert for security threats, a vibrating object at an airport can be easily confused with a bomb.

Back in 2004, Mackay airport in Queensland, Australia, was evacuated when a sex toy discarded in a cafe garbage can caused a terrorism alert.

"It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously," the cafe's manager, Lynne Bryant told media at the time. "We called security."

The police were about to call the bomb squad when a passenger admitted throwing the object away as he prepared to board his flight.

Of course, not every buzzing item is a sex toy.

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