What does the T.S.A. have to do with Intimacy and Sexuality?

| December 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

On Sat­ur­day I had an encounter with TSA on my way to catch a flight from Boston to San Fran­cisco. It’s strange enough that travel these days involves dis­rob­ing and some­times being pat­ted down. But when there are ques­tion­able items in carry-on lug­gage, it adds even more insult to the experience.

First some “hot spots” showed up as I passed through the X-ray machine. No clips in my breasts, no metal in my bra, I think the agent just wanted a quick feel. I teased her a bit, but she wasn’t smil­ing, so I stopped.

Then she wanted to search my carry-on bag. Being a sex edu­ca­tor, I travel with all man­ner of equip­ment for my teach­ing and speak­ing engage­ments. This time I had 2 items in ques­tion ~ a bat­tery oper­ated vibra­tor and a Kegels bar­bell. First as she tapped the top of my bag, she acci­den­tally turned on the vibra­tor. “Darn it,” I thought, “I for­got to remove the bat­ter­ies.” When she opened the zip­per and saw the vibra­tor, she quickly said, “Turn that thing off!” So I did, silently snick­er­ing to myself.

Then she pulled out the bar­bell. Made of stain­less steel, it weighs about 2 pounds and looks like a small weight lifter’s tool, albeit much smaller and shinier. (That’s a photo of a bar­bell above this post.) She asked me what it was and I said, “Do you really want to know? It goes with the vibra­tor…” She dropped it like a hot potato, blushed as red as a tomato, and zipped up my bag.

I couldn’t let the moment pass. I said, “I carry these things with me because I’m a sex edu­ca­tor. Would you like my busi­ness card for future ref­er­ence?” She was clearly torn between curios­ity, embar­rass­ment and indig­na­tion. It was a pre­cious moment, when I was reminded of why I do what I do.

There is so much shame and embar­rass­ment about our sex­u­al­ity and it’s heart break­ing because it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s a bless­ing to be able to open up con­ver­sa­tions about this, even if they are awk­ward. Over the years of doing this work, my min­istry, I have many sto­ries to tell. One of the best was car­ry­ing 25 spec­ula for an over­seas train­ing …  I’ll spare you the details; how­ever, just imag­ine what it was like when that TSA agent opened my bag and saw that bounty!

If you have sto­ries about vibra­tors or other devices, please share them. Talk­ing about these things helps to nor­mal­ize them!

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Category: Inspire

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