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How to travel safely with sex toys for gay travelers!

How to travel safely with sex toys for gay travelers!

Wondering how you can travel with your favorite sex toys without causing too much trouble at the airport? Here are our 10 tried and tested tips to help you stow those goodies away…

“Seby, what’s your favorite sex toy?”
“This one,” he replied, pointing right at me.
“Gee… thanks.”
“For real, Seby, if you had to pick one, what would it be?”
“I’d say the vibrator. It’s strong, reliable, sturdy… and doesn’t expect me to return the favor once I finish.”

After nearly breaking up from that conversation, we got to chatting about the hassle of owning a bunch of sex toys whilst being on the road. Whether you use them or not, toys are a wonderful way to spice up one's love life! So, what can you do when you decide to go traveling for a year, or you've planned a surprise romantic weekend getaway where the toys take center stage?!

Worry not we've got your back. Over years of traveling, we've come up with a con-cock-tion (!) of neat tricks and tips to enable one to discreetly sashay one's way through airport security.

These are all our best tried and tested hot tips for traveling with sex toys that you need to try out!

Heads up: We just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links. That means if you book something through one of those links, we'll get a small commission, at no extra cost to you. It helps us keep our blog going – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥

Stefan in speedos at the Cobblers gay beach in Sydney.
Guess where Stefan is hiding his…

1. Hide your dildo in your shoes

This is the one dark and safe spot we would never have thought of to put our dildo…but it works! Not only will the security guards think you’re exceptionally good at tightly rolling up socks, but it’ll also save you space in your luggage whilst ensuring your dildo is safely and neatly packed away.

Dildos are one of those items that, if discovered, are hard to mistake for anything else, especially the life-size ones like His Tipps, which come complete with veins and an intricately carved foreskin! So, if you're prone to embarrassment, we recommend popping your dildo into your shoes for storage when traveling.

And if you’re thinking to yourself, “But boys, my dildo is too big to put in my shoe!” First of all, good for you sis! And second, you can wrap it in a towel or t-shirt. There are plenty of alternative options. 

Just don’t forget it’s in there before putting the shoes on your feet when you get to your hotel…

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2. Remove batteries from your vibrator

We’re guilty of forgetting to do this. You know when you’re in a rush packing, so you chuck all the last-minute bits into your carry-on without thinking about it?

Yep, that’s us!

And one time, we completely neglected to take out the batteries from our vibrator. Somehow, it went off in our bag… and, well… cue the scene of us at the conveyor belt, pink-faced, as a bullish security woman searched our backpacks in search of a strange buzzing sound…

“Do we tell her?” Seby whispered.
“Let’s just see how this plays out…”

And sure enough, seconds later, she waved the rainbow-coloured vibrator at us for everyone to see. Truly, not one of our finest moments.

So, take it from us when we say… TAKE THE BATTERIES OUT BEFORE YOU PACK! Not only are you saving yourself embarrassment if it suddenly goes off, but you’ll also avoid draining the battery in case it switches itself on mid-flight.

On that note, did you read about the vibrator that caused the closure of Berlin's airport?! Just sayin'…

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3. Pack your vibrator with your toiletries

Piggybacking off our tip on removing batteries from the vibrator, adding your device to a toiletry bag is another act of expert concealment. With a bit of luck, you’ll get a gullible security agent who mistakes it for a neck massager. Even if it has a picture of Ryan Reynold’s face on it… (which ours totally does not…)!  

Being real: a woman or gay agent is probably going to know what it is. But at the end of the day, there’s no need to feel awkward if you’re caught. It’s a perfectly natural item to have on you and they’re most likely not going to give a damn. 

Just be sure to pack it in a bag separate from your toothbrush. As that’s the kind of dirty even we can’t get on board with…

Follow our tips to discretely pack sex toys when traveling
A whole bunch of vibrators might be a bit more obvious…

4. Avoid packing poppers!

The popper craze has been a closely held secret within the LGBTQ community for decades. This means airport security is likely to have no clue what they are if they discover them in your case.

The legality of buying/selling poppers is in a grey area. Technically they are illegal, but some shops work around the law by describing them as room deodorizers. They are usually kept beneath the counter of sex shops, so you need to ask the cashier if they have them whenever you’re craving a buzz.

Partiers sniff them to feel a euphoric head rush and to *ahem* loosen up some notable areas. So, while all the bottoms reading this may consider it an essential item to bring with them, it’s not worth airport security thinking you're drug smuggling and proceeding to tackle you to the ground. Unless that’s your kink… either way, the real deal won’t be pretty.

It’s also technically illegal to pack poppers in your checked luggage, so it's best to steer on the safe side on this one and leave it at home or try to buy them locally when you arrive.

Poppers are not something you should pack in your suitcase or carry-on when traveling, buy them locally
Leave the poppers at home and just buy them at your destination if you must have them

5. Budget for a checked suitcase

When attending, say a big gay party cruise like Atlantis or a La Demence gay cruise, outfits are going to take up the bulk of your luggage. And hand in hand you'll no doubt want to pack an assortment of other toys to elevate your experience! Our dilemma is we can never decide precisely what to bring so we just pack a whole bunch of things and play it by ear each day. The only drawback is, that we would have to face the dreaded luggage check-in…

It’s a bit of a chore, but sometimes, there’s no other choice. Checking in is certainly the bane of all traveling experiences. It’s time consuming. It's usually an expense to consider. It’s inconvenient. It can have its risks. 

What if the bag gets lost? What if it exceeds the weight limit? What if a sinister airport employee stashes away illegal drugs inside of it, incriminating you in a nasty criminal scheme, and landing you in jail for the rest of your life? (OK, that last one is a bit overdramatic). The point is, it can cause more stress than it’s worth.

Yet, if you are going away long-term, or just want to avoid the embarrassment of staff spotting a toy in your carry-on, you might have to bite the bullet and do it. Before embarking on your trip, figure out how much your airline charges for checked luggage. From that, you can decide if it’s a worthwhile expense.  

Pack your sex toys in your checked luggage to avoid any embarrassment or stress
If you've got a lot of toys, you might need more space!

6. Stick to non-metallic cock rings

Sure, it could be the premise of an awesome *adult* film. You’re wearing a metallic cock ring. You walk through security. The alarm goes off. A hot guard approaches and demands a frisk search. And… well… you can picture how the rest might play out.

Sadly, this won’t happen in real life. Not even close. Therefore, we've set down some ground rules for smuggling those rings to your destination. 

Rule 1: Don’t wear your ring through security. Seems obvious right? Not to everyone. A friend of a friend tried it and it was not as spicy as you might think.

And rule 2: Avoid bringing a metal one. Swap it out for the rubber or silicone kind.

Though if you insist on metal, then at least find some creative way of bringing it through. Either strap it onto your belt buckle, making it seem like a neat fashion accessory. Or you could wear it as a bracelet? Or earring? It may sound OTT and ridiculous… but hey, it’s better than being strip-searched and having to explain what it is you’re wearing, down there!

Here our top tips for traveling safely with sex toys!
“Oh this, just my new humble cool bracelet…!”

7. Fold your hoods and store them with your underwear

If you’re caught with a fetish hood in your luggage, you have two options.

The first: be honest. Admit it’s part of your kink, that you live a perfectly healthy and liberating sex life, and that you shouldn’t be made to feel embarrassed about your fantasies. After all, you're likely boarding a flight over to gay Berlin right? It goes without saying…!

The second: lie and say you plan on robbing a bank!

The latter option is less likely to receive a raised eyebrow. To get around this, wrap up your hood in some underwear or a t-shirt. It likely won’t be discovered at all, seeing as it's just a piece of fabric.

At the very least, folding it in something else or placing it in a plastic bag, will stop it from getting damaged should anything spill or leak in your luggage. If, say, you also enjoy a Spiderman outfit or three, my personal recommendation would be to carefully fold it away in amongst your clothes to protect it and keep it well under harm's way…

Stefan in full Spiderman outfit.
Whether it's just the hood or the full outfit, it's delicate and needs to be safely stored away!

8. Harnesses shouldn’t cause any problems

We love a harness. Not just because of how fabulous we look wearing them, but because they never cause us a headache when traveling. They are low-key, easy to carry, and won’t raise eyebrows if they are spotted in a random carry-on search. 

Heck, you could probably wear one through security and be completely fine – though we don’t recommend wearing just a harness… airport staff probably won’t think it’s as cute as your friends will. 

Harnesses have almost become an obligatory accessory gay item for almost all themed events we've been to, especially during some of the large gay Pride events.

To be extra cautious, we suggest wrapping your harness in a towel or popping it into a plastic bag to protect it from spillages. Harnesses can be expensive and the last thing you want is for it to get soiled by the inevitable burst bottle of shower gel!

Harnesses are one type of sex toy you can travel with fairly easily
We promise this is not an airport selfie!

9. Avoid sex toys if going to a homophobic country!

This one is a bit of a no-brainer.

Despite our daredevil streak, we know that bringing cock rings or a dildo vibrator into a place like the UAE or Indonesia won’t end well. Security guards won’t laugh it off like in other places and you could get yourself into hot water. 

The best-case scenario could be you landing yourself on the receiving end of some serious stank eye – yes, even worse than the dirty looks Seby gives me when I can’t decide on where to eat that day…! Worst case = jail time or more. Do not risk it.

We always add notes into each of our guides about a country/destination's LGBTQ policies and public attitudes, so you can check these out if you’re unsure of how tolerant/progressive a place is. Some places may seem OK when you look up their laws on Google, such as Poland or Hungary, but social attitudes can still be quite judgemental. Therefore, it’s best not to risk it! For more, be sure to check our guide to which places we rate as the most gay friendly countries in the world as well as the most dangerous places for gay travelers.

We also highly recommend checking out our Gay Travel page which includes vital practical safety advice and info for LGBTQ travelers.

Gay guy hitchhiking in Speedos at Obelisk gay beach in Sydney.
Gay Travel Lesson 101 by Stefan…how to hitch a ride safely…!

10. Remember that lube is a liquid!

It may seem obvious to some. But trust us, lube needs to go into a clear bag when going through security if you're bringing it in your carry-on luggage.

We know lots of guys who left their lube in their back pockets when sauntering through the scanner thinking it was just like a condom… It was a bit of a headache for them when the alarms went off and the guards came across their flattened greasy packet!

Save yourself all this hassle by storing it away with all your other liquid toiletries. It’ll keep things simple, plus it’ll prevent the risk of it leaking all over your other carry-on items.

Make sure it’s under the limit too, which is about 3.4 ounces. The last thing you want is for it to get confiscated, especially when it’s a new packet or bottle.

When traveling, remember that lube is a liquid so needs to be shown when going through security
Make sure these go in a transparent bag with your carry-on

And if caught with your sex toys?

Just own it!

Sex is all about fun and games. Everyone has their own embarrassing in-the-sack story and being caught with a sex toy while going through security can simply become one of yours! It’s only awkward at the moment. For the rest of time, it’ll become a side-splittingly hilarious tale you can share with mates over drinks…

Plus, you’ll give the guards something to giggle about with their colleagues during their lunch break. A win-win for all!

Beach selfie with friends in Sydney.
Smiles and laughter: the best life medicine!

For more inspiration:

Stefan Arestis

Hey everyone, I'm Stefan, the curly-haired Greek flavor behind the gay travel blog Nomadic Boys. Together with my other half, I have explored more than 90 countries across 5 continents. What I love most about traveling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends, learning new cultures. I've written about LGBTQ travel in numerous online publications such as Gaycation Magazine, Gaycities, Gay Times and Pink News as well as for other non-gay-specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post. Check my full bio here.

Richard Ramirez

Saturday 27th of January 2024

Your article is very good. We lived in Berlin and most times we traveled by rail but other times we flew. When we flew into SF, and poppers were found, it didn't create a big problem but it's best just to buy them there. Berlin is still my favorite for events, especially since Folsom took off. It seems like everyone goes to Berlin now. Plan is just enjoy yourself and have a good time. Just use common sense.

Stefan Arestis

Sunday 28th of January 2024

Amen to that :)