I have been traveling. One of the delightful parts of air travel these days is being thoroughly scrutinized. I travel fairly often though, so I’ve mostly gotten used to the routine. Drink all the water in my bottle before going through the scanner so I can keep it and fill it up on the other side. Take combat boots off, take laptop out, put on tray. Go through body scanner and be undressed by a machine. Pick up possessions, put them back in my bag, put combat boots back on. Go check out whiskey and perfume to entertain myself.
Most of my long journey went according to plan. I got back and was almost free – almost done with the barrage of invasions of privacy that I hardly even notice any more – when I was pulled over for one last random search as I was heading towards the ‘nothing to declare’ door. So I put my bags up on the conveyor belt and crossed my fingers mentally. No such luck.
“Ma’am, is there anything you’d like to declare? Do you have a metal bar in your bag?”
I told the man that I did and complied when he asked me to take it out and show it to him. I pulled out the spreader bar that I’d bought a few months back with two leather cuffs attached to it. He asked me what it was for. I decided to go the ebay route and told him that it was for a stage production. That was, after all, how I first got into BDSM. My first flogger was indeed a stage prop that I used as a dominatrix in a gothic reinterpretation of Twelfth Night.
The woman who was still looking at the machine that revealed the contents of my bag asked if there was another metal object. I said there was, and pulled out my anal hook. This one I couldn’t really reinvent as a stage prop. I just came right out and told the man standing next to my bag and peering in that it was a sex toy. He took it over to the woman at the machine for her to examine.
She asked if I also had whips in my bag. I pulled out my two floggers. She asked if I had a torch. I showed her my Hitachi magic wand knock off. She saw my double ended dildo gag, picked it up, and said she knew what that was for.
The man who was asking me to pull out my most personal belongings one at a time told me that he was going to have to show these to his supervisor. He had me bring a cart over and put my bags on it. He put my implements of pain and pleasure on top for the world to see as we strode towards further inspection.
A stern woman at a desk looked at me and the items that had been brought to her. She investigated the spreader bar and the whips closely. She conversed with the man who had brought me over in harsh tones in another language. I should mention that the country I was entering has strong punishments. Death for possessing too much weed. Pornography is illegal (though still widely consumed). Needless to say, I was nervous. I’m not a fool, I have checked out what I am allowed to bring in to the country before and was pretty sure I didn’t have any contraband. No metal handcuffs. That’s the one most tourists get caught on, so I don’t have any of those. He says to me, “they’re for horse play right?” I can’t tell what he means by this. Is he telling me that I should pretend the whips are for use with horses? Does he know more about the scene than I was originally giving him credit for? Is he referring to ‘horse play’ as light-hearted physical contact? I respond that they are for personal use.
After a bit more discussion in their language, he tells me that I can put the items back in my bag. I’m off the hook. Free to go. I feel a bit shaken, but I do so, and begin the trip back to the city.
On the one hand, this is an amusing story that I will tell all of my open-minded friends and they will laugh at it. On the other, it left me feeling a bit violated. My readers know that I’m an exhibitionist. I don’t mind being on display. However, usually I get to choose how and where that happens (for example, if you want to see that metal bar and anal hook, you can check out the link over there called Personal Pornography). I usually get to choose who sees me naked (or feels me up) and who gets to handle my sex toys with their bare hands. In the airport that choice is no longer mine, and it just doesn’t feel right.