Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tips for Kinky Travelers

We've done a great deal of traveling this summer. We've gone to kinky events and visited family and friends. We've had our travel plans disrupted by Delta's computer problems and seen the aftermath of Southwest's computer issues. We thought we would put together some of our experiences and tips to share.

We had a really nice weekend getting to spend time with family, which is always enjoyed and appreciated. We seem to travel a lot--mostly because we enjoy it--but hotels can be challenging for play.

That wasn't the case a few weeks ago when we were in Denver for Thunder in the Mountains. We could do whatever we wanted in our room because the whole of the hotel was booked for the conference! That was liberating.

So with gaps under hotel room doors, "neighbors" with kids, and that sort of thing it's hard to figure out the best way to play. I remember one of my first play parties out of town. It was Florida Moonshine's Back to School party in Tampa and it was being held at what we affectionately ended up calling The Bates Motel. I'm sure that paints a picture.
Sometimes it seems like we are on the road more than we are at home. Not literally, of course; but if you add in the time spent packing, preparing, unpacking, and resetting from the trip, it might come close. Every trip is different, naturally, but I’ve developed a few tricks depending on the type of trip.

When I’m packing to travel to a kink event, I start with considering the specific event and the agenda. Some events will require multiple costume changes or particular outfits. Other events might be more casual. But each event has it’s own look and feel - something I like to consider because I’m more comfortable when I feel like I know what’s expected.

So I research the event. I think about the specific activities we have planned for the trip. Sometimes Craig will give me a list of specific outfits he wants me to bring along. With those outlines in mind, I suggest:
So I was attempting to have a scene. Well, I wasn't attempting because the scene was well underway in one of the hotel rooms. It was going really well...until the neighbor banged on the wall and said, "Keep it down!" Mind you, it was the middle of the afternoon (as I recall) so I was a bit shocked by this.

Rather than laugh it off and switch to something quieter (canes, nipple clamps, etc.) it completely threw me off the scene. I've only experienced a few times there was scene kill—a couple times brought on by me and other times from the bottom or something happening in the environment. Usually, if it's the environment, I can shake it off and move on, but not this time. The scene ground to a screeching halt, much to our chagrin.

So I'll offer a few tips if you're traveling:

Tip #1: "Soundproof" Your Room
On other trips I've rolled towels to jam under doors to try to quiet the sounds. I've had bottoms clap their hands in the room while I walked up and down the halls. Some would say, "So what? Let 'em hear!" But in a public place (well, a hotel is semi-public) I don't need someone calling the cops and I certainly don't want to foist my kink on some unsuspecting family with kids.

I will digress further for a moment: at Thunder a presenter domme told of how her slave meets her at the airport when she returns from a trip and the first thing she has him do is get on his knees and kiss her feet. I think it's rather irresponsible to do something like this in front of families, regardless of your protocol, kink, or dynamic.

Tip #2: Try a Silent Scene
We've talked a number of times about Silent Scenes. You can find out about them here and here.

Tip #3: Stay at a Suite Hotel
They are a little more expensive, but all-suite hotels like Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, and Residence Inns put some distance between the bedroom and the hallway. I like Embassy Suites. I request a room at the end of a hall so I only have a neighbor on one side. This is really specific but many older Embassy Suites were built with cinder block construction, so between room soundproofing is better than hotels with standard construction.

Yet another digression: be prepared to have your bag checked by TSA. If you're not into humiliation play this may be a problem for you. I check my toy bag and inevitably when I get to the hotel I can see my floggers, canes, and crops have all been rummaged through, whether TSA leaves a note or not (and they often do, but less so these days). If I'm not checking a bag, then...

Tip #4: Get a Set of "Travel Toys"
I try not to check bags for just a weekend. If we are going to a spanking or kink party/conference I will bring and check my roll-along toy bag. But if it's just a weekend getaway checking bags is such a nuisance. So I collected a set of toys just for traveling, a short 26" cane, a short crop, a leather paddle, and a hairbrush. None of these items have metal inside (I made sure of it) so they are less conspicuous on the TSA x-ray. I almost never get stopped/searched with these toys.

Just on this last trip my bag went through the x-ray three times. Finally, TSA pulled it (and me) aside, opened my bag and started to rummage through it. Lizzie's job is to pack our bags when we travel, so I had no idea what he was looking for. I'd just had a cigar cutter that had been in my bag for months removed by security in China the week before, so it wasn't that. Finally, he pulled out a small velvet bag. Oops! He opened it to see...Lizzie's glass butt plugs and lube.

I stopped getting embarrassed by such things ages ago. I stood there unfazed. Having seen it all (I'm sure), he was unfazed too. He put the bag back in the suitcase and set us on our way.

Hopefully these tips might come in handy. Either way, I hope you enjoyed my little anecdotes. Happy travels, Fellow Kinksters!
Tip #1: Double your undies, double your pleasure.
I pack two pairs of underwear for nearly every outfit I lay out. It’s an easy way to give myself options without greatly increasing the amount of fabric I’m packing. I might not feel like a thong that afternoon. And you never know when a pair of perfectly fitting underwear will betray you by cutting right into the worst sore spot left from an earlier scene. And at the risk of oversharing - if I’m going to take the time to “freshen up” before a scene but not change my outfit, it’s nice to have a fresh pair of panties that matches.

Tip #2: Try it on before you pack it.
Unless the item in question is part of your everyday wardrobe, slip it on to double check the fit. Look in the mirror to make sure it fits like you remember. There’s no reason to pack an ill-fitting or uncomfortable garment when you have limited packing space.

Tip #3: Don’t neglect your comfort.
Unless that’s your kink, in which case, you should disregard this tip entirely. It’s wonderful to dress up at an event. Personally, that’s one of my favorite things - seeing and wearing fabulous costumes and outfits. But if the event requires much walking, I’ll be wearing my most comfortable shoes at least part of the time. If I know that I’m going to engage in a particularly arduous scene, I’ll pack an outfit that accommodates any expected stress points. And for the trip home, or any other time I might be leaving the event space, I like to pack something that covers the marks I don’t care to share with the vanilla world at large.

But even when we aren’t going to a kink event or traveling for expressly kinky purposes, Craig and I are likely to engage in our kink whenever the opportunity presents itself. So the following tips relate to my packing in general, wherever I’m headed.

Tip #4: Look at your bag like an x-ray machine.
Whether you’re packing an entire bag of kinky outfits, toys, and paraphernalia or just including a few favorite items, it’s important to consider how you put those things in the bag. An item that can be clearly seen, even if it is something potentially embarrassing, is one that won’t be pulled out for inspection. If you’re carrying something that will need to be pulled out, pack it on top or in an exterior pocket. Ease of access means they won’t be pawing through your underthings or tossing your other toys across the counter searching for the one that’s caught their attention.

Tip #5: Take the batteries out.
Just do it. If you don’t want to watch TSA try it out, remove the batteries. Trust me when I say - no one wants to watch that.

Hopefully, you’ve found a tip or two that you can use to make packing for your next trip easier. Whatever you do, don’t let the limitations of packing limit your kink! As always, if you have any thoughts or questions, leave a comment or drop us a line.