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When Security Becomes Insecurity

Great story!

By Crystal Joens

There is nothing like a little danger to get one’s heart racing! I know that many of us feel trepidation when we dress and venture out, especially when we aren’t used to doing it frequently. Well, as you read on, you will see there may be other times, we “break a sweat” of nervousness.

Recently my wife and I took a three-week trip overseas. We do all carry-on baggage so we try to pack as lightly as we can. That is just one reason that I did not pack any of my women’s wear, except for a bunch of wonderful thong panties. You all know, they are small and don’t take up much space. And I threw in a couple of my men’s pairs, in case of an emergency. The other reason: we were not going to have any time for me to dress, given the tours and hotels.

So we were thrilled to get in the short pre-flight screening line at 5:30 on the morning of our departure for a 24-hour travel day. We were feeling lucky. And since I decided not to take my iPad (no-work-trip) all I had to pull out was liquid toiletries in their quart-sized Ziplock bag. Without any one in line ahead of us, other than my wife, I was cheerful, almost giddy and a bit cocky. (Upon proofreading, I must declare this an “unintended” pun!)

Then the sensor in the walk-through device detected something! Uh-oh, did my luck turn? Nope, it was just my replacement hip as there was nothing in my pockets and they had told me to take my belt off. So surely this would not be a problem. The TSA person waved me through and asked me to step up on the pad on the floor with the outlines of shoes. Why are they always outlines of man’s shoes vs. the high heels I would prefer. Oh well, I digress!

As the attendant waved his wand all around my body, the hip beeped. Or at least the metal detector beeped. He wasn’t satisfied and patted down every inch of me. Too bad that doesn’t excite me. What DID get exciting was when he insisted that I hold both arms straight out. Normally, that’s not a problem as my trainer has me somewhat flexible. This time, I realized that in the interest of comfort during a 24-hour trip with 18 hours in flight, I had worn overly comfortable convertible cargo pants, that I hadn’t worn in a long time.

Well, I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I had lost 45 pounds! And I did that well after I had last worn those pants. So, with pink thong panties lurking beneath, I began to sweat and wiggle and dance. I kept trying to put one arm out and hold my pants up with the other hand. He would motion for me to hold my arm out so I would switch, which is not exactly what he wanted. This went back a forth for a few seconds and finally, I tugged my pants high, trying to angle my hip to keep them from falling and they were definitely wanting to fall down.

My first thought was general embarrassment, though the crowd was small. My second thought was the ground I would lose from my wife’s acceptance of my dressing. Not an anti-perspirant wearer – its bad for skin and pores – I had a case of flop sweats not unlike Albert Brooks’ scene in “Broadcast News”.

I finally was waved on and between one hand and an awkward wide-knees waddle, I gathered my things off the inspection trays and hobbled to a table where I quickly fished out my belt and struggled to get it on without dropping my drawers. My wife wondered why I was sweating so much, and I ignored the question.

Upon the return trip, 3 weeks later, I wore tighter pants and…you guessed it…my emergency male unders! This is offered partly for the humor of it all – in retrospect – and as a cautionary tale to my many loving Sisters who may read it.

-Crystal Joens, September 10, 2023

Editorial comment: I LOVE this picture!


3 Responses

  1. Good tale of caution. I’m traveling this week and only have thongs, no longer own any male underwear. I’m taking my traveling thongs, black and grey. However they are not stealth, they have the logo VICTORIA”S SECRET around the waist band. Just hope I don’t have to strip.
    BTW: The metal they but in you doesn’t trigger the detectors.

  2. Crystal,
    May I ask why he didn’t accept the explanation of your hip replacement , as you would be one of many travellers with various metal body parts . Call it Murphy’s Law but some people are just unlucky when travelling , even when we think we’ve left no stone unturned we go into a state of panic at the request to step aside .

    I still have this bridge to cross as I haven’t travelled to foreign parts as Teresa . My first hurdle is an official name change so I don’t have to use a male passport but I know my luggage will have some interesting items but thankfully not male clothes .

    Cali makes a good point about metal used in clothing , it would be bedlam if they detected every bra clip and zip !

    1. I have many large pieces of titanium that hold me together and they don’t set of the detectors, but a small chip on a credit card or id card will. Bra clips will and zippers and metal studs on your shoes will. You’ll get a few stares when you take off your knee stilettoes (in male mode) in the TSA line. But just own it, be confident.

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