I Was Detained and Interrogated at the Border for Carrying Condoms

Via Huffington Post Airpost Security - TSA

What do you do when you’re detained by powerful officials, everything you say is presumed deceptive, arbitrary “evidence” is held against you, and you’re treated like a moral deviant? And what if its 2013, you’re a woman, and the “evidence” is that you possess condoms?

It happened three times in two weeks — being detained by U.S. border officials on my way to or through the States.

First I was held by Vermont border guards for two hours in the middle of the night on my way to visit Nashville. They searched my bags at least five times. I could not help but notice how often my lingerie and “sexy underwear” were mentioned, how often the condoms they found were looked upon scathingly, and how most of the four male officers’ questions pertained to both.

I was baffled as to why this was any of their business and unsure of what their objective was, other than fondling lady’s undergarments. In the end, having nothing to go on, they gave me a limited stay visa of two weeks and let me go — at 3 a.m. in the middle of nowhere. I missed my bus and my plane, had to pay for a $90 taxi to the nearest airport and then book a new flight the next morning.

The next time it happened was two weeks later in Montreal’s airport. After scanning my passport, without being asked a single question, I was immediately led to a back waiting room. When I was summoned into an office, the officer cut to the chase: “How much is he paying you to go on this trip?” He was referring to the man I was travelling with.

Confused, I just stared back at him for a few beats.

“N-nothing?”

The next question was whether this man was married or not. The answer, unfortunately for me, was yes. He asked whether I was planning on sharing a hotel bed with this man. I’m not one to sugar coat things and decided that now would not be a particularly good time to be found lying. Again, I answered yes. Righteous, the officer demanded what exactly I was doing in a bed with a married man.

“That’s actually none of your business.”

I had kicked the hornet’s nest. Inflamed, he raised his voice at me that it was his business and that adultery was a crime in America — a crime that he could deny me entry for. He made me tell him my partner’s name and date of birth and threatened to detain him, too. I pointed out that we would be in Miami for a total of 40 minutes to catch our next flight to Aruba; hardly enough time to run to our gate, let alone commit adultery. The next thing I knew he was searching my bags, pulling out condoms and waving them in my face.

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  • samthor

    odd and unfortunate that merely carrying condoms makes you suspect of a crime.
    We want people to be prepared and have safe sex… not get arrested and harassed More:
    http://www.bust.com/tell-nyc-police-that-safe-sex-is-not-a-crime.html

  • echar

    Where do you get prostitute out of Model, Dancer, Actress, Artist, Writer?

    http://nujen.net/

    Is it because these words challenge your beliefs about women?

  • emperorreagan

    The notion that consensual activity can be a crime is absurd. Using condoms to slut shame and/or attempt to prove someone is a prostitute/loitering to solicit (as NYC and other jurisdictions do) is criminal. Sex workers are either forced to compromise their safety by not using condoms or carrying condoms and giving lazy cops a way to harass them. Non-sex workers get caught up too, and are forced to weather accusations from cops when they’re just being conscientious.

    Fuck TSA and fuck the police.

  • Jeb Morningside

    Who gives a fuck if she’s a prostitute in the first place? Is fucking dudes for cash somehow causing a threat to national security?

  • Herp Derp

    As a married man I have mixed feelings. While carrying condoms should be no concern to further search a person ever. At the same I don’t appreciate what this woman does for a living. Just because I don’t like what she does, doesn’t allow the TSA to treat her like shit. I personally don’t like crackheads, but again I don’t feel that is any of the state’s business. Roughing up an adulterer does nothing to promote the general welfare of the american people.

    • BuzzCoastin

      the people questioning her are prostitutes too
      they resent the competition
      even if it isn’t their particular form of prostitution

      • Herp Derp

        Exactly they are whores for fascism.

  • BuzzCoastin

    I’ve crossed about 45 boarders in my life
    the worsts ones to cross in my experience are:
    #1 Uncle Homeland, #2 Great Friggins, #3 Candada
    they have the most intrusive thugs for boarder guards

    my favorite boarder crossing point before 911
    Holland, “Just hold up your passport and walk this way.”

    • emperorreagan

      I couldn’t believe what a pain in the ass it was to come back from the US virgin islands. You don’t even leave US territory and they’re grilling you like you’re coming back from the USSR.

      • BuzzCoastin

        once going into Nam with an Oz of weed in my bag
        I tipped the guards a buck each (at their request)
        and they carried my bags out to the cab and
        wished me a great stay in Nam

      • Liam_McGonagle

        ‘Back’ from the USSR? . . . You say that as if you’d visited there multiple times.

        Would you care to declare anything, Komrade Reagan?

        Just horsing around, of course. But here’s the thing about American society, in my confessedly pompous opinion: Everyone’s just going through the motions.

        We have a medical system that prolongs suffering and impoverishes people. We have a legal system seemingly designed to avoid administering justice and a political system made to thwart the public interest.

        In an environment like this, it is completely impossible for anyone outside the priviledged 1% or perhaps the additional 2% constituting their favored lackeys to make an intuitive connection between their job duties and their obstensible purpose.

        97% of us, at least, are just going though the motions, following the letter of a set of instructions without really knowing what they’re supposed to mean.

        Hence the prevalance of the ‘zombie’ motif in popular culture for the last decade or so.

    • http://iuwus.deviantart.com/ Threedinium

      Incidentally, doesn’t Holland have thriving prostitution with more widespread public acceptance? I’m sure it’s just coincidence.