by Furry Girl

11.21.10

As a teenager, I had a conversation with an older activist who had been arrested many times over the years.  He told me his secret to staving off despair and stress during the whole process.  He said something like, "When you're in jail, and the police strip search you, their goal is to humiliate you into obedience, so it's your job to turn the tables on them.  I do a sexy striptease, spin around like a fucking ballerina, and tell them how hot the whole thing makes me.  It takes away their power and makes them the uncomfortable ones."

These are the sorts of useful lessons I learned instead of going to high school.

"Sticking it to the man" can be about learning to draw power directly from disempowering constructs themselves.  On my way to my vacation, I knew wanted to do something to express my disapproval of the TSA's cancer-machines-versus-groping "choice".  (Also see National Opt Out Day set for November 24.)  If there is but one superpower that I possess, it's making people feel uncomfortable through my propensity for public displays of sluttiness and general unselfconscious loud-mouthery.

Image from the @TSAagent Twitter account

Disclaimer 1: I realize that whining about flight screenings is a problem that affects mostly people on the top of the world's privilege heap, and that this conversation has been dominated by middle/upper class white men.  Let's be real: the public outcry over this is because it's about crotches and nudity.  No one cares if their phone calls are being recorded or if the government detains people for years without trails, they just know they don't want another dude touching their junk.  I'm hoping that people will use this particularly titillating aspect of increasing government intrusion into our lives as a springboard to thinking about other civil liberties issues.  (I'm actually far more bothered by how critics of surveillance like Jake and Moxie have been harassed and detained by the government lately at airports after international trips.)  Overall, though, I think it's a positive thing any time that so many people - across party-lines - are freaking out and insisting upon their right to privacy.  As a country, we can't agree whether it's our right to own firearms and/or get abortions, but we can all agree we don't want government agents touching our bathing suit areas.

Disclaimer 2: some children and adults have been genuinely traumatized or upset by their experiences with the TSA.  I wasn't trying to belittle their pain and frustration at all, but to use my own body as a medium to protest against invasive security measures, and in a humorous way that upends the expected dynamic.

The TSA wanted to feel me up or see what I look like without clothes.  I get it.  I'm a sex worker.  My main porn site gets about 3 million unique visitors a year, and clients pay $4 a minute to see me naked on my web cam, so the TSA's interest in me came as no surprise.  Normally, I would charge for such a service, but this one was on the house.  Duty, country, sacrifice, patriotism, all that.

For my voyage, I donned a see-though chemise and sheer panties under normal clothes.  My nipples, crack, and pubes are all plainly visible though this ensemble.  The TSA needed to make sure that I wasn't concealing any errant Al Qaeda operatives in the folds of my labia, after all.  I would have done this naked, but being arrested for public nudity doesn't really help to underscore my cause, and it would screw up my vacation and turn me into a sex offender, both of which would be a real bummer.  (I also considered going through while packing a huge strapon cock with my metal-free, airport-friendly Joque harness.)

The bummer is that the cancer machines at Seatac were busted for some reason, so they were just using metal detectors.  But, even though I didn't get to shoot video of myself being groped, hopefully this is still amusing.  (My plan was to loudly moan and fake an orgasm while being molested by the TSA.)

Here's my video from the airport, published from a net cafe at the airport.  The portion shot inside the security area is about 10 solid minutes, and only the first minute of that is actually amusing, then it just goes to a long stretch of the boring ceiling while I was detained and the TSA waited for a police officer to talk to me.  The cop was actually very polite to me, and seemed understanding, and just sorta vaguely let me know that maybe I shouldn't do that again, because children might see.  (I told him I already picked a security line without kids, which it true.)

I hate it when people demand that I put my pants back on!  (And, like I pointed out, we're not supposed to wear jackets through security.  The TSA agent ordered me to violate TSA rules!)  As far as I know, I am the current record holder for the nearest-to-naked a passenger has gotten at a TSA screening.  I look forward to having that title stripped from me.

You're welcome to re-post or embed my video elsewhere, but I'd appreciate a link back to this blog post and crediting Furry Girl/Feminisnt.com.  Apologies on the low quality - I used a small cheap digital camera to record this because I wasn't going to risk having an expensive one seized if the TSA got uppity.  I edited it on the fly with the camera's own basic editing program since I no longer travel internationally with my laptop.

The TSA allows "opting out" of the "naked" scanners if you submit to a groping that some people consider a form of sexual assault - or, at the very least, creepy and uncomfortable. The TSA's goal is to use the grope-down to frighten the public into submitting to a scan which scientists at UCSF consider a cancer risk.  Don't be scared like the TSA wants you to be.

Remember the children's tale of Brer Rabbit?  It's time to beg not to be thrown into the briar patch.  Put on your sexiest, filmsiest underthings, opt for a grope-down, have fun with it, treat it like a performance, and fake an orgasm in public next time you fly.  You'll gain self-confidence, amuse and inspire other passengers, draw attention to the sexually-invasive nature of the modern airport security process, and make government employees look more predatory and inappropriate while feeling up strangers.  Protesting in such a way won't change TSA regulations overnight, but it adds to the dissent and public conversation, flips around a demeaning dynamic, and for bold travelers, getting this transparent just might be the only way these days to enter an airport with a smile on your face and your dignity intact.

And hey, at least I'm not one of those public embarrassments who wear their pajamas, a blanket, and an inflatable neck pillow to the airport.  For fuck's sake, people!  Have some sense of propriety.

[For new readers: writing and doing projects like this doesn't make me any money, but you can always express your appreciation via my Amazon wishlist, or by donating money to my favorite nonprofit, the St James Infirmary.]





57 Comments

  1. You are without a doubt, totally freaking awesome. I've been talking about doing this for years, but you actually DID IT!!! :-)

    Comment by Maggie McNeill — November 21, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  2. I had been considering doing something like this myself, when I fly Seattle to Boston in the spring - I'm glad someone showed me how it's done. :)

    Comment by samantha — November 21, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  3. Thank you! This is definitely awesome. I couldn't do it. (I need to get pretty angry before I overcome certain inhibitions). But oh, in my fantasies! We need more people like you and your friend from years ago.

    Comment by Vicki — November 21, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

  4. Way to GO! Awesome... Kudos!

    Next time I *have* to fly (not really a pleasure anymore), I'm wearing a kilt and following the Utilikilt travel protocol - biker shorts (or something sheer) underneath, drop the whole kilt, get groped, put kilt back on, reach UNDER and remove the sheer thing, and smyrke :}

    If they FORCE me through the scanner, which I doubt, wearing the kilt apparently messes with their cancer rays something fierce (something about heavy pleats)... mmm

    Comment by KiltGuy — November 21, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

  5. Awesome awesome awesome. You oughtta fly more often :)

    Comment by Mike Gogulski — November 21, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

  6. Girl has a point!
    That's one awesome way of avoiding humiliation.
    Carry on like that!

    Vega

    Comment by Vega — November 23, 2010 @ 4:31 am

  7. Gutsy.

    Very nice. Best form of protest would be this in combination with the opt-out options.

    Dove with the whole real beauty campaign could get behind it. Millions of near naked real world travelers in the airports this holiday season getting "felt-up".

    Old people, young people, skinny people, fat people, pretty people and ugly people.

    I love it.

    Comment by Bad Monkey — November 23, 2010 @ 5:20 am

  8. Funny, on November 20th I was traveling through Logan, and to make my point, I took off my shirt when going through the cancer machine. I, though, happen to look a little different than you. I'm a 5'10", 220 lbs bald black man. TSA took my boarding passes and ID and photocopied it, then called over the state troopers.

    Comment by Dave M. — November 23, 2010 @ 6:39 am

  9. I was thinking, as a male I might do something kind of similar by wearing a pair of loose pants and announcing that I wish to opt out for the simple reason of being aroused by the idea of a TSA official feeling me up. To add insult to injury, I'd also "apologetically" tell them that I hope it doesn't make them feel uncomfortable if I get a massive hard-on during the process. I've zero control over when my penis decides to get erect, you know.

    It's hardly criminal, getting aroused by an adult touching you in your private areas - and on their own accord, right? It's not like I forced them to do it.

    Comment by J.D. — November 23, 2010 @ 7:04 am

  10. Ha! Just a couple days ago I thought I would rather drop my pants, lift my shirt and tell TSA "See I've got nothing on me" than be molested by them. Then I thought I might be arrested...but maybe not?

    Comment by cat — November 23, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  11. and what is your job? why do you travel for job? are you a prostitute? do girls in usa become prostitute because for some reasons no university? are you a cia agent? is your internet bio real or a parapseudofeminist mock? this porn sites linked are strange, did you ever see a siffredi movie?http://www.tube8.com/hardcore/katja-love-rocco-siffredi-true-anal-story/29303/

    Comment by robertobis — November 23, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

  12. You are totally my hero. Im not quite as avid as a sex worker but I have had people ask me what the big deal is since people can see me naked on the internet. Still.... its the principle of it.

    "Your irrational fear is no excuse to sell my liberties." (seen on Twitter today

    Either way, I hope you are having a fabulous trip with your guy around Sri Lanka. Looks like it will have lots of great photo ops

    Comment by Vixen Blu — November 23, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  13. I'm glad to see your site is back up. Your stunt at SEATAC was great. I hope that you'll keep the outfit for your return flight. If you keep the jacket on when going thru the line, I think they would ask you to take it off... then you can see if they ask you to put it back on. :)

    But be careful with the skimpy outfit going through security outside the US, especially in a place like Qatar. I don't know much about Qatar but in UAE they would toss you in jail for the outfit, which would suck a lot. When you reenter the US you should have the opportunity to go through security again after customs if you're making a connection.

    Keep being awesome and sexy.

    Comment by Ancalagon — November 24, 2010 @ 2:44 am

  14. Holly at The Pervocracy has covered this post. I'm not sure where I stand. I don't want to do the things detailed above but it's horses for courses.

    http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-not-to-stick-it-to-man.html

    Quote:
    'No. No, thank you. I'll be sexy on my own damn time. Fighting sexual harassment with sexiness isn't sticking it to the Man; at best it's making the Man's low-level employees vaguely uncomfortable, and at worst it's giving the Man just what he wants. It draws more attention to yourself than it does to the TSA screeners (they came off as the reasonable ones in the SeaTac scenario) and it seems to promote the idea that women can be happy sexy or angry sexy but by God you'd better be sexy.'

    Comment by Sarah W — November 24, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  15. Well, certainly an interesting protest. I've been involved in a few in my day, mostly clothed. It's just that I fear your point will be lost on the people you would most like to listen, while of course those who already feel the same will be the ones cheering you on. Sigh. That always seems to be the case with protest in general. Actually one of the best things for me about reading this is that my son sent it to me via facebook. I'm rather proud that I reared my children to be open to new ideas and to enjoy their sexuality. Of course I did that to protest Victorian morality (and my mother). It's working pretty well. Hope yours does too my dear.

    Comment by Spellbound — November 24, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

  16. I was actually thinking of just donning my 1 piece bathing suit next time I go to the airport and just get dressed after security

    Comment by Flauta — November 24, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  17. Hi! I just got linked to your TSA video from reddit. I can't believe I didn't know that that you exist. I'd just like to say that I think you're my new favorite person.

    That's all. :)

    Comment by atrigent — November 24, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

  18. Did someone say that what you did was disgusting? I'm not sure I heard it right but I think that's what she said.

    By the way, i'm new and I love that you're "furry" I could never do that. Good on you :)

    Comment by S — November 25, 2010 @ 6:58 am

  19. Well done. Too bad you didn't have a compatriot who could video tape it all from the sidelines. The reactions of the TSA agents would have been priceless.

    Comment by Strangeling — November 25, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

  20. I love you, Furry Girl!

    Comment by John Sabotta — November 25, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  21. As a trans man and rape survivor I hate to say it but my options of where I can safely travel has decreased significantly. I had been planning two trips to see some friends. All local airports have the scanners and new pat downs. I would be subject to being outed 2-4 times if I were to travel. It really does suck that my decision has to be between my own safety or seeing people that are important in my life. Plus, I've been saving my money fir a long time to afford these trips. Le sigh.

    Comment by Kyle — November 26, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  22. You are very courageous and you have the bravery to exhibit yourself as an extension of your convictions. I am honestly inspired by your story, as well as your biography. I wish nothing but the best for you.
    Peace & Love

    Comment by Freeland — November 26, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  23. You are awesome. Brave. Beautiful. Keep shining.

    Comment by michael — November 27, 2010 @ 1:26 am

  24. I must say compliment's to your blog and expression! :)

    Comment by thomas.h.pickering — November 27, 2010 @ 6:45 am

  25. Damn you are so nasty. Just don't fly....take a bus or a train but please stay away from the rest of us.

    Comment by kenny — November 27, 2010 @ 7:29 am

  26. Ah, the good old days, when women still had fur down there. It makes me harken back to my youth when just the sight of a little bush was exciting. No more, today there's far too few natural women. You go Furrygirl!

    Comment by TedToo — November 27, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  27. You are a Saint. I am an atheist. And very very proud of you.

    You are also very smart, and we recognize this. And iconoclastic.
    An american hero, though unrecognized.

    Comment by Major Variola (ret) — November 27, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  28. You're so nasty looking, I think the TSA might reconsider their policy.

    Comment by ZOMG — November 27, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  29. You have nothing to be proud of. Thanks for "taking a stand" against wrongdoing, while spending your life promoting it. Hate to burst your bubble, but thankfully there are still human beings who don't get right and wrong confused. You are a delusional hypocrite, nothing more.

    Comment by Krusty — November 27, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

  30. You remind me of my favorite pornstar from yesteryear.
    Ever hear of Hyapatia Lee?
    Google Image has several thousand shots.

    Comment by DallasDavid — November 27, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  31. Am I the only one that thinks this is just stupid?

    I would assume most people considering that action are expecting a subsequent law suit followed by a payday. Thus scamming the taxpayer, not "the man." That doesn't sound like "activism" to me.

    In the meantime, you're wasting the time of a police officer, several TSA agents, probably tons of paperwork and for what? So you could "protest" and then post your cutesy video on your website to build traffic? Congrats on your scam against society. No matter what TSA did or didn't do in the video, you get your website hits. I think you should go back to selling porn because at least the purchasers are making a purchase and not pulling resources away from publicly funded civil servants and legitimate needs to handle your insignificant protest.

    How would you feel if some kid choked to death on the other side of the terminal because that life-saving police officer was busy being "polite" to you at security? (Obviously I'm being a little dramatic but why is this choking scenario any less possible than any other scenario?)

    Comment by Benoit — November 29, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  32. Brilliant! I love it when people come up with cool ways to protest the ridiculous things happening in the world these days.
    I live in Canada and refuse to fly down to the states anymore (I use the train) because the shit they make people go through at the airport to go to the U.S. takes sooo long. And now there's these stupid scanner things... Anyway, nicely done :-D

    Comment by raph — November 29, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  33. Wow, you're a complete bitch do you know that? You chose a line without kids but doesn't mean there weren't any around.

    seriously the people who work there don't make the rules, don't hold up the line, don't make a scene, just go through the fucking metal detector and get on with your life.

    honestly I think you're just an attention whore

    Comment by passenger — November 29, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  34. That was great, I loved it. I must admit I never heard of you before this video came out. But I will definitely check out your blog for updates of this story. More power to you girl!

    Comment by Brian S. — November 29, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  35. Wow. Way to go! I love a good socialogical experiment. I would love to have seen the expressions on the agents' faces.

    BTW, Happy Birthday!

    Comment by Cliff — December 1, 2010 @ 8:09 am

  36. I just want to say--I disagree with the line "No one cares if their phone calls are being recorded..."etc. That is precisely the problem I have with this invasion of privacy. If we allow the current breach of privacy, where is the new line drawn, where does the invasion stop? Does is it become "acceptable" for our "security" that the government come to kick down our doors as a matter of "protection"?

    Comment by Cait — December 1, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  37. *yawn* Let me know when you get an original idea, or when you want to send a better looking woman to pull this copy-cat stunt.

    Comment by HP_Loveshaft — December 1, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

  38. Embarrassing people who are just trying to their job in a shitty economy is not protest. It's not like they can opt out of searching you. Not everyone has the body and skillset to just quit and go into porn.
    You want to protest? Take the train, drive or take a boat. Airlines have steadily been losing business due to the crappy economy and you will actually be hitting the corporation where it hurts instead of the poor people who have to put up with that BS every day. They don't like laying hands on complete strangers and being called molesters and perverts any more than we like being searched.

    Comment by ReginaAstrum — December 2, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  39. so awesome. i told my parents about this; they were baffled, but it was totally worth the bafflement to bring this up on thanksgiving day during family dinner.
    keep rocking on.

    Comment by Satan — December 3, 2010 @ 1:26 am

  40. Wow, I was more offended by how UN-PROFESSIONAL the TSA guards were by verbally referring to the nudity as being "gross, disgusting" and "indecent" than I ever would be offended by the nudity itself.

    Thank you so much for opening our eyes about this invasion of privacy by putting yourself out there.

    Comment by Nixie — December 12, 2010 @ 4:23 am

  41. "Where you headed?"... lol

    Comment by arrow6tart — December 31, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  42. You go girl! Read James Scott's Domination and the Arts of Resistance. Explains the use, philosophical argument about, opposing transcripts.

    Furry Girl, in opposing the public transcript of TSA agents as "enforcing security and the rule of law" by groping, is asserting an alternative transcript: "enforcing individual freedoms by stripping unexpectedly and deliberately, violating public prudery to mock the TSA transcript".

    Go Furry Girl, Go!

    Comment by cynibunny — January 1, 2011 @ 5:38 am

  43. You're nuts.

    Comment by Jon — January 9, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  44. FurryGirl, I think you can now (if not before) officially count yourself as a Domestic Extremist. Is that as fun as it sounds?

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/30286

    Comment by NoxiousNan — January 18, 2011 @ 11:17 am

  45. Thanks for all the continued comments, folks! Thank you even to the asshat who thinks I'm responsible for children possibly *dying*, too. (I ended up publishing troll comments on this post.)

    NoxiousNan: From a Being Serious standpoint, I don't identify as an extremist per se, but the Not Being Pretentious part of me finds it amusing. Much like this adorable apron an activist blogger started selling: http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/wp-content/Images/sarah_kramer_domestic_terrorist.JPG

    Comment by Furry Girl — January 18, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  46. What a stupid, "I'm trying to promote my sex website" stunt. If you or a member of your family would ever be a victim of a terrorist attack, you might feel differently about airport security.

    Imagine being on an airplane on 9/11 and you might have a better appreciation for what our government is trying to accomplish.......mainly, no more hijackings.

    Next time, hitchhike.

    Comment by Al Johnson — January 19, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  47. Hahaha!! I want to grow out my bush and go thru wearing a skimpy thong, and rub some ky on my @ss so it looks wet and sticky. Lets make those bastards more uncomfortable than they can make us!!

    Comment by Krin* — March 30, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

  48. Aww, I hope you didn't shave! Your body is beautiful.

    Comment by man — April 14, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

  49. I think I love you. This is the most heroic thing I've seen in years.

    Comment by James McCardle — August 14, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  50. I think this process is such a good example of modernday politics in general

    We have almost been brainwashed into believing that practically everything is an either/or choice. Just two options, one of the other but in a democracy WE have the "freedom" to choose option A or option B

    This means the government can then make both choices either the same but made to look different, or make option A what they want you to do and option B a law that will punish you for not choosing option A, and will then force you to do option A anyhoo

    With the TSA thing the government wants to remove your personal privacy and make you feel violated, humiliated and exposed. But they give you the "freedom" to choose which form of sexual abuse you prefer

    Arent you glad you dont live in one of those nasty facist dictatorships you hear so much about? lol

    Comment by Mike — April 5, 2012 @ 10:46 am

  51. Comment by Trackbacks — September 16, 2014 @ 3:03 am

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