This is a delightful dilemma. A little funny, definitely a puzzle for people who want to provide good service and maintain repeat customers. I am of two minds here:
On the one hand, I would like to think that most people who have such a toy are sex-positive and felt empowered enough to buy and travel with it, so hopefully they wouldn’t be too embarrassed. It’s probably been handled by 5 TSA screeners already.
On the other hand, I know people who might have healthy sex lives but they are very, very embarrassed about discussing anything sex-related with people who aren’t their sexual partners.
On balance, I think that their level of embarrassment will be strongly shaped by how you communicate with them about it. So here’s my logic tree:
- If they didn’t leave it behind, then they may have already seen it. If you don’t address this with them, it’s going to be weird. If you do address it with them, it’s less weird. This is your chance to be apologetic if you missed something another guest left behind, and also to show you don’t judge.
Therefore, if they didn’t leave it behind, you should communicate with them about it.
- If they DID leave it behind, they’re already aware they left it behind, so it could be more embarrassing if you don’t talk to them about it! Because then they’re thinking “What happened to my favourite dildo? Did @justarock see it? Is he judging me?”
Therefore, I don’t think there’s any situation where it’s better to NOT communicate with them about it.
So the only decision left is how to communicate about it! I’m thinking something along the lines of,
“Dear X, the cleaner told me she found a personal item left behind by a guest, but I have to confess that she’s not sure if it was yours or the previous guest’s – she can’t remember if she checked all the drawers after the previous guest’s stay. If it was the previous guest, then I humbly apologise for not clearing out all their personal belongings before your stay! If it was yours, then I can ask the cleaner to leave it for you before your next visit, or I could ask her to mail it, whichever you prefer. I’d be happy to cover postage; it’s quite common for guests to leave things behind so it’s our policy to post anything. And we’re always happy to try to help out our favourite guests and repeat visitors! Just let me know either way.”
Don’t send them a picture of the dildo and just call it a “personal item,” which allows them to respond in whatever way makes them comfortable. Maybe they’ll be happy for the euphemism, or maybe they’ll respond saying “Oh thank you so much, I would be devastated to lose my S3X-turbomaster! Those things aren’t cheap!”
Calling them one of your favourite guests hopefully communicates that you’re not judgy, and you’re also subtly letting them know that you’ve seen it all and hinting that people leave their dildos behind all the time.
Putting it all on a mysterious “cleaner” makes it sound like there’s a possibility that you haven’t even seen the “personal item.”
Please let us all know how this works out!