If you are traveling with a child, they will let you go through the traditional metal detector, otherwise you can't. Makes no sense.
I avoid flying as much as I can, but have to sometimes for my job. I opt out of the scanning machines every time. They will put you through a humiliating process of patting you down, though. The pat down experience varies greatly from agent to agent and airport to airport. My worst experience was in Nashville. Agents put me in a slightly elevated glass box on display to other passengers and shouted at me if I let my arms drop from a completely horizontal position out from my body. They put their hands DEEP down my waste band of my pants and came up the inside of my legs to feel my testicles.
The best experience was at an airport (that I shouldn't name) where the agent mumbled to me that the only reason he was doing it was because his bosses were watching him. He then just went through the motions of doing a pat down and sent me on my way.
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