British Columbia

Sex toy tangle: B.C. man sues ex to get vibrator back

It's been called the "Cadillac of vibrators" and the "mother of all vibrators." So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that a dispute over a Hitachi Magic Wand recently ended up at the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Vibrator and 2 down pillows were not meant as a gift, Civil Resolution Tribunal rules

A B.C. woman has been ordered to return the Hitachi Magic Wand her ex-boyfriend bought during their relationship. (Shutterstock)

It's been called the "Cadillac of vibrators" and the "mother of all vibrators," and it's been used in countless studies of female sexual behaviour since it was introduced to North America as a personal massager in the 1960s.

So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that a dispute over a Hitachi Magic Wand recently ended up at the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT).

This week, a tribunal member ordered a B.C. woman to return one of the vibrators to her ex-boyfriend following a recent breakup. She'll also have to give up two down pillows he bought to use during sleepovers at her place.

The decision hinged on whether the Magic Wand and pillows, worth about $300 together, count as gifts under Canadian law.

Three elements need to be in place to meet the legal definition:

  • The intention to give.
  • Delivery of the item.
  • And acceptance of the item.

It's up to the person who received the item to prove it was meant as a gift.

A vibrator is not a 'gender specific item'

In the case of the disputed vibrator, a B.C. man purchased it last fall and arranged for it to be delivered to the home of his then-girlfriend, according to the decision.

"The applicant says the Magic Wand was never meant to be a gift. He provided text message evidence in which both parties referred to the Magic Wand as 'his' and where the respondent asked permission from the applicant before using it," a tribunal member wrote.

The ex-girlfriend argued she was only asking for permission as a bit of role-playing fun, but that wasn't enough to prove the vibrator was meant as a gift.

The Magic Wand was originally marketed as a personal massager. (hitachimagicwand.com)

For one thing, she also said the former couple had pretended at first that the massager wasn't a gift, because she felt "weird" about accepting presents.

"I find it suggests she may not have accepted the Magic Wand as a gift even though she had possession of it. Again, acceptance is required for a legally effective gift," the tribunal member wrote.

And the ex-girlfriend didn't provide any direct evidence the vibrator was a gift, instead arguing that Magic Wands are meant to be used by women, not men.

However, "the evidence does not establish that the Magic Wand is a gender specific item," the CRT decision says.

As for the down pillows, the ex-boyfriend told the tribunal he bought them for when he stayed over every other weekend, but only because he could not use the woman's synthetic pillows. She did not provide evidence they were meant as a gift.

As a result of Monday's decision, the ex-girlfriend will have 30 days to return the Magic Wand and the pillows by registered mail or courier. She'll also have to pay $125 for tribunal fees.

The CRT is an online tribunal that hears small claims disputes for $5,000 and under, strata property disputes and vehicle injury disputes up to $50,000.

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