Product placement: unsexytime lotion, work pants, and doing drag.

Yep – this is a blog post about getting stuff for free. Being a Canadian blogger with a demographic-defying audience of the best readers on this side of the internet, I can be a bit confusing for advertisers and PR folks. Most know they want to send me stuff, but they’re really not sure what to send, why they’d send it, or what I’d end up saying about it. Well, social media professionals, I’m not sure if you recall my personal blog policy on accepting free products from advertisers so please allow me to refresh your memory.

PR/Ad Person: “Hey Ben! Love the blog. Wondering if you’d be interested in–”

Ben: “YES! Do you need my top on or off?”

PR/Ad Person: “Uhh…did you just say…uh…wait what?”

Ben: “Fiiiine. I’ll lose the pants too but this had better be good.”

Sometimes the things I get are pretty awesome and are still being used to this very day (my Flip Mino, the family pack of Snuggies, dog toys), and sometimes the things are downright pathetic. For example, I once got a lovely email from a company looking to have me test out some sexy toys. Right…my mom reads this blog so while I’ll often write about doing terrible, horrible, awesome things to Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds, and sometimes all at once, for all intents and purposes I do not, have never, and will not engage in any sort of sexual activity ever. Nonetheless, let’s not forget that my free stuff ethical code would suggest I say, “haaaaaaaay!” take the sex goods and run. And that’s kinda what I did.

So a few weeks later this massive box shows up and I’m all, “SEX TOY PARTY! WHO WANTS FREE SEX TOYS!” until I opened it and realized there was one very small box the size of an Advil container inside with a ton of packing paper. Cue the sads. Then I realized it was what’s called numbing cream. Yep, this sex toy company sent me the one sexual aid designed to REDUCE sensation and pleasure. Gee thanks. I’ll store that at the bottom of the ocean with the tongue guard that keeps me from tasting food and the alcohol inhibitor that keeps me from getting drunk.

The newf loves when we get sent free stuff although I don’t believe he really understands how it all works. For example, when Mark’s sent both of us DH3 jeans, he yelled at me every day for a month insisting that I absolutely must write a series of posts about how the jeans make me feel and the individual features of each pocket. Meanwhile, I thought a better use of a post would be to tell everyone about the hot model shots they sent me to showcase how the jeans can be worn, or how my very first job at the age of sixteen was working at Mark’s. Picture a young me, folding size 56 waisted work pants and trying to tell construction workers which boots they need. I was living the dream…

But then after months of quietly satisfied wear (obviously I couldn’t be all excited about the jeans after telling their lovely PR rep that clearly there’s no way I’d ever be the right fit for something from Mark’s), the perfect opportunity came up to finally give these jeans their chance to shine. These poor manly-man jeans had been put through wine and cheese nights, trips to go pick up $7 lattés, and many a walk with small, delicate dogs, more than earning just one use that didn’t completely bastardize their purpose in life: these jeans and I would go butch it up in some heavy duty trucks.