Most Helpful Guy
You should talk to him about your feelings :p And maybe before that, you should google 'languages of love.' (or you can do it with him!) It's not the one true way things work, but it gives you a good framework for a discussion about how you show affection, and what sorts of affection you like to get.
I don't know if I would feel comfortable getting things, but... if I knew that's how my gf liked to show affection to me, I'd accept it. I might make sure to direct her to things I particularly like ;) So talk to him. Let him know it's a way of saying "I like you :)" Let him know that it's okay if he shows affection to you in other ways.
Most Helpful Girl
Yes I can see how this Q might be so embarrassing one would have to go ANON to ask it... oh, brother... well, my defensive mode is to follow suit. ugh
He's a guy that's USED to gifts past and has found them lacking, a waste of money, mostly NOT what he wants and often a substitute for love. So if HE buys YOU something, it's really nothing to him. However when YOU buy HIM something, it only some big deal for you, a sacrifice, an act of love... that he will never get due to his past conditioning.
Since you are like me... a thoughtful gift giver... and this does = love thoughts, then with this guy, those items must be less expensive (easier to match in return or dismiss) and selected only on trails of love, thoughtfulness.
Think simple daily "vacations" as best "gifts"
e. g. muscles hurting = massage
thirsty = new thoughtful refreshment with his favs