I was going to title this “Gentlemen, check out this shaving revolution!” and then write a second article about being a gentleman but decided it was better to tie these two ideas together. It got its start after I made a post in December called 13 Tools For Taking Care Of Your Face In Your 20s, Male Edition wherein I tried to give some male “beauty” advice based on my experience. In it, I extolled the virtues of buying cheap disposable razors instead of expensive multi-bladed ones. About a month later, Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan published an excellent post entitled Only Buy Cheap Razors wherein he basically says don’t be a chump who buys into gimmicks. The takeaway in both articles, I believe, is as simple as “be practical” or “do what it takes to get the job done, no more, no less.” At first glance, this is pretty simple since what we’re talking about is shaving and the idea of not buying into a corporate idea of what shaving requires. I think it’s a big idea and I think it speaks more to how to be a gentleman than any of the lists on the subject that have been compiled by others all over the place and yes, I’m going to use razors as the analogy while declaring the below razor to be the perfect razor. Here it is:
It’s $37 and it’s one time purchase. It’s based on a design from 1847 and it has absolutely not been improved upon since that time period. I got this over the Christmas holiday from my girlfriend who is awesome. It came with one blade and it took me exactly 3 days to get comfortable with it. It’s heavier than anything I’d ever used before and the blades are far, far, sharper than anything I’ve ever experienced before. It’s double sided so you have two edges to work with and I can make each blade last over two weeks of daily shaving. The only waste you create when you need to change blades is the blade itself, no plastic. This has been the best shave for me. It really could be the best for you as well. Here are the blades:
They’re $8.15 for a pack of ten but since they’re double sided then that means you’re getting twenty razor blades for all practical purposes. That’s cheaper than the cheapest Bic disposable and these blades, as I said before, are sharper than those disposables and the steel is better quality. I have gotten the best shaves of my life since I switched over completely to these and I will have saved more money on razor supplies than I ever have. It is the sweetest power to weight ratio that I have ever achieved in a product of any kind. It is the most practical. It is also the best product.
So, now you’re asking what this might have to do with being a gentleman. “You’re talking about razors,” you might be thinking. Well, while I’ve read all the lists on how to be a gentleman that Thought Catalog has published what they all seem to boil down to is “have good manners/be nice.” The rest seems to have to do with maybe how to dress or how to have good etiquette or how to not make fun of gay people or call girls back in a timely fashion. Those things are fine, great in fact, but I don’t think they make you a gentleman. Gentlemen can be many different things and in many different ways but what ultimately makes a gentleman, I believe, comes from within. It’s who you are that ultimately determines things you do. Being a gentleman is about the why of the things you do. It’s about having an examined true self and practically applying that self to your life and the people and things around you. It’s not about following behaviors on lists or checking off boxes. It isn’t about seeing what’s trending and getting in on the trend. It’s not about believing things because others believe them. It’s about being your best self in the world. Now I’m going to make an analogy to sex. Back in November I published an article entitled 6 Ways to Use Your Penis Properly. In that article, I said the following:
Fucking is in the hips. It’s in the arms. It’s in the stomach. It’s in the embrace. That’s where “fucking” comes from. It’s not in your cock. It’s your hips, arms, stomach, etc using your cock. This isn’t some dance analogy thing. This is a mindset change. You’re not there to in/out with your cock. You’re there to fuck with your body and if you’re not using your body to fuck then you won’t get the same effect for either yourself or her. You won’t be able to lose yourself in the motion and so you’ll have problems with rhythm. You won’t be able to tell where she’s at because your bodies aren’t participating together. Rhythm is the orgasm maker so get into a flow. This, I believe, also helps with staying power because your mind isn’t on you, it’s on the act.
Don’t be a douche bag, endeavor to engage in the act. Be where you are doing what you’re doing.
Right, so I could have made a list of “sex moves” but that would have showed a total misunderstanding of what sex actually is. A list might have been seen as practical, a how to, but it’s not practical. Good sex is two people moving together and being with each other in the moment. It’s not any particular “sex move” you do or specific step that you take. It’s you being you with another person, fucking and doing this thing well. It’s holistic. It’s all of you being with, hopefully, all of someone else in whatever “sex move” form that takes. This, I believe, is practical and realistic advice because it allows for individuality, creativity, and style and the same goes for being a gentleman. Determine what kind of man you want to be and then envision what that man does in the world. How is he? What is he like? If you want to be a kind man who is possessed of self respect then go out and be kind to others while not allowing it to bother you if others don’t appreciate your acts of kindness. If you want to be seen as having self respect then be respectful to yourself. Be possessed of virtues that are respectable. Understand these virtues and believe in them. Understand that they are practical and also have a more universal esoteric aspect to them. Don’t do things that cause you to lose respect for yourself. This is also the ultimate in power to weight ratio. Don’t run around following a dozen sets of instructions. Focus down on one thing only, being who you want to be.
This is the practical way to approach being a gentleman because no man will follow every step every time no matter how well intentioned and life isn’t about following steps anyway. It’s about living with your whole self. Be the best you that you envision and that you want for yourself and the world. That is the practical way to approach your own life. Choose the tool for the job and don’t skimp on effort. Live fully and with heart. Don’t get caught up in what other people are doing. Do what you feel is right in your attempt to be the best man you can be. If you do that consistently then you will become a man of quality.
What’s a man of quality? A gentleman.