October 12, 2009

The Dudes First Shave

Did you know some cave paintings show an ancient man "shaving" using two seashells as tweezers! Yes it is one lifelong challenge for men. It is also one of the more powerful of the smaller rite of passage events in a young males life that so clearly mark the crossing into manhood. It deserves to be met with good information, training and some solid man-making support.

I can remember those years, staring at the mirror, being angry at the pimples, feeling pretty ugly, and just waiting for the day when shaving made any kind of sense at all. I got no guidance from my father, there were no other men around to ask and no Internet to Google for guidance. As it was with too many aspects of manhood, I learned the hard and in this case, the painful way.

Do you have a story of when/how/where you first took on the soft facial hair of adolescence? Who was there for you, who showed you how, and what was your experience like?

Here is a geeky video with a lesson in how to shave. It would have saved me from embarrassment, long sessions in front of the bathroom mirror, and thousands of small pieces of tissue.

Use this link if the video clip doesn't show up.


  1. Charley7:23 PM

    My experience with my sons is that by the time they're ready to shave they "know it all" and/or don't want to be so intimate as to take (long) directions from their dad. Maybe in the "old days" the dads could force their kids to listen, but today... this makes more sense than i would want it to.

  2. Gary K.6:38 PM

    Hi Earl,

    This is a terrific lesson for one of our Sunday meetings. Another one is teaching boys to tie a tie, even though people are dressing less formally today, it is an important lesson to learn. When my mentee was preparing for his Senior Prom, I went over to his home and took a few ties and let him practice and then had him tie the tie he was going to wear to the prom. We then took a look walk while I listened to his concerns about the many pressures he felt from peers about expectations for after prom activities. Drugs was the number one concern. Sex was the second. The Senior Prom is another rite of passage for teens.

    Blessings to you and your Man-Making blog,


  3. Tony from Tasmania10:58 AM

    Wonderful advert for shaving products this one!

    How about starting boys off with the idea that shaving soap ' foam isn't needed - it's only function is to hold water close of face longer - so that hair softens (a shower does this much better - and shaving after a shower is
    a good idea).

    If you want to lather an old fashioned shaving brush (and ordinary soap)does the job. Einstein is reputed to have said: "Two kinds of soap, one for shaving and another for washing - too complicated!"

    And in terms of the ritual of shaving - as a rite of passage - take the boy to a barber who can do a really good job with a cutthroat razor - as a sensual experience that really marks the occasion, can't be beat

    Didn't get this from my father - did have it later on while traveling in Italy with an older man/mentor.


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