As I sit here with my face in bandages and a new pint of blood just administered after my first experience of shaving DE...
Hold on, that was last night's nightmare, this is what really happened.
I shave wet for over 20 years now, almost always with Gillette Sensor or Sensor Excel. I use a brush and shaving soap from a tube, mostly Palmolive but now for a change it happens to be Gillette. I am experienced in handling alum as well. Because the price of the Sensor refill blades sky rocket and the blades feel more and more blunt, I recently started looking for alternatives. I tried those tennisrackets with 4 or more blades which were so large and unhandy that I threw them out.
I was at my wits end and considered growing a beard when I, by cheer chance and good fortune, met a guy who knew about shaving DE. He told my all kinds of DE-stuff and opened up a new world for me that I didn't know even existed. As a result I enrolled to this club and got flooded by all the information collected.
Considering options and exellent advice I decided to buy a Mühle Safety Razor No.R89, some samples of blades and shaving soap in a bowl. The parcel got delivered to me on last Tuesday and I spent some days waiting for the opportunity to find time for my first DE-shave, which was today: DE-Day.
All went well. I gave my face a light scrub. The beard started its third day (I normally shave every other day except for weekends) and was ready. I applied the Gillette shaving soap (I succefully resisted the urge to apply the new soap) on my brush and worked it in. Then I took my Mühle Safety Razor No.R89 with a blade of Personna Red IP. The first thing I noticed was no blood. Then there was the sound, it was different, more crispy and clear. Shaving WTG went fine, then soap again and XTG and in some spots ATG. This grip and razor feel different compared to what I've been used to, of course, so I was very careful.
At the second pass I noticed a remarkable difference from the Gillette Sensor experience: that I had to smooth the skin. The Sensor-system has a lubricating strip on it which lubricates the skin just enough for a smooth passage. Of course the DE-raxor doesn't have a lubricating strip and therefore I used some extra water. Suddenly I understood the meaning of some blogs about oiling the skin, the penny dropped.
After the shave I used my usual Weleda aftershave balm (it has no alcohol in it and doesn't sting) and when that dried in I applied some bodylotion to smooth things off. This is what I always do and it works fine for me.
Conclusion: a superb experience! I've got 11 Gillette Sensor-blades that I'll use and when they are spent I convert fully to DE-shaving.
Thank you all for the information on this forum that helped me so much!