Im not old enough to have started with a DE back in the day, but in general I learned on my own. I went ou and bought my own gillete at the time.
My straight razor journey was quite similar. I never knew about stropping. I would buy a Dovo at the knife store and just shave with that. It was pretty painful, and for whatever reason my blades always rusted. It wasn't until SRP/B&B and the Shave Den did I start to learn the proper ways of straight shaving/honing/stropping
Veteran of the Great Irisch Moos Campaign of 2008-9
Proud member of the Great Eagle Group Buy of 2010
I Survived the Great Migration 06/2011
"Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence." Vince Lombardi