Glad you made progress Para. My son used a Whipped Dog razor set I gave him, and did quite well with it from his feedback to me. He felt it was dull too his first time but he hit the strop and things improved.
Without my own experience, I'd guess the first few shaves with a REAL sharp straight razor, anybody will be very cautious and tense in fear of cuts. As confidence grows and over caution subsides, I think good technique begins to show up in the shaves.
Echo Recon, 1st Battalion/5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, RVN 1968
When it's dark, who will kill the hungry wolf?