Some notes from my first SE shave with a Gem Micromatic:
Sshhhh, keep quiet and listen to the shave - you need to hear it to make sense of it...
The Gem Micromatic - a double-edged sword masquerading as a single-edge razor. On the one hand, it's impeccably simple, on the other it requires a subtlety of touch that begs, nay requires the use of an unexpected sense. A sense not oft associated with an activity embued with anecdotes of touch and feel. Hear it.
Listen to the shave. Hear the blade at work to reveal the key to SE heaven. When you feel the blade you're pushing past the sweet spot and dallying with the threat of razor burn. Don't feel it, hear it.
A Gem Micromatic is a compact but weighty item, reminiscent of a tugboat: unassuming power and ability to carve a steady path whatever the drag. Its large head, liquid smooth, intimidating yet elegant. Proportions and angles of its spade head echoing an inorganic HR Geiger creation.
Whatever the model, flat against the face is the technique. The feeling of no feeling is the way. Lather, skin, razor head, face - smooth and noisy.
A slow sure drag, an angle just off flat and the first plinks of the single edge doing its job can be heard. All that can be felt is the silky progress of the razor head on barely touched skin. A few more practice strokes will get to the right place - the place where the blade plinks and scrapes the hair and nothing more, the save getting closer yet the skin feeling nothing other than exposure to fresh air after displaced lather.
Second pass. Lather up. This is the addiction zone, the place where the clear timbre of whiskers being cleanly cut is discordant with the silky action taking place - a staccato cacophony on a stubble slicing Steinway. A surreptitious touch to face to check and the skin is so smooth it's a stark surprise.
How can it be working - I don't feel a thing?
But it is. And it is liberating.