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Making the move from "guy" to "gentleman"

Most men, throughout young adulthood, are "one of the guys". There is certainly nothing wrong with this as it is one of the transitional stages that we travel through on the way to becoming a true man & gentleman. An appropriate question for a "guy", who by choice or circumstance, is standing on the threshold of gentlemanliness and wondering what to do next, would be: "What is a gentleman?"

In performing some light research into the subject, one finds the following descriptions:

1. A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper behavior.
2. A man who behaves properly.
3. A man of refinement.
4. A man with capacity to mingle on equal terms in good society.
5. A man who treats others in a respectful manner, not taking advantage of or pushing others into doing things they do not choose to do. The exception being to push someone into doing something they need to do for their own good.​

As many/most of these descriptions in some way refer to behavior or virtue, it is also appropriate to search out the meaning of virtue as it relates to being a gentleman.

good, goodness, morality, probity, rectitude, righteousness, rightness, uprightness, virtuousness, beauty, distinction, excellence, perfection, caliber, merit,quality, stature, value, worth, honor, integrity​

You are now, most likely, starting to wonder, "Just where are you going with this?" In explanation of this post: In my own life, I've spent the last decade navigating my own transition from guy to gentleman. While the transition is not complete, and arguably, the journey is a never ending one, I feel that, in at least a small way, wet shaving has advanced this transition/journey a few more steps in the right direction. How, you may ask? For starters, I believe there to be a lot of truth to the old adage about looking good being equated to feeling good and behaving good or well. I also believe a cleanly shaven, healthy face to be a sign of refinement which can add to one's capacity to "mingle on equal terms in good society". Finally, as a member of this board, I get to opportunity to guide others into doing something they need to do for their own good (just as some of our senior members once did for me).

Maybe there is some amount of factual goodness to the overall impression or mood that I have intended to communicate here, or maybe these statements are the senseless ramblings of someone with nothing more pressing to busy them on a Saturday morning. Either way, for me, wet shaving and the benefits thereof, have begun to mean much more to me than simply slicing the hair off of my face.
Good post Kyle. I agree with your finer points at arriving to gentlemanly behavior. Luckily, most of us have had a good role model at some point of our lives that have left an impression of good moral behavior.

Forums such as this only reinforce what was already in our being. I guess you can call it refinement. We found our way here because we were looking for something better in our lives but just did not know quite how to get there.

Furthermore, this site is made up of friends. Although we have only known each other for a short time and we actually did meet in person, I consider you my friend. I also consider most of the members on this forum my friends. We have a brotherhood for seeking a better life while we are here.

Again, great postl. :thumbup1:
Excellent post, Kyle, and I agree with your sentiments. There is something liberating about demanding "me time" during the day where you can take a few moments to enjoy the simple rituals of shaving, etc. It is the rare male who can admit that this is part of being a man, and doesn't represent being effeminate.

Good grooming is about confidence; one you have self-confidence, you can extend yourself to help others, which is what this site is about.
Brother Kyle,

What a great and thoughtful post! You know you are absolutely right about the transition being about the adoption of certain "gentlemanly" behaviors and setting the correct example. It is about leading by example and exhibiting the quiet confidence in doing our jobs well and guiding others to do the same.

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead young men and women in our military, and one of the discrete transitions that many senior officers prepared me for was to make clear that, "KUJO, you are no longer one of the guys".

One of my best friends not too long ago sent me a book, How to be a Gentleman (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558535969/ref=sib_rdr_dp/103-9758840-5143000?me=ATVPDKIKX0DER&no=283155&st=books&n=283155), before I assumed my current position.

At first I thought it was a gag, but he told me, "No you need to read this, it's need to know stuff". Well I trust him implicitly and so I read through it, then brought the book to my office and left it on display on my tabletop. Every now and then, a curious soul picks it up and thumbs through it and it seems to hold their attention well enough.

In the end it's about never settling for anything less than the best in ourselves, and passing on freely our experience and good example to others (while being ever mindful not to be boastful). Never settling for a bad shave, always striving to improve our art, and passing on traditions to newer generations is what we owe the generations of gentlemen who have preceeded us.

BTW, I'm proud to have the opportunity for my reply to your post to be my 100th!:thumbup1:
Having been born and raised in the South, I was raised to be a gentleman. I open and hold doors for ladies. I say "yes sir" and "yes ma'am". I am NEVER the first one through a door. I'm not bragging, it's just the way it is. The only four letter word I use in mixed company is Ford (I'm a Honda guy!) I enter the elevator first and exit last. I call my customers Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. With elderly ladies who insist on being called by their first name, they become "Miss Helen" or whatever their name is. Kujo has brought up an excellent author, John Bridges. Mr. Bridges has a host of books that are worth reading. Check your library. That's where I got mine. We were born male. Being a gentleman is a choice.

Great topic!


it's nice to hear someone else talk about being a gentleman. We can look around the tv screen or our normal everyday happenings and see the difference between 'guys' and 'gentlemen'.

a 'guy' is that person who will pull a bonehead move in front of you in his car and then cuss you out-a gentleman will acknowledge he made the mistake and go on secure in the knowledge that he is still a man.

another of the main differences is that a 'guy' doesn't understand that giving his best is good enough- and that others are entitled to give their best-even if it isn't good enough for the 'guy'. the gentleman will accept the best someone else gives, even if it isn't good enough.

finally and most importantly, the gentleman knows that taking care of himself properly makes him a man- not a metrosexual. gentlemen are not a media creation; they are just themselves.

not all guys are bad- they just need to grow up!

Excellent Post Kyle and good comments from the others...

I consider myself to be on the path of Gentlemeness, being the modern Samurai.

The ancient times of Japan had Samurai´s they held high esteem and 100% loyalty to their Masters. The Samurai would wake up early so he could attend to important matters these quote´s taken from the holy book of the Samurai
`The Hakagure ´

Every morning ,the samurai of fifty or sixty years ago would bathe,shave their foreheads,put lotion in their hair,cut their fingernails and toenails rubbing them with pumice and then wood sorrel and without fail pay attention to their personal appearance. it goes without saying their armor in general was kept free from rust,that it was dusted shined and arranged.

Although it seems that taking special care of one´s appearance is similar to showiness ,it is nothing akin to elegance.Even if you are aware that you may be struck down today and are firmly resolved to an inevitable death,if you are slain with an unseemly appearance ,you will show your lack of previous resolve,will be despised by your enemy and will appear unclean.
For this reason it is said that both old and young should take care of their appearance.

According to a certain person ,a number of years ago Matsuguma Kyoan told this story

Ín the practice of medicine there is a differentiation of treatment according to Ying and Yang of men and woman
There is also a difference in pulse . In the last 50 years ,however men´s pulse has become the same as woman. Noticing this in the threatment of eye disease I applied woman´s treatment to men and found it suitable. When I observed the application of men´s treatment to men,there was no result,and the end of the world had come. since I wittnessed this this with certainty I kept it a secret.

When looking at the men of today with this in mind those who could be the thought to have a woman´s pulse are many indeed and those who seem like real men few .Because of this
,if one were to make a little effort ,he would be able to take the upper hand quite easily .that there are few men who are able to cut well in beheadings is further proof that men´s courage has waned. and when one comes to speak of kaishaku,it has become an age of men who are prudent and clever at making excuses . 40 or 50 years ago when such things as matanuki were considered manly ,a man wouldnt show an unscarred thigh to his fellows,so he would pierce it himself.

So yes a couple of excerpts from the book I would like to share with my fellow Samurai here at Blade and Badgers.
Yes I have had my nicks and cuts too and im PROUD of them aswell I will get better with grooming and I will learn from my Masters like Joel , Nick, The Lathermeister, KYle.. :biggrin:

For those Samurai who are wanting to read the book as some passages will seem odd in these modern times but some others will put you on the path of Gentlemeness..



Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Great post, except for the painful fact that I'm oh-for-five on your checklist.:lol:
I completely agree. I think taking the time to make yourself more presentable is a wonderful thing.

Another old time habit that I feel is aboslutely important for me to follow is to always have nicely shined shoes. I'm not talking about taking out the old kiwi instant polish. I mean taking your shoes, cleaning them off, applying some shoe polish with a horse hair brush, and then brushing it with a horse hair, etc. etc. Essentially doing a good job of it.

I think it is little things like these that distinguish a gentleman from an oridinary guy.
Let's see, using fountain pens, shaving the 'old-fashioned way', polishing one's shoes with kiwi and horsehair; I think we may need to change the name of this site to 'gentlemen and blade rather than badger.:biggrin:

BTW, if you're in a hurry or don't feel like doing it yourself. All Nordstrom's, as far as I know, have someone on staff at a shoeshine stand. They do a pretty good job too. They aren't as anal as I am, but a good job nonetheless.

Just like getting shaved by someone else, you can pick up on quite a few tips and tricks.:wink:


Lunatic Fringe
Staff member
Quite a good thread and possibly more meaningful now than when originally written.


Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
After ten hard years, I'm proud to announce that I'm now one-for-five on the checklist. :thumbup1:
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