EDITOR: Thank you so much for putting out some information about the positive effects of not having a menstrual cycle ["No Flow," Audrey Van Buskirk, Sept 18]. This article did however miss a different option to eliminate the monthly visit and have effective birth control. I have been on Depo-Provera for seven years now and have not had a period in six years. Not only does this option allow you to not have to deal with Aunt Flow, but you only have to think about it once every three months and you save money on not ever having to buy "feminine protection."
Every time I mention that I have not had a period for six years, women look at me in horror as if I'm blocked up and holding onto all sorts of crap in there. In fact, I've never felt better. I don't have PMS, cramps, or the need to plan events around my monthly visitor. The biggest risk I have found in my research is that Depo depletes your calcium levels faster than [normal]. No woman needs that! So I take calcium vitamins, eat yogurt, cheese, and milk, and forget the monthly period and stress of PMS. I love it! And I will never go back.

Kelly Davidson

TO THE EDITOR: "The Holy Ghost Shuffle," by Sean Nelson [Sept 11], made me very sad. I wasn't sad because I thought Mr. Nelson was picking on Christians. I was sad that these people were there to write about at all. I just wanted to say that Jesus never was and never is about money. Numerous times in the Bible God's followers are exhorted to trust Him and not money. I hope that the people of this church aren't duped, and that someone will let them know that God doesn't want their money... just their hearts! Here are some very clear thoughts that God shared with us all about money:

Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

Heather Smith

EDITOR: Not being a regular reader of The Stranger, your cover caught my eye. "Extreme Jesus!" it said. When I saw the name of Vince Schott, I was especially interested. I met Vince and his wife when he started what I believe was his first job in the ministry as a youth pastor in a small Washington church over 20 years ago. Having known him then and after reading the article, I felt the author portrayed Vince's style of preaching accurately. I can say that he is not a calculated act. Vince Schott is a true showman, and God made him to be doing exactly what he is doing. Not everyone will agree with his style, but that's the beauty of the Christian church; many parts of one body.

I do have a problem with the article's portrayal of fundraising, like it's some kind of dirty little secret now exposed. It works like this: You go to church, if you like. You greet friends and strangers, if you like. You sing, if you like. You share, if you like. You learn something, if you like. You give, if you like. Your life is changed, if you like. That's the way it's always been.

Douglas Nash

EDITOR: The Stranger proved once again how completely conventional it is by referring to city council candidate Linda Averill as "a frowning full-of-shit socialist" ["Primary Endorsements," Stranger Election Bowling League, Sept 3]. Come on boys and girls in the editorial sandbox: Can't you come up with any anti-commie stereotypes better than that? But then Bolshevik baiting is so very old hat, very last century. According to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, slamming reds and calling them names went out with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Guerry Hoddersen


DEAR STRANGER EDITORS: Please stop running columns that purport to be about an interesting subject (e.g., the local music scene, sex) and always end up being about the author (e.g., Mistress Matisse, Kathleen Wilson, and scores more). My father quit drinking over 20 years ago and he hasn't talked about it as much as Kathleen Wilson has in the short period since she published her yawning diary in your paper. And nobody cares about how many people she knows and hangs out with--we just want to hear about the damn music. As for Mistress Matisse, her column has to be the worst thing ever written. I can't imagine anyone making kinky sex sound so boring, but there it is... every single week.
I know my life is boring and uninteresting to anyone but me, but I have the good sense to keep it to myself.

Daniel Royer

TO THE EDITOR: I read with considerable interest the letters section of the September 4 issue of The Stranger. I found especially interesting Mr. Savage's note that "Sanders called for a new approach to gay men's health, one that embraced concepts of morality, responsibility, and accountability"--an interesting argument--and later note that "Public Health not only has the moral authority to force change at Gay City and LAA, it also has the financial authority--both agencies rely on Public Health for funding."

But then I encountered a curious coincidence. I was reading The Stranger in bed, and took out the middle pages to make the paper easier to hold. On the other side of the tabloid sheet from Mr. Savage's sanguinely superior arguments was printed a headline reading, "Feeling pervy? The Stranger Alternatives," and the first ad under Men Seeking Men advertised "expert deep throat oral services." Following another page of Alternatives was a page of Adult Services, then three pages of Escorts and a page entitled Fetish.

Our local nonprofit service agencies may well be reasonable targets for questioning about messaging and execution. However, if revisiting standards of what is and is not appropriate personal behavior is the goal, then the nonprofits and Public Health are hardly alone in having their messaging swayed by funding needs. If I'm not mistaken, advertising is an even more important revenue source for The Stranger (about 100 percent???) than Public Health funding is for Gay City and the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, and The Stranger's rather sanctimonious stands are not matched by business conduct.

Mr. Savage claims that "The Stranger has always run critical letters." I'll be interested to see whether the paper runs this one.

Tom Auer

DAN SAVAGE RESPONDS: Here's your letter, Tom. As for your argument--hey, there are sex ads in The Stranger!--it's pretty flimsy. The Stranger is not anti-sex; I'm not anti-sex; Eli Sanders is not anti-sex. What Sanders has been writing about--and condemning--is gay men who knowingly spread HIV and other STDs. This is the sort of immoral behavior that Sanders has condemned; when Sanders called for a new approach to gay men's health, "one that embraced concepts of morality, responsibility, and accountability," he wasn't calling for abstinence education. Instead Sanders was advancing the seemingly radical notion that gay people, like straight people, have responsibilities to their sex partners and that AIDS educators should tell gay men that it's wrong to casually infect other men with a chronic and potentially fatal disease.

No one at The Stranger is calling for an end to sex; for the record, we're all for pervy sex and hiring professionals and deep throats. Sanders is calling on gay men to have sex in an ethical fashion--which you can do with an escort, a pro-dom, or someone you met through the alternatives.

DUDE: To answer your question: Yes, there is at least one person out there who reads the table of contents! I am a faithful weekly cover-to-cover scanner. It starts at the TOC. But I must admit that this week was the best one yet--a roaring read!

Des Kuring

HIYA EDITOR: Yeah, I read the TOC! How the fuck else would I know where ya put the good stuff at? Next week put the friggin' page numbers back in the TOC, because I READ THE TOC! Cheers and love.

Arthur Caldwell

HEY, EDITOR: I read the TOC! Without the TOC The Stranger is a good read, but a terrible reference. What if I already read "The Stranger Suggests" and I am just trying to find the address or phone number for the event I decided to go to? The TOC is an important tool; don't scrap it.

Maegan Ashworth