Abigail Trafford's Outlook article "Rise of the Neo-Puritans" {July 8} was a one-sided, inaccurate view of today's young Washingtonians. Equating health awareness and sobriety with being uptight and sexless was nonsensical. When will the Abigail Traffords of the world stop perpetuating boring cliche's of "workaholic, libido-less yuppies"?

Trafford has demonstrated that she is no more in touch with the feelings of young professionals than those she brands as Puritans. Some of us don't need a martini "power lunch" to feel sexy or risque'. Most adults work out to feel good, not to flirt.

If Trafford finds it hard to find a man in a gym, maybe she should spend less time trying to flirt and more time exercising. -- Andrew Wahl

I would like to thank Abigail Trafford for her brilliant article. As a recent transplant to the Washington area who also happens to be single and female, I looked forward to meeting all the wonderful, bright, etc., men with which Washington was rumored to be well-stocked. Well, they are here, but the few I have met seem to work day and night. And romance? No room for that, it seems, in modern, progressive society.

Well, men of Washington, this is your last chance. I won't threaten to throw myself off the Washington Monument, but I do have a good mind to get on the first bus to a factory town, where the work day ends at 5 p.m., and try my luck there. But before I leave Washington, I plan on having a shirt made that says, "libidinous and luvin' it." -- Aviva Cohen

At first, Abigail Trafford's "Rise of the Neo-Puritans" seemed to be the newspaper equivalentof an Andy Rooney satire. Here was the Health editor of your newspaper lamenting the fact that people go to the gym instead of getting drunk during their lunch hour and the fact that they are abstaining from casual sex rather than risk AIDS.

I expected the parody to reach its logical conclusion with, for example, "and another thing, don't you miss the stench of tobacco smoke on your shirt when you come home from a bar?"

And "what is wrong with these men who insist on being faithful to their wives?"

But gradually, I realized that Trafford was serious; like H. L. Mencken she was projecting her own social frustrations onto the population at large.

If romance is what Trafford wants, perhaps she should try socializing with people who retained their joie de vivre but never sought membership in the $100,000 club.

And if her Outlook article doesn't produce a flood of invitations to have a drink over lunch, maybe she should consider moving to the suburbs, where the real men are. -- James G. Titus

Does Henry Allen, whose article accompanied Abigail Trafford's piece on the "Rise of the Neo-Puritans," think any of the men out on K Street are sexy {"Girls in Their Summer Power Suits," Outlook, July 8}? Does he think they shouldn't be, and the women should be?

Give me a blessed break. -- Colleen Raske

Abigail Trafford put it so well in "Rise of the Neo-Puritans." I travel some for my work, andI just finished commenting to a friend that I flirted with more people walking through airports in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tampa and New Orleans in the past two months than I have in the 10 years that I have lived in the D.C. area. Come on, stuffy Washington, lighten up, make eye contact, have some fun. -- Susan Laine

Abigail Trafford's fatuous piece on our town's "Neo-Puritans" greatly diminished the ordinarily intellectual tone of your Outlook section. Why permit this weak attempt at humor to invade those pages normally reserved for significant political commentary?

I don't know where -- or if -- Trafford works out, but I've been working out at the downtown YMCA for eight years, and I have found the environment there to be, yes, serious about health but also friendly and congenial in the realm of male-female relations. And, in all my years of regular use of the Y, I've never seen Rudy Maxa there, so I don't believe he's a terribly reliable social savant on this issue.

It may be that many men don't even bother approaching women anymore, because they fear that such approaches will be seen as examples of sexism or even sexual harassment. When women make up their minds about what they want, they should give us a call. -- Brian T. Petty