I hope nobody blushes, but I am going to pose a rather personal question to male readers. Given a choice, men, would you rather be having sex with your wife or out bowling with your buddies?
If you aren't a bowler, just substitute fishing, golf, shooting pool, leaning on a bar, watching TV, or whatever your favorite recreational activity is.
This question was inspired by something my friend Ann Landers recently wrote.
She asked her female readers if they would be content just being cuddled and treated tenderly and forget about going all the way.
The response was fascinating. Her readers overwhelmingly voted in favor of skipping doing it for being cuddled.
Some of them even expressed relief that their husbands had died or become infirm, so they did not have to do it anymore.
The only complaint that I have about Ann's survey is that it was directed only at females.
But, then, aren't most sex surveys?
Nobody ever asks us about our needs, our frustrations, our longings and yearnings. It's always: "Madam, do you have your quota of orgasms? Does your husband engage in an adequate amount of foreplay? Does the earth shake?"
We have become the forgotten sex, except during the recently endured Age of the Wimp, when many modern men didn't wait to be asked, but blubbered out their most embarrassing thoughts to anybody who would tolerate them.
But the average guy is never asked about such things. So, to provide some balance to Ann's survey, I am conducting my own.
Naturally, I can't ask the same question -- choose between sex or being merely cuddled -- since that is not a choice most men would make, although some fellows might feel differently.
So I have substituted other options, such as the above-mentioned choice between sex or bowling, etc.
And if that isn't the kind of question that you want to answer, here are a few others you might consider.
* Given a choice, would you prefer a wife who makes frequent demands on your weary bod, or one who is content to cook, clean, shop, tend the house, walk the dog, change the kitty litter, address the Christmas cards, and project a pleasant, obedient, cheerful demeanor?
* In the evening, do you prefer a wife who leers and nudges you toward the bedroom, or would you rather be allowed to sit up drinking beer and watching the late, late show until you fall asleep in your chair and are awakened by the national anthem?
* What makes your pulse race faster and your breathing grow heavier -- dropping a 40-foot putt, landing a six-pound bass, bowling a 230 game, watching your favorite baseball team win a pennant, or seeing your wife waddle across the room in a negligee?
* Do you prefer an old-fashioned woman who closes her eyes, clenches her teeth and meekly submits to your carnal demands, or a modern creature who points at the boudoir and says: "Move -- the mood is upon me?"
If you wish to take part in this survey, all you have to do is tear out the column, underline your responses, and send them to me.
Or, if you wish, you can elaborate, pour our those innermost feelings on your needs, your desires, your secret cravings. I mean, that's what a newspaper is for, right?
You can write a letter about the above questions or anything you consider relevant, or even irrelevant. Omit your name or include it. Names will, of course, be kept confidential -- unless you want it published to shock and horrify your wife.
Later, I will tabulate and print the results and some of the more interesting letters.
I ask only that you write nothing too lewd, since I would not want my secretary to spend her day blushing. Or snickering.
Address your letters this way:
Mike Royko, Sex or Bowling Clinic, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
And soon we will have some important scientific and sociological data.
If nothing else, you will know whether to invest your money in a company that makes waterbeds or one that sells putters.