For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Romans 1:26 & 27
It's doubtful that there are many women, and even some men, today, who would not shudder inwardly if a statement like that were made! 'The natural use of the woman'?!What a sexist statement! The nerve; like women are there just to be used by men! Sadly, this is the notion that many men in our society have, and was prevalent even in the Hebrew culture that the apostle Paul came from and lived in!
The Bible, however, does seem to plainly state, especially in the passage above, that there is a certain specific use for women in a Godly society! For years, and by tradition, this 'use' seems to have been a merely physical one, the act of sexual intercourse in copulation for the purpose of producing heirs and offspring. ( this is probably one reason that the subject of masturbation is taboo, both for men and women, in Christian circles )
As we've discussed before, and this should be obvious; it is not biologically possible for two men to copulate together, or for two women to do the same! We all, probably, are at least somewhat familiar with the biblical story of Sodom & Gomorrah in Genesis 19. This is where the act gets its name wherein men masturbate with each other, and sometimes even with women.
As with all biblical principles, though, I believe that this condemnation of the physical act of sodomy is not so much a prohibition of the physical act, as it is a reference to the greater spiritual sin of adultery towards Yahweh!
Is it wrong for a man to commit sodomy, whether with men or women? We as heterosexuals, for the most part look with disdain, if not outright abhorrence at this act, which is called 'unnatural' by the apostle, and this is the reason, we are told, that Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed by fire. Is that the extent of it, though; is that why those cities were destroyed? Going back to the previous chapter, in verse 20, 'Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave', therefore Yahweh Himself went down and destroyed it for that wickedness, which is not here named.
In reading these Scriptures, we must remember to take them in the greater context of the depraved history of Israel. Though Israel, per se, was never accused of the same depravity for which Sodom is infamous, though it was known to happen ( Judges 19:22 ), they were compared numerous times to these wicked cities throughout the prophets ( Deuteronomy 32:32, Isaiah 1:10, Jeremiah 23:14, Amos 4:11 ). We read in places like II Peter 2:6 and Jude 7, that these cities were destroyed, not for any certain and specific sexual immorality, but simply for sexual immorality, and what Jude calls going 'after strange flesh'!
What is this 'strange flesh'?
Young's Literal Translation ( YLT ) uses the words 'other flesh', rather than 'strange flesh'. This is not only probably a truer translation; it makes more sense, given the adulterous history of the Israelites! Although they no doubt were guilty of physical adultery with and without the borders of the Land, they were, more importantly, guilty of spiritual adultery against Yahweh, if not only for the condemningly singular fact that they looked to other nations for help and aid, rather than to Yahweh!
So, getting back to 'the natural use of the woman', while still keeping in mind this adulterous history ( Genesis 6:2, et all ), it's fairly plain to see that it is not simply an issue of 'using' their women incorrectly; it was an issue of rebellion against Yahweh, the one who had made them and instituted His Covenant with them.
By lusting after flesh other than what Yahweh had blessed them with through His Covenant, they committed spiritual adultery and sexual immorality against Him!
The Most Wise God ( along with the wisest man ever ) said that '[ It is ] not good that man should be alone' ( Genesis 2:18 ( Ecclesiastes 4:8 ). Women were made to physically complement men, women do not complement women, nor men men; this is a biological fact, they do not mesh, physically ( sexually ) speaking!
As we have seen though, it is not merely about biology; the biology is merely a symptom of a greater spiritual problem, that of rebellion against Yahweh and His created order!
Can a man 'mesh' spiritually with another man, or a woman with a woman? This seems to increasingly be the case; however, I will allow the reader to draw his or her own conclusions!
Charles Haddon Shank