Every time I see those two words beside each other in that order I wonder what in the world it means. “Unnatural Relations”. It implies, “relations that go against nature.” What is that? If you look at nature, like nature on a farm, you’ll see that nature seems to go for any relations it can get. Dogs will have sex with rubber balls, stuffed animals, a stray foot pointing out in a convenient direction, other male dogs or female dogs or whatever is convenient. Most animals are that way. They have a lust, they fulfill it.
In that way I’ve always thought of human sexuality as transcending “natural relations”, because we have made sex about more than fulfilling a lust or procreating. Sex, to me, is about two people learning to be one. It is about give and take, sacrifice and dominance, learning to be in control and out of it, giving of yourself and taking of another. That is far more than simply nature, it is a metaphor for all things real and spiritual. It is the dance of creation itself- not because it makes life but because it IS life.
So what is unnatural? Is it unnatural to have sex in a way that doesn’t lead to procreation? Is it a sin to use birth control? Is it a sin when a married and committed couple engage in mutual masturbation or anal sex? Where exactly is the line between natural and unnatural? Is the only holy sex that which is done in the dark with socks still on and both feeling a little embarrassed afterwards?
I really do wonder about these things. When someone tells me to beware of unnatural relations I always want to ask, “what defines natural?” That which is found in nature, that which is primal and crude, or is “unnatural” that which one simply finds distasteful?
Because in my opinion there are a lot of Christian couples that engage in distasteful relations. Maybe I’m still a bit of a heathen.