And, upon reading all of the posts, due to a lack of intellectual stimulus:
A lack of conflict in the conscience doesn't make a thing right.
Doesn't make it expedient (good or useful) either, though of course it is lawful.
C.S. Lewis said that there's nothing on earth that is good that we'll lack in heaven. Christ had a body when he rose. It was a new, freer, powerful body not bound by the usual physical laws. We'll have bodies like that. He could eat in that body. He could touch people. Lewis was amusing when he said his expectation is that anything in heaven must be better than stuff on earth (said stuff being merely shadows or previews of what God actually fully intends) and that the heavenly host would be "trans-sexuals" by which he meant their sexuality would transcend earthly sexuality, not that we'd all have had a special operation.
Why are we even pretending to believe that if a married couple are "swingers" that they are "going to burn in hell?" We all know better than that. We know that, if "swinging" like two "wild and crazy guys" has good or bad consequences, these consequences will be seen on earth. I believe in a God who is more than capable of making His displeasure known, should He feel any. I don't feel the responsibility to help Him, most of the time (not unless He asks).
So, difficult as Christianity may be to grasp:
-for Christians, it is lawful to have sex with people they aren't married to
-this doesn't make it automatically good or expedient somehow
-if it is bad, there are likely to be consequences, but not "hell" consequences so much as "dead conscience" and "can't hear God" consequences and perhaps hurting others less able to handle such activity. Maybe "ruining the picture God expects us to display for the benefit of the angels." Or not.
-it is incumbent upon the rule-makers and the "this isn't ok for Christians" people to justify their point of view, lest they be merely making human laws, rules and guidelines for each other to follow and pretending to speak for God. So, if something is fun, it should not automatically cause us all to ask "But is it ok for Christians?" This question should not be our immediate response to fun. Heroin is no doubt fun, but I have concerns as to it being a good thing for my life. That being said, I quite enjoyed a shot the doctor gave me last month, as it made me ripping high. Context is a lot. Very little is "ok" or "not ok" for all Christians. We wish it were as simple as that, but it ain't. The bible reflects this reality.
-the central image or symbol used to display God's repeated displeasure with idolotars (people who took some time out from worshipping God, so they could worship other deities, but ones made by men to appeal to men, deities that were *about* men, rather than the other way around) is that of a whore, or an unfaithful wife.
Like everything else, it behooves us to lend significance, to *invest* significance in things that we decide should really matter, like a marriage, or a ceremony of any kind, or like certain people. If we try hard, we can raise kids and ensure that we don't see them as significant to us in any way. If we try hard, we can live with a spouse that doesn't matter to us a bit. By itself, sex is just a silly thing, a messy, smelly, squelching biological thing like defecating or giving birth. If we choose to lend significance to it, however, it can become deeply meaningful and special between two people, because of the communion, the collaboration, the fellowship, intimacy and trust seen in it. It may take some ironing out of differences, and some repeated airing and comparing of differences (and maybe some tears and KY Jelly) before both parties start to practically realize some of the significance they wish to invest the act with. This isn't always easy, but it's the kind of work many people enjoy, the kind of practice many are willing to put in. If sex is invested with the significance of being a way to make money, a way to hurt a third party, an activity one is professionally proficient in, or nothing at all, then that is likely what it will be to the person, and others involved. I believe in a God who made things, and, childlike, is eager for us to explore His handiwork. A party of financial planners isn't always the most gratifying group of people for an artist to display a new piece to. Nor is a flock of lawyers or a gaggle of priests.
Not everything can be special. I deliberately chose to make sex a special thing. I have had opportunities for it to be the icing on a good evening, a friendly way to get to know someone, a shared indulgence before moving on with seperate lives. I chose to make it more special than that. I have made it so special that I'll be lucky if I ever get any. Precious? We decide what is precious to a certain degree, and also have to recognize what is hard to get. Diamonds and gold are precious to many people, both because we decide they are, and because it is hard for us to get them. For someone like me to end up having sex with a woman who likes me, and I like her, and neither of us has had to compromise our views of what the act of sex means (in my case, that it not be at all temporary); this would be "better far than gold." It would be so significant and precious that it might not even exist (not the sex itself, but what it would be built upon, and the significances built into it.)
Sex isn't so important to me that it is everything, or that I'd do anything at all to get it. If I really want french fries, there are MacDonalds' everywhere. If I want something more special, I may have to wait, go hungry, and maybe never get what I'm after at all. Life's full of that.
We have only one Truth and one Reality...let's make the most of them.