It strikes me, Jonathan, as a casual student of history, that the hellenized Mediterranean world was full of all sorts of routine sexual practices and even gender variance that are at odds with contemporary conservative Christianity, and with how Christianity developed after the actual times recorded in the New Testament.
Yet, none of the writers of the books we have come to accept as canon saw fit to condemn or even mention most of it. What seems ‘obvious’ to us through a lens of our own cultural identity would not have been obvious at all to the readers of the gospels or the epistles when they were written.
In fact, it seems to me that if the writers had intended to condemn common sexual practices, they would have known that they would have needed to be explicit and clear. One doesn’t attempt to make radical change, after all, by speaking vaguely or subtly.
It seems clear to me that the whole sexual judgement thing was layered on top of the texts in a process that took centuries, and in a manner that had more to do with later believers’ philosophies than with anything original authors intended to say.