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The Torah says:

And [the men of Sodom] said to [Lot]: "Where are the men that came to visit you tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may be intimate with them." And Lot... said: ‘please, my brothers, do not be so wicked. I have two daughters who have not known man. Let me bring them to you, and you do to them as you will. Only to these men do nothing, because they have come under the shadow of my roof." [Gen. 19:5-8]

The men of Sodom made it clear they wanted a homosexual relationship. Lot countered by offering them a heterosexual relationship. Why? Did he think they were bisexual? Was he trying to wean them away from homosexuality? Is this discussed anywhere?

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    They probably didn't think of themselves in terms of those categories – Double AA Nov 20 '19 at 23:21
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    I think they were just generally corrupt, so raping anyone was their method. It wasn't a question of offering any category of sexual intimacy. It was that they didn't want anyone to invite guests. And Lot, for whatever reason was more protective of his guests than his own daughters. (Something that I don't understand.) – DanF Nov 20 '19 at 23:24
  • @DanF judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/109620/… – Alex Nov 20 '19 at 23:48
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    Probably relevant are studies on motivations for rape: many cases of rape of men by heterosexual men are explained not by sexual desire but by enforcement of a power hierarchy. I don't know if modern psychology applies to S'dom, though. – Leopold says Reinstate Monica Nov 21 '19 at 6:47
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    THe idea of sexual orientation didn't exist up until the 19th century (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) so none of our sources could classify people, besides the deeds themselves - this is a heteroS. act and this is homoS one. THere are no BiS acts. – Al Berko Nov 21 '19 at 14:32
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Rav Hirsch explains on Vayera 19:4 that the people of S'dom were not bisexual, but that they were attempting to so mistreat the guests that noone would ever dare commit such a crime in the future.

Practising hospitality was such a grave crime, that an example was to be made on the strangers who had been invited in, to make it impossible for the recurrance of such an attempt to be made. That showed the inhumanity. And this mishandling was to take the form of the most bestial debauchery. That showed the immorality.

The fact that every group in the society came to enforce their law showed that it was not a matter of sexual desire, but a preplanned thought out method of ensuring through terror that noone else would ever dare challenge S'dom again.

Rashi and Rav Hirsch then explain in Vayeirah 19:8 that he was telling them that he had asked them under his roof and extended them his protection. He was taking the idea of hospitality and extending it to the utmost absurdity. Because he had asked them into his house, he was telling the people of S'dom that he was willing to have them murder his daughters in the most fiendish way rather than turn over guests while they were under his protection. In fact, it seems to imply that once the guests left his protection they would be free to be handled as the people of S'dom wanted.

The idea was that he expected them to agree to leave his guests alone as long as they stayed in his house and offered his daughters to show how serious he was about the matter. He also showed that he trusted them to keep their word.

8 Behold now I have two daughters who were not intimate with a man. I will bring them out to you, and do to them as you see fit; only to these men do nothing, because they have come under the shadow of my roof."

Rashi

because they have come: Heb. כִּי עַל כֵּן. Do this favor in my honor, because they have come into the shade of my roof [lit. my beam]. The Targum renders: בִּטְלֵל שָׁרִיתִי, in the shade of my beam. The Targum of קוֹרָה, beam, is שָׁרוּתָא.

Rav Hirsch

כי על כן באו, for I am asking this (not as an act of benevolence on your part) but only therefore because once I have asked them in they are under my protection. Do it for my sake.

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    Doesn't that make the questing stronger? How would Lot offering his daughters help? – user6591 Nov 21 '19 at 3:03
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    @user6591 I added to the post. The idea was that he expected them to agree to leave his guests alone as long as they stayed in his house and offered his daughters to show how serious he was about the matter. He also showed that he trusted them to keep their word. – sabbahillel Nov 21 '19 at 3:33
  • @sabbahillel -- The story is still incomplete. In Pirkei de Rabbi Eliezer 25:8, we learn that Sodom had a law to burn alive anybody showing hospitality. This happened to one of Lot's daughters (he had 4) who gave food to a poor man. That being the case, why didn't the Sodomites just grab Lot to burn him alive, rather than ask for sex with his guests? (Similar story in Sanhedrin 109b.) – Maurice Mizrahi Nov 21 '19 at 19:49
  • @MauriceMizrahi Actually they were going to try but we're stopped by the malachim. The question in the title was were the people of Sodom bisexual. The body of the question asked if Lot was offering his daughters for sex. I answered that they wanted to destroy the guests so horrifically that noone else would be tempted to be a guest. Forcing Lot to turn them over would have been more effective. – sabbahillel Nov 21 '19 at 20:46

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