Reply for Grand'mère Mimi:
The 3 words malakoì oúte arsenokoîtai in 1 Cor 6:9 refer to the 7th Commandment, the Household, by Paulos the House Congre-gation, and translates "soft"/ neither / arseno-koît-ai respecti-vely. The latter word signifying male "bedders" or concubin(s).
As Boswell 1980 points out the construction itself does not indi-cate which half is the subject/object and thus the meaning rests indefinable. He gives the example of the comedy “lady killers”, which are neither… I always think of “Gefillte Fisch”, a Yiddish course which isn’t filled but in-baked, as far as I can see (it’s very tasty).
However, the Old Latin translation from North Africa (maybe just 3/4 of a century after Paulos, thus elder than the youngest Alex-andrian “Letters” in the NT), is masculorum concubitores: male bedfellows.
Such were male prostitutes (they may have been EU-nucks – the ancient world is a different landscape...). And probably they pros-tituted themselves more often with xärai; (lit. widows) self sup-porting women, than with men. The ársen; “male” is there to un-derline their aptness for their trade…
Antiquity was full of Greek specialitées à prix fix which weren't even translatable to Ancient Latin...
Bedfellows were an important institution in pre Modernity. Hardly even Emperors or Kings slept alone in their beds. It was too cold. Queen Elizabeth I had a Swedish Woman of the Bed-chamber, Helena Snakenborg called My Good Lady Marquess of Northampton, Queen Catharine Parr’s brother’s 3rd wife and widow.
Strange as it may seem to us, bedfellows always were of the s a m e sex – or none, as were the case with wet-nurses… ;=) Just as men went about holding arms - they still do in pre modern cultures, that is most everything outside the West.
In Ancient Egypt Household members slept on the roof, well into Medieval times they slept in mats on the floor. At the beginning of the last century, most servants still slept in attics.
Stable boys slept in the hay (blankets were for horses, as my Grandmother’s eldest Aunt Selma - the family saint, much into slums and good works - was once rebuked when visiting her Uncle at Ekenäs in Finland. It was winter and she had come upon a heap of woollen blankets in the Vestibule and asked if she could take them out to the Stables. Yes you can, said Uncle Claes. Whereupon Aunt Selma exclaimed: How the stable boys will be pleased… Not the men – the horses! her uncle retorted.)
The word arsenokoîtai itself is probably Corinthian slang and not known in writing before Paulos around 54 AD (“1st“ Cor:1-8 is at least the third letter to Corinth, Chapters 8-16 is the second, and the “2nd“ Cor is the first preserved).
When, in the centuries after Paulos, it is (rarely) used it refers to economic abuse of different kinds; Greed, 10th Commandment.
Only from the 10th century the word seems gradually to have taken on a sexualized meaning, parallel to the way malakoì; “soft” (primarily of textiles), was changed to refer to “masturbation” (having taken on that meaning in Modern Greek for both women and men ;=)
Malakós in its primary sense is found in Luke 7:24 and Matt 11:8, referring to clothes, those of John the Baptist to be precise.