I was asked the difference between Intimacy and Sex, and I want to share my thoughts. This is a similar comparison to sensuality and sexuality, which I will examine separately. Those terms are often conflated with intimacy is a euphemism for sex in particular. While it’s true sex can be intimate, that’s not always true and certainly intimacy can be had without sex.
As I see it, perhaps the biggest distinction is around intention. Intimacy is connection, energy, emotion and vulnerability. Engaging in intimacy can deepen these feelings, whether the intimacy is with yourself or with another. Intimacy is internal connection to the heart and grows from trust, connection and vulnerability.
Sex can be intimate, but not necessarily. Sex is physical, hormonal, body based. It is connection to the erotic, to the genitals, to pleasure and sensation. Sex is inherently active and related to stimulation. Sex can be for fun, for connection, for distraction, for procreation…
Keep thinking about this. I’d love to hear how you experience the two and how you distinguish them. Understanding the difference can be a potent tool.