Intimacy is about being known.
If I don't know myself, (i.e. I hide, escape, or avoid aspects of myself or my past) it is difficult if not impossible to let myself be known to someone else. I regularly pile up rationalizations, excuses, fear, resentment, and all sorts of stuff that blocks me from honesty and the truth about myself and my life.
Here is a good definition of intimacy I ran across:
Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other. Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and reciprocity. As a verb "intimate" means "to state or make known". The activity of intimating (making known) underpins the meanings of "intimate" when used as a noun and adjective. As a noun, an "intimate" is a person with whom one has a particularly close relationship.
For me, intimacy starts as an inside job. I have to unplug from escaping and distracting behaviors and spend time reviewing, journaling, introspection, and contemplating my life and my story-especially the most unpleasant parts I want to deny but that affected me deeply.
The ancient concept of forty days and forty nights, affirms the value of unplugging for a period of renewal and discovery.
This leads me to deeper understanding and acceptance and KNOWING of myself that is profound and life-changing.
From that place, I feel myself more powerfully, emotionally, psychologicall/spiritually and physically, and I am more integrated and whole - and that leads to real sexual intimacy and joy.
It's hard to do this when I'm carrying around all sorts of unresolved chatter and past trauma and pain.