This is a great thread, and I want to participate but I don't have as much time as I'd like.
But this (below) is very accurate for me.
Originally Posted by River
I tend to think of intimacy (broadly) as "closeness" combined with affection and/or appreciation, warmth, kindness ... along with a willingness to be unguarded, and/or spontanious..., and "vulnerable".
I think vulnerability is perhaps the most important piece to me. It's hard for me to imagine feeling intimacy without that. Maybe it would be insightful to consider what makes communication NOT be intimate?
When I see a vulnerability, it makes me want to hold or help or touch or share. It seems to be what comes first. If you see something in someone else, then you feel something (appreciation, warmth, etc) in return. Conversely, if you share a (fear, hope or dream - something you care about) then you hope for those feelings in return.
Some people are scared to show their own vulnerability when they see it in others, which prompts them to attack the 'weakness'.