Intimacy was/is always in the context of sex for me. Direct genital contact, maybe leading to orgasm. But sex itself has always been in the context of, and aftermath of, an emotional bond formed over some time. (Yes I've thought a lot about sex just for the sake of sex, but that would have diminished sex for me. So I never have done, and may never do anything resembling a one night stand.)
My point in bringing that up is one of context. Intimacy is a superset of sex, which also allows for the possibility that for some (few, many?) they are two words with the same meaning and weight. I can't make out any differences unless I take the readers/listeners perspective into account (and here I'm guilty of assuming that everyone I talk to has no problem with the concept of sex with a stranger). Now the terms are distinguishable under this assumption, but only in an external projection.
Does anyone else equate the two to that degree?
Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way. - C. Hitchens
Me: Male, bi, 48, flexible