Healthy intimacy heals people emotionally, allowing them access to higher levels of being (or deeper aspects of self), including the spiritual level. This process is akin to growing and tending to a garden that produces flowers and fruit. It produces self-wholeness and emotional well-being.
On the other hand, violent or destructive intimacy splinters the self, especially on an emotional level (which then blocks personal access to the higher levels of existence). This departure from wholeness produces emotional pain, a condition in which “parts” of the self are stuck emotionally at lower levels, depriving the person of the potential richness of life and relationships that characterize a healthy human being.
One irony of human existence is that we are born potentially whole, but all of us have been harmed and thus splintered in some way by harmful interactions with others. Intimacy, the uniquely human aspect of sex, is a powerful way to heal these emotional wounds through our interaction with the perfect other: a human, like us, who is yet basically different because of his or her different gender.
Indeed, we are driven, from the time of sexual maturity, toward the unity of Spirit which we all long for, and which is most closely achieved in true intimacy with another human.
In intimate moments, each partner gives and takes freely from the other. What is exchanged in these moments? Emotional energy circulates through and between the two lovers, and what is whole in one tends to produce wholeness in the other. This wholeness is a spiritual phenomenon, and it is more powerful than the splinteredness or hurt that the animal or fleshy part of existence has produced in us.
Thus, as they say, love really does conquer all.