For those of you lucky enough to have experienced leg shaking, earth shattering, mind blowing, finger tingling sex, you can't deny that sex is in one word, amazing! However sex can only be this good when there is some sort of a connection between the parties. This connection quite often stems from a mental wanting, and the anticipation of sex.
Regardless of your view, it is almost impossible to view sex solely as a physical, or a mental concept. The fact of the matter is that somewhere along the process of considering, and undergoing the act, you will experience both a physical as well as a mental need. Abraham Maslow developed the concept called the Hierarchy of Needs' in the 1940's and 50's, and classed sex (along with food, air and water) as one of the most physiological basic needs. Maslow's notion was on the basis that all human beings have needs, and in order to satisfy each need, the previous need must have been satisfied.
Maslow's theory of sex being a basic need (along with food, air and water) has been criticised over the years, as it has been argued that humans can in fact live without sex, however would die without food, air or water. On a surface level this is true, as although as humans we all have natural sexual urges, living without sex (like many people do for a variety of reasons) would not threaten our immediate lives. On a deeper level however, if no one had sex, then the human race would eventually diminish to the point of extinction. With this said, is it fair to say that we subconsciously consider this before having sex?
The answer obviously depends on our reasons for having sex. People have sex for a number of different reasons, including making a baby, as part of a routine, for enjoyment, and a number of people have sex due to a combination of all three reasons. However whatever the motive, one commonality is that at some point prior to, or during the act, both the physical and mental aspect of sex plays a part (however not necessarily an equal part).
Some people attempt to address this debate by differentiating between sex and love. Their understanding indicates that sex without love sits closer to the physical side, and sex within a loving relationship supports the mental side. Although this school of thought may have some truth to it, a deeper understanding suggests that even out of a loving relationship, the anticipation surrounding sex, makes the wanting to have sex just as much a mental consideration.
Alternatively, although there is an assumption of a mental connection being present within a loving relationship, it is impossible to know whether the sexual act has occurred through the physical need of wanting sex, or the mental element of connecting with your partner. Furthermore, it seems near impossible to consider the fact that every time people have sex it will be for the same reason, with the same motives.
Ultimately when considering whether sex is more of a mental or physical thing, it would appear that depending on the reasons and basis for having sex, the answers will vary on each separate occasion. The key thing to remember here however is that during sex, there will be a combination of mental as well as physical factors, and it is near impossible to claim that sex is purely a physical or mental.