What on earth is “tenting”?

Today’s blog post is brought to you by reader questions, duoballs and the letter “V”

I received a question from a reader when I mentioned that I had a low-sitting cervix in this review of the OVO L1 Loveballs.  This awesome reader very astutely pointed out that if my cervix sits low at certain points in my cycle, then that would mean that my vagina is very shallow.  And they wanted to know how people with low-lying cervices can have penetrative sex if their vaginas are only a couple of inches long.  I was quite excited to get this question, because it has a really interesting answer and it’s also something that not a lot of people know about.

Before we jump into answering this reader’s question, let’s take a quick peek at some pelvic anatomy, shall we?

vagina diagram

Ok, so you can see in the diagram above the vaginal canal and the cervix that sits on top. The cervix is the opening of the uterus, the gateway between the uterus and the vagina.  Now, this bit’s really important: a lot of people think of the vagina as an open tube, like a length of pipe.  In actual fact, the vagina is really more like a deflated balloon, in that most of the time the walls are flattened down and compacted.  It’s not a tunnel, it’s more like a sleeve.  But this deflated shape isn’t permanent.  Just like a penis can go from soft to hard, the vaginal canal can go from narrow to wide, and this happens during a process called “tenting”.

 

Tenting is a pretty nifty process that happens as part of the sexual response cycle in people who have vaginas.  The sexual response cycle is basically the body’s reaction to sexual stimuli, getting turned on and preparing for intercourse.  Everyone’s sexual response cycle differs a bit but generally all people with vaginas go through the same steps.  And “tenting” is one of those stages.  In order to prepare for penetration, the walls of the vagina become slightly swollen which increases sensitivity and also opens the vaginal canal to make penetration easier.  The uterus begins to draw upwards, lengthening the vaginal canal to make more room for a penis or object of penetration.  This swelling and lengthening is called “tenting” because it’s like the vagina is opening up like a tent, ready for your partner to come inside.  So  people with penises aren’t the only ones who pitch a tent when they get aroused!

 

If you’ve got a vagina, it’s likely that you’ve experienced this aspect of the sexual response cycle.  Consider how it feels when you try to put something inside the vagina when you’re not really turned on.  It might be very dry and everything feels a bit tight and uncomfortable.  Now compare that to the way it feels when you’re super aroused and rearing to go.  It’s so much easier to accept penetration (whether that’s a penis, fingers or a toy) when you’re turned on and you’ve had a chance to get ready.  The vagina is much more receptive, it’s likely to be slicker from lubrication and it feels more pleasurable because blood rushing to the area increases sensitivity.  This comparison highlights the importance of knowing your body and taking your time when it comes to sex.  As I said, everyone’s body works at a it’s own pace, but it generally takes a minimum of twenty minutes for a person with a vagina to reach the peak of that preparation phase and be fully ready for penetration.

 

So now you see how having a lower-lying cervix isn’t a problem when it comes to penetrative sex.   The vagina is a very clever body part that does some amazing things, and the way it prepares for sexy times is only one of them.  All it needs is a bit of time, patience and foreplay to help it along.

 

Do you have a sex question you want answered?  You can shoot me an email or get in touch via one of my social media channels.

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3 thoughts on “What on earth is “tenting”?

  1. I found this really interesting. It made sense even though I have a vagina I’ve never given it much thought about the how it all works in that way. Lol. What’s a retracted cervix? I think that’s what they say? Like it’s backwards facing. Bahahaha f me that sounds wrong.

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