The mons pubis is a rounded, fleshy mound that covers the pubic symphysis, which is the joint of cartilage that unites the right and left pubic bones. It is generally recognized as part human sexual anatomy, and is present in both males and females. In most cases it’s more pronounced in women than in men, though its appearance can vary widely, usually in relation to the overall proportion of a person’s body fat. Whether it’s even recognizable can often also be a factor of the density of a person’s pubic hair. Its main role is to protect the pubic bone during sexual intercourse, though researchers sometimes also think it might play a role in pheromone secretion and overall sexual attraction. People who are concerned about the prominence of this part of their anatomy sometimes retain the services of a cosmetic surgeon to “lift” or otherwise enhance the fleshy bulge.
This part of the body is also referred to simply as “mons,” mons veneris, or “the pubic mound.” Its name is derived from the Latin for "pubic mound," and is not gender-specific. Many people think about the term in mostly feminine terms, though. For instance, mons veneris translates from the Latin as "mound of Venus" or "mound of love," which is a far more feminine and evocative phrase. A colloquial term for this part of the female anatomy is "fanny hill," a punning allusion to "fanny" — a British word for the female genitals — and a reference to the well-known 18th-century British pornographic novel Fanny Hill, written by John Cleland.
From infancy, the genitals of both boys and girls sit on a slight bump of flesh, and this generally only grows and becomes more apparent during puberty. Most experts believe that this bulging is an anatomical feature intended to cushion the pubic bone from impact during intercourse, when bodies often press into each other with some force. A slight elevation to the genitals might also help pheromones, which are sex hormones, disperse more easily. This can help with sexual attraction.
Development in Females
All of the external organs of the female reproductive system are located between the mons pubis and the perineum. When girls reach puberty, the body's estrogen production causes the area to thicken and become covered in pubic hair. Its exact appearance varies according to a woman's age, race, heredity, and the number of children she has had. The outer labia — known as the labia majora — extend from the lower reaches of the mons pubis. The triangular formation of hair on the mons and the labia majora is called the escutcheon.
Presence in Males
In a pubescent male, the mons and the scrotal sac undergo similar changes and tend to become more pronounced. While scientists are not certain of the purpose of pubic hair, it is thought that its function is to capture the oil secretions of the sebaceous glands located in the area. In males particularly, these secretions are used to signal sexual availability and, at least from an evolutionary perspective, are powerful enough to prompt changes in the physiology or behavior of another member of the species.
As a Cosmetic Attribute
This area of the body has not escaped the attention of cosmetic surgeons. One procedure, called the pubic lift, is known clinically as a mons pubis rejuvenation. This lifting of a sagging mons is often done in conjunction with an abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a “tummy tuck.” Aside from improving the appearance of the genitalia, the procedure sometimes has the added benefit for women of exposing the clitoris, which can lead to enhanced sexual satisfaction. Plastic surgeons might also perform liposuction on the area for patients who are dissatisfied with the size, shape, or appearance of this part of their genitals.