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My Story

In 1998, I opened a little sexual health shop called Venus Envy in Halifax, expanding to Ottawa in 2001. Since those early days, Venus Envy has grown to become an important center for sexual health promotion, and I've become an experienced and enthusiastic sexual health educator. I believe that each of us has a right to affirming, accurate, and inclusive sexual health education that respects our values, identities, and experiences. I also believe (and it's been proven) that we learn best when we feel relaxed and welcomed, so I teach from a place of humor and warmth, allowing learners the opportunity to interact as much or as little as they wish. 

Since 2018, I've worked on the health education team at CATIE, Canada’s official knowledge broker for HIV and hepatitis C. 

What is a Certified Sexual Health Educator?

I am a graduate of the Sexual Health Educator Certification program through Options for Sexual Health in Vancouver. The Opt Sexual Health Educator Certification (SHEC) Program is a competency, knowledge, and performance-based training. The program is designed to prepare individuals to deliver comprehensive sexual health education sessions to a variety of audiences in the public and private sectors. 


Before being admitted to the SHEC program, I completed many trainings related to my work, including a Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR), and a Certificate in Adult Education from Dalhousie University. 

"Shelley is confident, fun and well spoken.  She created a safer space for the youth that allowed them to feel comfortable to ask questions and openly participate in a discussion around sexuality, safer sex, and sex positivity.  All the youth had positive remarks for Shelley and still refer back to her teachings during our discussions.  If you ever get the chance for Shelley to be a part of your program I highly recommend it!!" 
Jenna McGill, Leader of the Queerios Youth Group
"Shelley is a highly informed and engaging educator. She brings a sense of support and warmth to the spaces she inhabits, creating an atmosphere that encourages honesty and openness. It's so important that sex educators be willing to dive into the sometimes difficult and messy questions of human bodies and sexuality with intelligence and grace, and Shelley goes above and beyond in this respect. It has been such a pleasure working with her. If you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend her services!"

Kaleigh Trace, Sex Educator and author of Hot, Wet, and Shaking: How I Learned To Talk About Sex

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