Image from  (Cult)ure Magazine

Like everyone in the sex biz, I had to start somewhere. And what an auspicious beginning it was!

Venus Envy is Ottawa’s best destination for quality sex toys, books and other tawdry paraphenalia. The Man of Mans and I stumbled upon the original location in the ByWard Market shortly after we moved to the city.

The space was small and discreet yet bright, welcoming and conspicously free of shame.  Stepping into the store was a little like entering a new realm – a land where  sex was good!  The array of products was beguiling and a little confounding. The MoMs and I spent a good portion of that first visit, gawking  and wondering what-the-Sam Hill-that-was-for?

I couldn’t wait to go back!

Venus Envy became a requisit stop anytime I was in the Market. I loved it there. I loved chatting with the manager (who at that time was local literary legend Megan Butcher). I loved thumbing through their selection of porn and erotic literature. I loved their after-hours workshops where I finally learned what was up with my G-spot and how to approach anal sex.

I especially loved my vibrators!

But most of all, I loved going to a place – a store no less – that encouraged individual sexual expression. I wouldn’t have known to name at such, but I discovered sex-positivity at Venus Envy.  I learned that what I did with and desired for my body was valid regardless of whether it resembled what anyone else was doing. When it comes to sex there is no “normal”. Going to Venus Envy helped me find the motivation to figure out who I was as a sexual person.

One day, a friend told me they were looking for new staff. I submitted my résumé immediately.

When I was hired, I knew I had landed a supremely cool day job.  I figured the  biggest perk would be the deep discount on vibrators. I didn’t realize that once again, Venus Envy would change my life and start me on a whole new career path that eventually lead to work as a sex educator, an advice columnist and most recently, a burlesque performer.

But here I am and this Saturday, I’ll be twirling my tassles at Venus Envy’s 11th Anniversary Party!

Happy Birthday, VE! You’ve come a long way and thanks to you…so have I!


  1. […] how open communication can kick stigma’s ass, it’s the woman who brought us Venus Envy! In blog time Pass The Herpes is still in it’s infancy, but this baby’s […]

  2. […] My home town favourite! VE is an Ottawa institution that’s come a long way from it’s one-woman, home-based start in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Today it boasts two locations which both offer toys, books, safer sex gear and host of sexy, educational workshops! […]