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Meet the Concordians talking sex on TV

Nabil Mehchi and Sylvia Wilson take sex-ed to new heights in CBC Gem series
June 7, 2022
By Richard Burnett, BA 88

Sylvia Wilson and Nabil Mehchi are the producers behind CBC Gem’s The Big Sex Talk.

From the connectivity of the internet to the social distancing of a global pandemic — and everything in between — the 21st century has seen if not a sexual revolution, a discernible evolution in our relationship to sex. The new CBC Gem documentary series The Big Sex Talk explores the new landscape of sexual and gender diversity with an informative, cheeky vibe. 

Produced by Montrealers Nabil Mehchi, BA 95, and Sylvia Wilson, Attd 92, for Mehchi’s Noble Television production company, the series is narrated by certified sex educator Shan Boodram and features guest experts, culture vultures and personal stories from everyday people.

“I wanted to do a series on sex, but nothing lurid,” says Mehchi. “Today we’re hearing so many things about being trans, nonbinary, how to use new pronouns and also hearing about new relationship models. So we got the straight dope on what Canadians are living because there’s a lot of noise around sexuality today.”

Nabil Mehchi | Photo: Barry Russell

The series doesn’t pull any punches and puts a human and often funny face on the things that get people all hot and bothered. Over the course of six episodes, The Big Sex Talk examines monogamy; what it means to be asexual; the intersection of sex, tech and humanity; ideas of gender, sexuality and the possibilities beyond the gender binary; whether we have a ‘sexpiration’ date; and unpacks what being queer truly means.

“We cover a lot of ground and discovered that Canadians are actually way more open sexually than we think we are,” says Mehchi. “We made sure our series is a real, immersive experience because we’re all sexual beings and communication is a key.”

Once the CBC green-lighted The Big Sex Talk, Mehchi recruited Emmy Award-winning (for Cirque du Soleil, Fire Within) television producer Sylvia Wilson who came on board as series producer.

“At first I wondered if Canadians — who are not always forthright and forthcoming — would really talk about their sex lives,” says Wilson. “It turned out that people were dying to talk about sex! Frankly, they were glad to talk about something else besides the pandemic. Also, my daughters are teenagers now and I can see that conversations their generation are having today about gender and sexuality are much more open.”

Sylvia Wilson

Wilson left Concordia three credits shy of obtaining her communications degree in 1992 because she was offered an industry job she could not refuse. But, she says, “Studying at Concordia is where I fell in love with cinema and learned that we all have stories.”

Mehchi adds that he also made some lifelong friends and colleagues at Concordia.

“It was the best time ever,” he says. “The Department of Communication Studies at Concordia is famous for good reason: they not only help give you an understanding of how to work in media, film and television, but it is a life education as well.

“You’re allowed to experiment, so you can discover the things you’re good at and maybe not so good at. I also created a network of people that I still work with to this day. Half of the people I work with graduated from communications at Concordia.”


Stream the documentary series The Big Sex Talk on CBC Gem.

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