Sexuality & gender documentaries

BBC Select explores sexuality and gender and how our perceptions of these taboo topics have changed. If you live in the US or Canada, sign up to BBC Select today and let these BBC documentaries on sexuality and gender guide you through this evolving landscape.

Sex Changes That Made History

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Surgical gender reassignment is now a near-commonplace procedure. But when this ‘science-fiction surgery’ arrived in the 1940s, it was a sensation.

This sex-change documentary looks at the extraordinary stories of its pioneers: the world’s first woman to become a man, the ex-Spitfire pilot who became Britain’s first man to become a woman – and the daring plastic surgeon who carried out their operations.

Stephen Fry: Out There

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Traveling around the globe, Stephen Fry is on a mission to find out what it means to be gay in different corners of the world.

In doing so, he considers how much has changed for him over the years and, sadly, how in some places change has been far more slow. While the UK and America have become more accepting, in certain countries being openly gay can mean imprisonment or even death.

Sex Actually with Alice Levine

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This eye-opening documentary series sees Alice Levine (My Dad Wrote a Porno) meet the adventurous people pushing the boundaries of sex, intimacy, and relationships. Alice steps out of her comfort to explore attitudes towards sex in the 2020s and meet Brits who approach sex in very different ways.

Produced by Louis Theroux, Sex Actually with Alice Levine goes beneath the sheets to find out how lockdown affected sex lives and whether anything is considered ‘normal’ anymore when it comes to sex?

Louis Theroux: Altered States - Love Without Limits

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Love and marriage. Do they still go together like a horse and carriage – or is the model no longer fit for purpose?

British filmmaker Louis Theroux visits ‘US capital of polyamory’ – Portland, Oregon – to meet the couples opening up their relationships in eye-opening ways. For many, more partners means more love and happiness – but for some, he finds, it means jealousy, upset and broken hearts.

Secrets of Sugar Baby Dating

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Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies, paired up on a website with the promise of money, gifts and a luxury lifestyle.

It sounds unsavory, but is it a legitimate business? This highly revealing documentary lifts the lid of the Sugar Baby Dating phenomenon, and talks to girls who have a string of rich older men funding their lives and the women who feel damaged by the whole experience.