When the next Sims 4 expansion—High School Years—is released, it will be accompanied by an update to the base experience adding a new feature for all players: a ‘Sexual Orientation’ toggle.
While your Sims have long been able to enjoy same-sex relationships in the game (in addition to having always been able to have straight relationships), this upcoming update will allow players to make a series of selections and toggles when starting a game, allowing for more flexibility and customisation when it comes to with whom your Sim can hook up.
SimGuruJessica, design lead on the High School Years expansion, writes on the game’s site:
With Sexual Orientation, you’ll be able to assign a series of attraction parameters for your Sim. This is a simple, affirmative statement of who your Sim is attracted to. If a Sim whose gender doesn’t match your Sim’s attraction settings attempts a romantic interaction with your Sim, they will be rejected.
You can check any combination of attraction boxes (including all or none) to reflect your sim’s romantic orientation.
Here’s what those boxes—and you can change these options later on in the game by using a mirror or dresser—look like:
SimGuruJessica stresses that, while this is a good start, it’s just that—a start—and that clearly there is more work to do here. The gender options being limited to just “men” and “women” being perhaps the biggest issue, though that one is limited by the game’s code, not its team:
Further down the line, we’ll be able to expand this to include additional gender identities that we don’t have at this time.
I understand that there will be concerns here around the initial options being gender binary. Mechanically, non binary Sims don’t yet exist in TS4. While we made great progress in representing non binary Sims with the pronouns update, we acknowledge that pronouns are not the same thing as gender identities. We recognize that we still have a ways to go in this regard.
As for turning the feature off (and remember, this will hit for all players as part of the base game, not just anyone buying the High School expansion), well lol:
Can I turn this feature off?
No. While we try to give players the option to toggle certain gameplay features, LGBTQIA+ identities are a fact of life and not a toggle to be switched on and off.
Before we go, while this update—and much of the news surrounding it—is rightly focused on the increased options and possibilities available to your Sims, here’s a different, much funnier way of looking at it: