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The Sims 4 is adding sexual orientation options in a free update

Including support for aromantic and asexual Sims

The next free update for The Sims 4 will add options which let you define the sexual orientation of your Sims. That includes support for straight, gay and bi Sims, as well as those who are asexual or aromantic. In a blog post about the feature, design lead Jessica Croft also detailed the system's limitations and said they consider it "a version 1.0".

The feature adds new options during the Create-A-Sim process. As shown in the screenshot above, there are three new details to define for your character: whether they are romantically attracted to men, women or both; whether they are interested in "Mess Around" with men, women or both; and whether the Sim is "exploring romantically."

Answering 'yes' to that last question means that who your Sim is attracted to can change through gameplay. Croft writes in the post outlining the feature that they want to support stories about Sims who are "still figuring things out", and as these Sims "experiences romantic interactions, they may find themselves in a very different place than where they started."

A previous free update for The Sims 4 added support for pronouns, but the new sexual orientation options only recognise a gender binary. Croft acknowledged that shortcoming, saying it is a result of "technical limitations."

"As stated above, mechanically, non binary Sims don’t yet exist in TS4. You still have to make a binary gender selection for your Sim at creation, regardless of pronoun settings," Croft writes. "TS4 is 8 years old at this point, and reliant on systems that were originally architected with a gender binary in mind. In the intervening years, we’ve taken important steps such as Gender Customization, Pronouns and now Sexual Orientation. It’s a journey still in progress, with many more steps to go. Proper mechanical systems to fully support non binary Sims is another step in that journey."

The post also explains that it's now possible to become "WooHoo partners" with other Sims, should you be playing with a Sim who is aromantic but not asexual. WooHoo was previously gated behind romance within The Sims 4's systems. If you don't modify existing Sims with these new options, they'll remain as they always have - effectively aromantic, open to WooHoo with men and women, and any decision about who they're attracted to shaped via in-game actions.

The free update containing these changes will be released for the base game alongside the High School Years expansion pack on July 28th.

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Graham Smith

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