When it comes to anal sex, the person who ‘takes it’ is more likely to contract an STI if their partner has one. This is because the rectum’s lining is thin, affording better absorption of infection. Indeed, this is not to say that a ‘top’ has minimal risk; they too can contract an STI through their urethra. But studies show that bottoms are at a higher risk than tops.
And so, when a man wears a condom during penetrative sex, it’s usually not just for themselves. They do it for both parties.
The same can be said for vaccines. Covid-19 vaccines, for instance, can offer you protection from catching Covid-19. But even if you do catch Covid-19, you are far less likely to spread it to others. This is because you are far less likely to become symptomatic, meaning you are unlikely to cough and sneeze on others, or rub your runny nose with your hand and touch surfaces.
On top of this, masks can also be compared to condoms. We don’t just wear masks to protect ourselves; in fact masks are better worn by those who have Covid-19 (or any other virus). Even if you think you are healthy, you are still recommended to wear a mask, purely because you cannot be absolutely sure of your status.
It’s the same from a sexual health point of view. Even if I am asymptomatic and believe I don’t have anything, I’ll still wear a condom. Because I cannot be totally sure. I know this because I have slept with guys who have had Chlamydia, who clearly didn’t have any symptoms. They actually looked healthy.
You just never know. And this is why it’s recommended to wear a mask even after you’re fully vaccinated, because you don’t know who’s vaccinated around you. Nobody wants to be the reason why somebody close to them gets sick, let alone kill them.
It’s why I wear a condom. It’s why I’m vaccinated. And it’s why I still wear a mask.
Remember: it’s not just about you.