Switzerland launches drive-in ‘sex boxes’
ZURICH - The Associated Press
A poster hangs in an open, wooden, garage-style ‘sex box’ in Zurich. AP photoSwitzerland has launched a new program to make prostitution less of a public nuisance and safer for women.
Fashionably teak-colored open wooden garages, popularly called “sex boxes” by the Swiss media, will be open for business for drive-in customers. The several dozen sex workers who are expected to make it their new hub will stand along a short road in a small, circular park for clients to choose from and negotiate with. The park was built in a former industrial area nestled between a rail yard and the fence along a major highway.
The publicly funded facilities, open all night and located away from the city center, include bathrooms, lockers, small cafe tables and a laundry and shower. Men won’t have to worry about video surveillance cameras, but the sex workers, who will need a permit and pay a small tax, will be provided with a panic button.
Relocating sex traffic
Voters in Zurich approved spending up to 2.4 million Swiss francs ($2.6 million) on the project last year as a way of relocating the sex traffic away from a busy downtown area where it had become a public nuisance and safety concern due to lack of sanitation, aggressive men, and associated drugs and violence.
Jean-Marc Hensch, a business executive who heads a neighborhood association in another part of Zurich, said he hopes the sex boxes succeed because otherwise the prostitutes might return to his area. He also cited the disgusting lack of sanitation in other city areas where prostitutes and their clients defecate and urinate in the streets and gardens, or have sex in the open because they have nowhere else to go.
The drive-in garages, or sheds, have no doors to shut and come equipped with an emergency call button on the passenger side of the structure that sets off a flashing light and a loud alarm inside an adjacent office building where the city will post social workers specially trained to provide a measure of security.