Zurich Invite People to Come in Their Sex Boxes

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein.

Attempts to curb the dangers of prostitution in Zurich mean that soon the Swiss City’s council will be operating specially designated “sex boxes” according to The Telegraph:

[These will] provide a discreet location for prostitutes and their clients to conduct business when they open in August next year.

Located in an industrial area of the city, the row of garage-like boxes will have roofs and walls for privacy, and easy access for cars. The council estimates that around 30 prostitutes will meet clients at the site of the boxes, and use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis.

[My emphasis]

Telegraph version here.

This last bit sounds very practical. A last-come-first-served basis might be problematic.

The booths will have inbuilt panic alarms and are aimed at making prostitution ‘safer’ and more economically viable, according to The Daily Mail:

An on-site counsellor will also be provided in the taxpayer funded scheme.


Prostitution will be banned in certain parts of the city and confined to the booths and two other zones after they open in August.

Michael Herzig, spokesperson for Zurich Social Welfare Department, said: ‘The big difference is that until now prostitution is in a public space.

‘Now we are going to change this, transfer it from the street, from a public to a private space to an old industrial area which belongs to the city that give us the possibility to define the rules of prostitution in this space.

‘The women will be better protected from attack, and it will also mean better business for them.

‘With the women right by the sex boxes there is no “travel time” so they can deal with more customers. It’s a better business model than standing on the street.’

Prostitutes will also have to apply for a £26 licence, register with a health insurer and buy a ticket each night for about £3 before they begin soliciting customers from January onwards.

Daily Mail’s version here.

On one level it seems like a good solution to a problem as old as the hills.

However there are complex implications for Western societies who choose to gradually legitimise this profession. A possible logical end point to this process was glimpsed in the UK back in 2010 when it was reported Job Centres had begun advertising for lapdancers, webcam girls and topless barmaids. The public outcry forced politicians to ban them from doing so. as in the UK refusing to seriously consider opportunities offered by your local Job Centre can result in you losing your welfare entitlement. In other words there was a real possibility the state was forcing women into a life choice that is certainly not fit for everyone. But if there’s nothing wrong with people working in these professions how do you logically argue that the unemployed should not seriously consider them as an option?

I think it puts an interesting twist on the recent and popular Disinfo article: “Are We Headed Toward An Economy Based Around Serving Rich People?“.

Nick Margerrison

Nick Margerrison

I write on Disinfo for fun, I've been a fan of the company for years.

In the real world I'm a freelance TV/radio presenter. I've worked for LBC, Kerrang Radio, The Bay, Edge Media TV, Hallam FM and The BBC.

My podcast is here: http://thecultofnick.libsyn.com/

5 Comments on "Zurich Invite People to Come in Their Sex Boxes"

  1. government always takes all the good ideas

  2. Al B Dammed | Dec 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    This is a very touchy subject. It’s nice they are attempting to make the streets safer for sex trade workers. However it really bothers me when trying to sell this idea to people the government just talks about “making financial gains” from the exploitation of these women. Do little girl and some boys go to elementary school with dreams of becoming pimps, prostitutes, and jigaloos? I don’t think so. Nobody is in this work because they want to be, they end up there because it’s all they can do. I would much rather support initiatives to protect children of child abuse (as nearly 100% of sax trade workers are abused as children), protect and support women; especially those with children. Women who leave abusive relationships may end in poverty resulting in prostitution. So really if this government would prefer to continue raping the benefits of the hardship and exploitation of young women well.. obviously this is a patriarchal society..

    • Hadrian999 | Dec 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

      demonizing sex workers as losers and victims is what keeps it on the street

  3. BuzzCoastin | Dec 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm |

    The Dutch have used a similar system for years. On the whole, Europeans tend to be legally prudish about, but publicly accepting of prostitution. The Swiss, in general, are the worst hypocrites about prostitution in the EU and the Americans are the worst hypocrites in the world when it comes to sex.

    The Thais seem to be the only ones who have figured out how to accommodate all types of sexual preferences, without making it seem dirty or perverted. Prostitution is illegal in Thailand since the 60’s due to pressure from the Puritanical US, but nothing really changed, except the cops got more bribe money.

  4. “With the women right by the sex boxes there is no “travel time” so they can deal with more customers.”

    Are these people we’re talking about or duracell-powered robots?

Comments are closed.