What the Swiss will do with garage-like boxes

 Zurich council has approved a plan to build the boxes, which will, it hopes, 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.

“The big difference is that until now prostitution has been in the public space,” Michael Herzig, from Zurich’s social welfare department, told Swiss Radio. “Now we are going to change this, move it from the street to a private space in an old industrial area, which belongs to the city. This gives us the possibility to define the rules of prostitution in this area.”

The opening of the sex boxes will coincide with a major reform of prostitution laws in the Swiss city. Prostitution will be outlawed in certain areas of Zurich where it has taken grip, and led to local complaints about women being harassed on the streets and the activities of pimps.

The prostitutes who use the sex boxes will also have to take out medical insurance and buy a £26 licence in order to ply their trade. On top of that they will also have to feed five Swiss francs, about £3.30, into a roadside ticket machine each night when they clock on.

The story is here, and I thank a loyal MR reader for the pointer.


How much privacy do you get in a garage sized room? I bet you can hear the people in the next room. Oh well, I guess it's better than the thin curtains they use in Thailand (so I hear).

Am I the only one who thinks human trafficking is a much bigger problem (that they don't even mention!) given very few of the women speak German? If they lack the connection to the law and it's changes for them to have an awareness, do they have enough connection to get help if they were abducted and forced into prostitution. I would hope licensure would be an effective choke point to identify and help prostitutes who work because of the threat of violence, but given they don't mention it or any plans to facilitate this the last paragraph is just draining.

If you didn't click the link:
"But one problem standing in the way of the sex boxes is telling the prostitutes about them and their advantages. Many of the women working the streets of Zurich are foreigners who speak only a little German, and may be unaware of the approaching changes to their working lives."

Having known a imported prostitute or sixty, you are speaking from the outside and fall in the same category as people who think shutting down sweatshops in Africa is preferable to letting children eat and would rather them starve or prostitute themselves out instead of making socks. The vast majority of humans being trafficked aren't forced (i.e. chattel slavery via kidnapping) and often there voluntarily because their other options are worse. To quote a Moldavian worker in Sarajevo I knew who was bought for two thousand deutschmarks by the establishment owner (though really indentured servant is a better term, they have low resell value and most earn enough on the side to buy off their own debt before they work it off) when I asked her "No way you could be that stupid to think an offer for a 18 year old girl to work in Sarajevo all expenses paid for two thousand US a month was legit" she said "Of course not but when your choices for the future are spending the rest of your life in a farm village married to a alcoholic who beats you daily working your body to death in the fields popping out kids every couple year and spreading your legs in an foreign country, you take the foreign country. You still getting fucked and abused regardless, at least you have better opportunities and more pay here [Sarajevo]". Rich Western do-gooders simply, in my experience, don't understand the lack of options most people have (male or female) couple with fatalistic attitudes, motivation, and poverty. Real life isn't "Traffic" or whatever else you think you see / know from a docudrama or the academic equivalents made by women with chips on their shoulders (i.e. UN Reports on Trafficking, etc etc).

These also exist in some German cities.

I sense a new market in blackmail.

Yes -- my first reaction was "Why boxes? Why not brothels?" Then I thought about brothels and realised that if you park your car at a brothel, then people will see your license plate and know you visit whores, but if you're just picking up prostitutes in public, well, they might still see your license plate but you can maintain some level of deniability. The boxes don't offer any advantage over a brothel, though. What's the point?

It was also approved in a popular referendum by 52% of the votes.

How much is human trafficking for sex tied to human trafficking for work? You have a lot of men from other countries employed in low level jobs, so they need prostitutes, just like in a gold-mining camp in 1849.

And just like a mining camp Zurich has a natural F:M ratio approaching zero.

The point is that some janitor from Jordan isn't going to swing a Swiss babe, so he needs to pay for his share of some Ukrainian pro.

I was in Zurich for a few hours recently, and the F:M ratio didn't seem that out of whack. The overall Swiss gender ratio is 0.96 males per female, and cities typically are more female than male. That was an odd enough statement that perhaps Rahul is just being sarcastic.

For what it's worth, the obviously foreign (black) women I saw were speaking German with others that I assumed were Swiss. My German isn't good enough to detect if they were less than fluent.

Yes I was being sarcastic.

I assume the phrase "drive in slots" was deliberate. And is "it was like pushing a Swiss man into a garage-like box" a new euphemism for something?

"Our prostitutes have garage-like boxes!"

There we go again...another profession gives into licensing and finding ways of keeping out potential new entrants! Matt Y. will write an article on why this will keep the price artificially too high like all his marijuana stories.

The Swiss. So organized. To be marketed globally as "Box in a Box" by the same ad agency that did "Wine in a Box."

It was a market response to Justin Timberlake :)


I have called for New Hampshire to open brothels in the I-95 rest areas next to the State liquor stores to raise revenue.

This seems to be a better way because it eliminates the need for a hotel like structure, and drive thru sex is obviously optimal for an Interstate rest area.

As most cars now have EZ-Pass, collecting the State fee for use of the box can be handled just like any other toll station.


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