This ain’t your mama’s drive-in.
The city of Zurich, Switzerland is set to a build a series of drive-in “sex boxes” which, starting next August, will provide a discreet environment for prostitutes to meet clients.
The “boxes” are garage-like structures that are large enough for a car to be parked inside. According to the Telegraph, the site will facilitate meetings for around 30 prostitutes, and clients will use the drive-in slots on a first-come — ahem — first-served basis.
Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, but Zurich officials have struggled with controlling sex-trade related crime and violence.
“We can’t get rid of prostitution, so have to learn how to control it,” police spokesman Reto Casanova said in 2010, when the idea was first introduced.
The decision was also motivated by complaints of city-dwellers unhappy with seeing prostitutes walking the streets.
“We’re sick to death of looking at it,” one resident said, according to the Mail Online.
Michael Herzig, of Zurich’s social welfare department, says that getting prostitutes off the streets will also be beneficial to the women involved in the world’s oldest profession.
“The women will be better protected from attack, and it will also mean better business for them,” he told Swiss Radio, as translated by the Telegraph. “With the women right by the sex boxes there is no ‘travel time’ so they can deal with more customers.”
Women working in the boxes will be required to take out medical insurance and pay for a license fee, the Sun reports. Additionally, each night they work, they will need to insert five Swiss francs into a machine to “clock in.”
The boxes have faced some local opposition.
Margrit Haller, representing Swiss People’s Party in Altstetten, told World Radio Switzerland in 2011 that, “The idea that women will be better protected and monitored is good, but I don’t really see it as an alternative that women either work the streets or work in the boxes.”
Nevertheless, voters gave a green light to the creation of the boxes in a national referendum last March. Installation was approved by the Zurich city council on Monday, the Local reports.
Drive-in sex boxes are already employed in several German cities.