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  • Topic: Sex Huts for Prostitutes in Switzerland

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    • August 17, 2013 12:31:13 PM EDT
    • Sex Huts for Prostitutes in Switzerland

      Here is a story with pics almost too bizarre to be believed but according to The Telegraph where this story appeared it's very real. Enjoy


      Switzerland opens drive in 'sex boxes' to make prostitution safer

      They look like shelters for hikers in a national park, but these wooden sheds in Switzerland have a rather less innocent purpose – they provide a discreet location for men to have sex with prostitutes.



      By Nick Squires

      3:00PM BST 16 Aug 2013



      The drive-in "sex boxes" as they are being called, will be officially opened on August 26, as part of a drive by authorities in Zurich to regulate prostitution, combat pimping and improve security for sex workers.

      The nine garage-style structures, located in a former industrial zone in the west of the city, have been organised with typically Swiss precision.

      Drivers will have to follow a clearly marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed.

      Once they have chosen one of the women and negotiated a fee, they will drive into one of the wooden sheds, which are hung with posters advocating the use of condoms and warning of the risk of Aids.

      The sex boxes are equipped with alarms which the prostitutes can activate if they feel in danger from a client.

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      The site is only open to drivers of cars – pedestrians and men on motorbikes are not allowed – and will operate from early evening until 5am each day.

      The sex boxes are one of several measures intended to reduce the large numbers of prostitutes plying their trade in residential areas and in the city centre, including a ban on soliciting along the Sihlquai river embankment.

      Men who solicit street workers outside three new approved zones, including the cluster of sex boxes, will face fines of up to 450 francs (£310).

      swisssexboxes_2646171c.jpg(STEFFEN SCHMIDT/EPA)

      "We want to regulate prostitution because until now it was the law of the jungle," said Michael Herzig, from Zurich's social welfare department, when the initiative was announced.

      "It was the pimps who decided the prices, for instance. We are trying to reach a situation which is better for the prostitutes themselves, for their health and security and also for people who live in Zurich."

      The £1.4 million project was approved by voters in Zurich last year in a referendum.

      While prostitution is legal in Switzerland, sex workers have to pay a tax of five Swiss francs (£3.50) each night that they work.

      Zurich authorities said the number of prostitutes working in the city had increased markedly in recent years, with many of them coming from Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary.

    • August 17, 2013 3:25:50 PM EDT
    • Sex Huts for Prostitutes in Switzerland

      Wow. A walk through for sex. Probably gets longer line ups than the traditional walk throughs. Makes perfect biz sense.

      This post was edited by Deleted Member at August 17, 2013 3:27:22 PM EDT
    • October 28, 2013 9:58:48 AM EDT
    • Sex Huts for Prostitutes in Switzerland

      Just saw a follow-on story on the above. . . To put things in focus

      Is Zurich's Drive-In Prostitution Facility a Flop?


      On the face of it, Zurich's plans to combat the darker side of legal prostitution seemed to make perfect sense. Prostitution has been permitted in Switzerland since 1942, but the country's largest city moved this summer to clamp down on street-walking and brothels.

      Reasoning that street prostitution made sex workers vulnerable to pimps and violence and also spoiled neighborhoods for residents, Zurich’s police have hustled prostitutes off their usual beat near the city's railway station. Across the city, new rules also made brothels illegal in areas that were more than 50 percent residential, excepting brothels that could prove they'd been open more than 20 years.

      This wasn't meant to be one of those clear outs where sex workers simply turn up in some other area. Instead of being pushed underground, prostitutes were provided with a suite of 30 drive-in wooden booths in a non-residential neighborhood, where surveillance could keep pimps out and the women safe. These "sex boxes," now running for two months, are carefully supervised. Sex workers buy $6 a night permits from a vending machine, and while there is no CCTV, there are alarms, security guards and showers to keep things as safe as possible.

      Have they worked?

      The city thinks so. According to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper, the street prostitution expunged from around the station has not disappeared only to spring up again on the streets of another neighborhood. Meanwhile around 14 sex workers are using the new more secure drive-in facility on a regular basis, just under half its possible capacity. The city government is giving itself a provisional pat on the back.

      Organizations working with prostitutes, however, disagree. They say that the drive-in boxes attract new arrivals rather than migrants from the old red light district. Zurich's street veterans, meanwhile, have not given up their trade, they’ve just gone elsewhere, probably indoors. Rebecca Angelini, spokesperson at Switzerland’s Institute for Women’s Migration and Female Trafficking, told the Tagesanzeiger newspaper that:

      There are indications that some of them have moved into hotels, single rooms or big clubs [i.e. the larger brothels in non-residential areas].
      This makes them less visible, but it doesn’t necessarily make them safer. In fact, Switzerland’s Salvation Army has recommended that the city allow prostitutes back onto the old red light district's sidewalks. According to Cornelia Zürrer Ritter, director of the SA's rehabilitation program, women tried the new facility but then gave it up because they "earned less money there and found the working conditions inhumane."

      Apparently, the area isn’t even free of pimps' influence. Zürrer Ritter says that, though they keep a low profile, they stay close to the cruising ground and assert their authority through on-site Capo women who manage and sometimes coerce women in their stead. According to Swiss Magazine 20 Minuten, these Capo women can still collect money and even pressure prostitutes into having unsafe sex. They keep their authority more easily among groups of women who are almost never from Switzerland and thus have contact almost exclusively with their working peers.

      Perhaps the greatest accusation against the new prostitution rules is that they make sex workers even harder for support organizations to contact. As a director at church welfare group Zurich City Mission told the Tagesanzeiger in another article:

      It’s got even harder for us to make contact with prostitutes. When they leave the [street] scene, the women don’t know how to find us anymore.
      Zurich still deserves credit for trying, instead of clamping down thoughtlessly. They'd thought hard about ways to meet both prostitutes' and residents' needs without ignoring either group. That they may have failed is partly due to the already extreme marginalization of women who do sex work.

      While Swiss rules mean that all legal prostitutes come from within the European Union, most are from Central European countries such as Hungary and Romania, where they have picked up little knowledge of German or of Swiss society. Subject to frequent violence and intimidation, few are on the streets from genuine choice, but getting them away is very tough when they're so isolated. Zurich’s stumbling first steps show how difficult it can be to unpick all the threads binding women to unsafe prostitution. They also suggest that tidying street workers away into monitored zones isn't necessarily the answer.

      Feargus O'Sullivan covers Europe for The Atlantic Cities.

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