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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:12 AM

Zurich to open drive-in prostitition boxes

Sounds like a pretty good idea. Better than going to a back alley or side street. And keeps the women safer.

Zurich to open drive-in sex boxes
The Swiss city of Zurich is to open drive-in sex boxes in an attempt to rid the town of street prostitution.

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.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/switzerland/9708726/Zurich-to-open-drive-in-sex-boxes.html

35 replies, 3561 views

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Zurich to open drive-in prostitition boxes (Original post)
ErikJ Nov 2012 OP
hedda_foil Nov 2012 #1
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #2
jberryhill Nov 2012 #3
Vattel Dec 2012 #32
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #33
Tutonic Nov 2012 #4
SoapBox Nov 2012 #5
ErikJ Nov 2012 #6
Democracyinkind Nov 2012 #9
JI7 Nov 2012 #7
Democracyinkind Nov 2012 #10
tama Nov 2012 #13
Democracyinkind Nov 2012 #17
tama Nov 2012 #22
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #14
Democracyinkind Nov 2012 #15
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #16
Democracyinkind Nov 2012 #19
seabeyond Nov 2012 #24
Berlum Nov 2012 #8
nomorenomore08 Nov 2012 #11
name not needed Nov 2012 #12
CBGLuthier Nov 2012 #18
Jeff In Milwaukee Nov 2012 #20
Democracyinkind Nov 2012 #21
LeftyMom Nov 2012 #28
LadyHawkAZ Nov 2012 #29
Poll_Blind Nov 2012 #23
seabeyond Nov 2012 #25
Democracyinkind Dec 2012 #31
seabeyond Dec 2012 #34
LeftinOH Nov 2012 #26
bongbong Nov 2012 #27
LadyHawkAZ Nov 2012 #30
undeterred Dec 2012 #35

Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:24 AM

1. How efficient.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:41 AM

2. There is no end to what you can do with those small European cars.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:55 AM

3. "first-come-first-served basis" seems backward to me

Isn't that like putting the cart before the horse?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)


Response to jberryhill (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:54 AM

33. It's putting the car before the ho.

 

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:10 AM

4. Imagine the sounds and smells coming from that part of town.

n/t

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:12 AM

5. And will they have a name?

Maybe they can buy the name, Jiffy Lube?


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Response to SoapBox (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:17 AM

6. Lol-

Last edited Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:49 AM - Edit history (1)

service with a smile

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:00 AM

9. "Verrichtungsboxen"


There's a stereotype about the german language... What was it again?

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:26 AM

7. so prostitution being legal was making things bad for people ?

"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."

how is this going to make things any better ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:07 AM

10. 2 perspectives

First, and this is what the city (and presumably the voters, who said yes to this) is pushing: It is meant as a service to the prostitutes. They will be able to perform their work in a safe, controlled environment. It's easier to supervise and assist sex workers when they all work in a centralized location (condoms, psychological assistance, things like that. Also, the environment is more controlled on the John's side: Rapists and people who are out to hurt sex workers will simply not show up at such a place. Then there's also hygiene, and stuff like that.

Then again, the real reason for this is more straighforward: In Switzerland, we go by a "not visible, not troublesome philosophy". 20 years ago, this city had an open drug scene. Everyone was panicking. They clamped down on that and now the drug scene in Zurich is totally hidden, taking place in alleys ind dark corners that just don't seem to rile up the good people of Zurich anymore (except when it's your dark alley that theyre using to shoot up). Don't get me wrong here, there was much more to Zurich's drug policy than simply making the addicts invisible, but that was a big part of it too.

I really think that, aside from useful arguments about working safety for sex workers, this is a typically Swiss example of "we only care if we have to see it" or better yet "if we don't see it, we just don't have to deal with it"...
On the other hand, this solution, in practical terms, means better working conditions for alot of women that currently are exposed to very nasty working conditions.

So I'm not sure what to think of this. I voted yes though. But I can't lose the feeling that the majority of people that voted like me weren't really thinking about bettering the sex workers lives but rather had a "clean up the (inner) city" attittude.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:49 AM

13. Swiss and their cleaning mania ;)

 

BTW my girlfriend is half Swiss and doesn't have that mania.

And congrats on direct participative democracy making another practical and sensible decision. Free heroin for hopeless addicts was also practical and sensible policy with good results.

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Response to tama (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:29 AM

17. I used to work for a small company...


Manual labor, after dropping out of school.

Everyday, after work, Max, my boss, would drive to this place and shoot up his methadone. Go home to his wife, kids. Pay taxes. Being loved. Educating his kids. Stuff people do.
7 years before that, he was a foul-smelling junkie, breaking in to houses in order to finance his addiction.
And although this is a ridiculously ideal outcome that can't be replicated for everyone, it goes a long way in proving that there is merit in second chances.

My biography alone forced me to seriously appreciate what it means to get a second chance (Would I hold a PhD today, living in any other place, after simply walking away from school for almost 2 years?..). But it was Max's example, more than any other personal experience, that taught me that believing in and offering second chances, even in the most hopeless situations, may be the right thing for a society to do. Sometimes reality beats fiction even in beautiful things.

Then again, and this I would want to emphasize... Not all is ideal here (where is it, anyway..)... There's still allot to do right, allot to strive for, allot to achieve. Considering how cartoonishly nice the living standards are in Switzerland it is easy to forget those who live in the shadows of it. And it's also way too easy to simply ignore all the dark and evil stuff that takes place within this shining city on the hill. There's always more to struggle for, and that's what I'm trying to do as best as I can.

Well anyway.. Say hi to your gf from a fellow Swiss-American (Tacitly mention to her that she's eligible to vote here, too, and that we're often in lack of reasonable voters?.. )

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:29 PM

22. I'll say

 

She's actually Swiss-Finn with double citizenship, and I'm full Finn. She has lived in zillion places in Switzerland (including in bordel), mostly in various communes. She has never voted there but has been in many demonstrations. She's one of the models in this picture:
http://www.hotsquat.ch/

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:51 AM

14. zurich has an inner city? when did the open drug scene thing begin?

 

i stayed there a few days about 30 years ago & have only two specific memories of it -- one was the most comfortable bed i ever slept in in some inn (because of some kind of eiderdown mattress & coverlet arrangement) & the other is how spotless & picture-perfect everything seemed.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:12 AM

15. Qualified inner city I guess.


Not american dimensions, but it def. consists of two distinct parts - the city proper and the suburbs.

The open drug scene was located in a park next to the main train station. It started tamely in the 1980's, but by the early 90's you could find groups of hundreds roaming the parks, doing drugs, selling them, sharing needles, and all the criminal activity that comes with that. I know it's strange to think of Switzerland, Zurich especially, as having an open drug scene. I've seen it with my own eyes when I was a kid, yet sometimes it feels like something I saw in the movies, not something that actually happened.

But yes, Switzerland is all about being spotless and picture perfect, at least to tourist's superficial glances. There's misery enough to be found, even here, where all are rich and neat. Maybe it's only a question of degrees, or dimension, who knows.

One thing is for sure though: It must have been way cheaper to visit Zurich 30 years ago.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:15 AM

16. it wasnt that cheap, even then. it was the most expensive of all the places we went,

 

which was why we didn't stay long. the 'inn' was actually someone's house, kind of old-style farmhouse and we were up in a big attic with no windows. but the bed was heaven.

now that i think about it, we came by train -- in my memory, the station didn't seem that big -- not like you'd see in a major city. i wonder if we were actually *in* zurich at all.

it's all pretty much a blur to me now, & the ex got the pictures.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:38 AM

19. Hey, if the details ever come back to you.. PM me..


I'd be curious to find out where you were... And if you ever feel like coming again, do so, and don't worry about accomodations

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Response to JI7 (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:36 PM

24. ya. but we like to pretend legalized prostitution makes everything "pretty woman". reality.,

 

legalization makes things worse.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:44 AM

8. "I'll have the Hypocrisy SPECIAL, with a side of Super Kink." - Republicans (R)

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:15 AM

11. Without commenting on the issue of prostitution per se, this seems like a valid form

of harm reduction.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:41 AM

12. "drive-in sex box"

I'm not even touching that one.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:37 AM

18. If you order something special will you have to pull ahead and wait?

Sorry in advance to everyone who will find offense in the "joke."

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:40 AM

20. So many punchlines, so little time!

Uh...Super-Size Me?

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:00 AM

21. Further information...

We voted on this back in March... It was 52.6% yes to 47.4%. About 40% of eligible voters cast their ballots. This measure came before the people because our local version of the Republicans, the SVP, couldn't fathom that the city council was "openly promoting prostitution" (although it's a legal trade here).

Unsurprisingly, the people that actually live in the part of town where it will be built rejected the proposition (64% no, 36% yes).

The area were this is going to be implemented is right next to the train tracks, rather at the outskirts of Zurich.

This is not a definitive project. They're going to build something there, sooner or later. The project, as voted on, is meant to last for 10 years. Then the city will assess what effect it had and consider installing a long-term version somewhere else.

I couldn't find the cost of it all just now, but the City believes that it will be paying about 550'000 Swiss francs a year (exchange rate more or less 1:1 nowadays) to maintain it (counselors for the sex workers, security, repairs, clean up).

The whole measure was put on the ballot because on-street sex working has become rampant within 3 parts of the city due to our new arrangement with the EU (Switzerland is not a member), which allows any EU citizen to come to Switzerland to work. The women that sell themselves on the street are predominantly from eastern Europe (Romania and Hungary) and are almost exclusively gypsies (german: Roma, I don't know the PC word in english) in their ethnic makeup. The situation as it is now (pre-boxes) has the city in a furor, and that was the primary motivation to get this project running.

Cities in the Netherlands (Utrecht) and Germany ( Essen, Cologne) have been the pioneers of this, and that's where the idea came from.

Local sex-worker advocates are supportive of the whole measure, but they insist that these boxes are not ideal for every kind of sex worker and they have urged the police to not ramp up actions against those sex workers who want to (or have to) keep working the streets.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:59 PM

28. The polite word is Roma in English too.

Thanks for the explanation.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:20 PM

29. So there is going to be security provided?

Thank you; the article didn't make that clear and that was my big concern.

It's better than nothing I suppose. I hope it works out well for all.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:32 PM

23. Like a drive-thru? "I didn't get enough sauce for my nuggets!" "You didn't properly toss my salad!"



PB

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:38 PM

25. yippee. chuckle chuckle. giggle giggle. nt

 

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:48 AM

31. The juvenility in this thread, and on gender/sex related issues on DU in general, is quite striking


It's very telling when the LTE's in the local paper on this issue have more substance than what DU has to say about it.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:07 AM

34. yes. the juvenility is very telling. but, then, when it is about using women,

 

i expect no less.

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:42 PM

26. I've seen small vans with a woman on a mattress in the back, and

a dude outside taking money. This was in a grubby parking lot in Seville, Spain. Whether the location is a stationary box or a mobile unit, legal or not legal, it's still pretty damn skeezy.

I don't know how widespread this particular practice is, but the vans are called "follonetas" (which basically means "f*ck-mobiles").


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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:42 PM

27. What will the rich "religious" types do?

 

Liars and swindlers like Flip-Flopper (Rmoney) and the rest of the reich-wing "God wants me to be rich, contrary to what my Bible says!" crowd have lots of dough stashed in Switzerland to avoid taxes (since they hate America).

Doesn't this violate their beliefs? Will they pull their "hard-earned" money out of Zurich?

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Response to bongbong (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:23 PM

30. "Honey, I'm just going to the bank"

"No, really, I need to check on the safe deposit box. I'll be back in a few days..."

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Response to ErikJ (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:44 AM

35. No to Baby boxes, yes to Sex boxes?

Just trying to get the Horse and the Cart in the right order here.

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