Swiss Sex Boxes


Swiss sex box
Reuters/Arnd Wiegman

In August, Switzerland debuted a new concept: drive-in sex boxes. The goal is to maximize the safety of sex workers and their clients while minimizing the public nuisance caused by the sex trade, which has been legal in the country since 1942.

Located outside the Zurich city center, the sex boxes are stylishly constructed out of teak with clear pictographic signs indicating to the multilingual consumer base which activities are permitted (sex, solicitation, condom use, and convenient drive-up perusal of up to 40 legit ladies of the night) and which are not (cameras, video or audio recording, minors, motorcycles, littering). The colorfully illuminated boxes are open from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Building the experimental haven cost Swiss taxpayers $2.6 million, with annual upkeep of about $760,000. Sex workers who want to take advantage of the shelter-which also boasts restrooms, showers, and a small kitchen-pay $43 a year for a permit and $5.40 a night in taxes.

One thing that's not for sale: privacy. The boxes are a strictly al fresco experience.