In late August, a new business opened in Zurich, Switzerland in response to the overabundance of prostitution.
Most of the prostitution happening in Zurich was on a busy red light street next to the river. To keep prostitution away from this area, a radical plan was put in place. The city residents voted 52% to 48% to build “sex boxes” in an old slaughter house next to the railroad in the hopes that the prostitutes would be out of the public eye.
A sex box is in some ways like a drive-thru. The car pulls into the facility. The car must only have one person in it or it is not permitted entrance. The customer then drives down the road to where the night walkers have lined up. The car pulls over and the two discuss prices before she gets into the car. They then drive to the sex boxes and pick a spot. After they are done, the prostitute gets out of the car and the customer drives back out the way he came. The driver is never allowed to stop anywhere else while in the facility in the hopes that the prostitute will be safe.
The facility is full of signs reminding guests of the rules. In addition to the rules, the government has tried to keep the prostitutes safe by implementing safety buttons that alert social workers and security guards if there is a problem.
The facility also has a series of advertisements to have protected sex in the fight to stop AIDs. In addition to the advertisements, the women who work in the sex boxes are subject to yearly health checkups and must pay a small tax to work.
What has been a hush hush subject has now been thrown into the public eye. News stations and newspapers everywhere have been talking about sex boxes. So how does this global attention help fix the problem?
Most citizens, and tourists, don’t want to watch prostitution happen outside their windows. So by making these sex boxes well known as an alternative location for this practice, the hope is that it will in turn give the workers and the rest of the public the privacy that they are asking for.
So perhaps it is possible that the solution to pesky problems is putting them out in the open in order to allow them to be private.
The question that now remains
is, does making a private, or
taboo, topic a public issue in
turn remove it from the public