Switzerland’s drive-in ‘sex boxes’ are a great success, officials say

U.S. & World

Publicly funded, perfectly legal “sex booths,” where customers “drive in” to meet prostitutes have been deemed a “great success” by officials in Zurich, Switzerland. 

Sunday marked the 5th year the booths were first approved, after more than 50 percent of Zurich citizens voted in favor of the local government spending $2 million on the sex boxes back in 2012. 

The booths opened to customers in 2013. 

Officials say the government spends around $800,000 each year maintaining the booths. 

Sex workers pay taxes, have regular health checks, and are overall healthier, according to officials. Prostitution has been legal in Switzerland since the 1940s. 

Here’s how it works. 

First and foremost, you must have a car, motorbike or bicycle. 

No vehicle? No service. 

Once you pull up, you and one of 24 women agree on a price and go to the booth. 

There are no cameras present, but there is an emergency alarm that summons nearby guards for safety purposes. 

The booths are open weekdays from 7pm to 3am and on the weekends until 5am. 

Officials say there have not been any serious incidents so far. 

City spokesperson Nadeen Schuster told USA TODAY the purpose of the booths is to “improve the working conditions of sex workers” and that the concept “is effective in preventing violence against sex workers and human trafficking.”

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