Drive-in sex stops in Europe a success

Posted on 2014.09.01

Drive-In Sex Stops in Europe

Designed with safety in mind, this is Europe’s answer to helping street based sex-workers.  A garage style structure is generally designed so that the driver cannot exit the vehicle after entering the box, but the sex-worker is able to.  The idea for afwerkplek (literally meaning “a place to finish the work”; more to the point, “a sheltered area, provided by the state, where workers provide their services”) began in the Netherlands in 1986 and later expanded to Germany in 2001.  Cologne now boasts a 70,000 square foot, fenced in, gated entry state-of-the-art Drive-In with security cameras and each stall is equipped with an alarm button.

Now Zurich has followed this model as well.  Locals began making complaints of public prostitution in 2010 and the government began considering this option.  In March 2012 voters decided in a referendum that they needed a solution and decided to open sex-boxen (sex-boxes) in 2013.  Now, one year later, social services are calling the boxes a success.

Zurich sex box drive through

Signage for the Drive-In Sex Stop in Zurich

[su_quote cite=”Zurich Social Services”]The new regulation of street prostitution has attained its objectives of protecting the population and the sex workers. No increase in street walkers had been noticed in the two other districts of the city where prostitution was tolerated. The first year of the service has been positive.[/su_quote]

A New Way To Ride

The sex drive-ins started in an old industrial area west of Zurich in Sihlquai, funded and supported by the local government.  They even have security personnel patrolling the area to ensure the sex-workers and customers safety.   And if you happen to want to bring your laundry to do while you’re busy in the car or sit in the cafe after your shower, these ‘service stations’ also feature these amenities.  This does come with a price though, the sex drive-in has cost about €2,000,000 for the set up and management.  Sex-workers are required to have a work-permit and required to report their earnings and pay taxes.  Currently the sex-boxes services about 15 sex-workers an evening.

Photos: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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