Switzerland's first sex drive-in opens in Zurich

Switzerland's first sex drive-in opens in Zurich

ZURICH, Canton of Zurich - Switzerland's first sex drive-in will open in Zurich on Monday, aimed at creating a safer space for sex workers and taking prostitution off the city's streets.

The drive-in, in a former industrial zone in the west of the city, has a track where the sex workers can show off their assets and negotiate a price, and nine so-called "sex boxes" where they and their clients can park and conclude the transaction.

When it opens at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) Monday, the downtown street of Sihlquai, where barely-dressed street-walkers have long openly and sometimes aggressively plied their trade to the dismay of residents and businesses, will become off-limits to prostitution.

The drive-in is designed to be safer, with security guards on hand to ensure there is only one man in each car that enters as well alarm buttons in each "sex box" and on-site doctors and social workers.

However, some prostitutes have voiced concern that the strictly controlled environment of the drive-in would scare off their customers, and Zurich police said it remained unclear whether they and their clients would agree to the move.

"That is the big question. We have no idea how many women will show up," police spokesman Mario Cortesi told AFP.

The new sex drive-in was approved by 52.6 per cent of Zurich voters in a March 2012 referendum.

When AFP visited Sihlquai early Friday evening, women were standing on street corners in little more than their underwear, and sometimes even less.

One woman wiggled her naked behind at passing cars as a mother cycled past with her young child and a bag of groceries.

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