Switzerland is a lot more laid back about prostitution than the United States. It's legal for anyone over the age of 16. Paid sex acts are taxed like any other service, and sex workers are required to carry health insurance. That all makes sense, since paid sex is an industry worth nearly $4 billion per year in Switzerland. So what's the problem? It seems that some citizens would rather not be confronted with the realities and occasional violence of prostitution in family-friendly areas. Fair enough. But what's to be done about it?

Last year, citizens of Zurich decided to spend more than 2 million francs in public funds to construct drive-in "sex boxes." While sex at a drive-in is certainly nothing new, this concept is. These boxes look a little like a changing room at the beach, and each one is appointed with a comfy bench. Sex boxes can be found on a single site, accessible only by car (sorry, no walk-ins) and offer a private place for sex-based transactions that's far, far away from school-age kids and spinster librarians. There are no cameras on site, but each box has a panic button just in case. The sex drive-in contains a laundry facility, showers, lockers, and an on-site social worker. You know, in case you feel like talking over your life choices. As you might imagine, drive-in sex boxes are open all night. Prostitutes are safer since the environment is more controlled and hygienic, condoms are always available, and there is unobtrusive staff on site.

As you might imagine, sex boxes premiered to mixed reviews. Journalists and onlookers swarmed to the site on opening night, probably scaring off potential customers who prefer not to have an audience for their sexcapades. A mere four prostitutes were on site when the sex boxes opened for business, but the site accommodates 50 sex workers comfortably. That should be enough for even the wildest stag party. Sex box drive-ins could be a welcome addition to many communities that accept prostitution but don't want to see it on their otherwise pristine streets. It could also signal a return to the old-school tradition of a Saturday night at the drive-in.

You can read more about Zurich's publicly funded experiment at The Guardian.

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