Prostitution: Behind Closed… Fence Panels?

sex boxes
From 28/08/10

Police in Zurich, Switzerland have set up “drive-in sex boxes” in the city’s red light district. The boxes give prostitutes more privacy when they work, because if there’s one thing prostitutes are known for, it’s shyness. Actually, the boxes are for the benefit of people living in the area, one of whom said, “They get up to all sorts in broad daylight – and we’re sick to death of looking at it.” I think the paper made a mistake. Shouldn’t the last half of that sentence be, “and I’m running out of popcorn and this lawn chair is making my butt look like plaid”?

I guess this is one way of combatting the problem, even if they do look a bit like green fence panels from the average garden centre. And I would have thought that these panels would prove much too tempting for kids to explore when they play hide and seek or whatever kids get up to these days. 

The fact remains, though, that shielding the problem from the watchful eyes of residents isn’t dealing with it.  I can’t see the idea catching on internationally.

As an aside, I’ve never looked at prostitution the same way since a rather unfortunate episode as an undergraduate. (And no, it’s not what you’re thinking).

I naively made a comment in a paper referring to prostitution being illegal under Anglo/Welsh law. The lecturer quickly cut me down to size and explained that it was not illegal per se but rather that certain activities connected with it were. When I received the paper back, it was one of those internal grimace moments that has stayed with me ever since.  Still, it gave me a great chance to legitimately review all things (including the law) relating to prostitution – which can’t be a bad thing.


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