The line at the very end of the movie by Jennifer Lopez basically sums up the essence of what I believe we should take from the film (you will have to see the movie to know the line. No spoiler work here), but for these purposes, I'll just say the primary question is whether sex workers are wrong to maximize the amount of money they can get from their male clients. The movie is based on true life events where a group of women established a ring that practiced leading men on to believe sexual pleasure was imminent just to gain access to the men's large credit limits. The moral question here is are these women wrong to engage in these behaviors at the financial expense of these men? My answer is absolutely and resoundingly NO! As is the case in real life, the "men" we are talking about are men who make these large amounts of money by deceiving and swindling money from everyday people through bank loan scams, investment schemes, and other methods. And, in the course of interacting with the women, these men display the most barbaric and anti-human behavior against sex workers, treating them like commodities. The data is overwhelming in illustrating that these women are commonly sexually and physically assaulted in the course of engaging in their work so just like any other worker, when you are abused at work, your tendency will be to do things to resist in any way that you can. Whether that means taking money from their credit card or calling in sick when you are not really sick, the end result is essentially the same. And, since I believe workers in all forms of work are exploited, in the case of sex workers in brutal ways, that means they should maximize their ability to benefit from their work in way that they can. Any man who experiences losing money in a sex work interaction is no different to me than the method banks employ to make up for losses resulting from defaulted loans through their so-called "provision for loan losses." The rates you pay for your loans has a percentage built into it that compensates for those loans the bank will write off that are not paid back so the price you pay reflects you paying for defaulted loans whether you default on your loans or not. Well, for sex workers, their provision for loan losses is the ability to gain compensation from men who they can get it from. For men who utilize sex workers, this is no different to me than the risk you as a consumer take on when accepting any type of loan. The only difference is the absence of the social stigma with bank loans as opposed to sex work.
Another way to look at this is these men are paying the cost of what the women have to endure from those men who are abusive to them. As a profession, it makes sense to me that every man who interacts would have to share a portion of that risk/cost just like you have to share a portion in what your loan is priced at rate wise. Its capitalism 101.
The larger question is why people have to even engage in professions like sex work in the richest society on earth. A civilized society would ensure every woman and every person has the opportunity to learn skills while making sure those people are protected by law to have the opportunity to work. This is a socialist principle of course. Since no such principles exist here, people are forced to earn money to pay for overpriced housing, food, etc., and for these women in question, sex work becomes that avenue. In that context, there should be no issue with this except for the fact we live in a capitalist society based on backward Judeo-Christian/Puritan values. A patriarchal society that makes every woman a commodity. Consequently, women are blamed for a system that they didn't create. They are simply attempting to survive within it since the society has provided no other mechanisms for them to do so.
We as men need to talk about and acknowledge the reality that no industry can exist unless there is a market for it. Sex work wouldn't be a thing unless there were plenty of men, especially men with significant financial resources, who are in the market for sexual services. None of what I'm saying here is based in devaluing or diminishing the value of sex work. Although I'm not someone prone to pursue such work (something about having to pay someone to pay attention to me has never appealed to me if you know what I mean), I recognize that the need for these services is something that cannot in any way be blamed on the women participating in this industry. Instead, what we should be talking about is why our relationships are so dysfunctional so consistently so that we are unable to build the type of healthy intimate connections to other human beings. And, even when we are able to do this (in a socialist society because it will never happen under capitalism), there is still a place for sex work. Just not the type of exploitative work that dominates this industry today because once the exploitation is removed the need for the types of activities engaged in by the women in this movie will also be eliminated. These are the types of conversations we as men and society need to start having. Conversations where men begin to learn how to be accountable for our participation in this reality instead of just systemically blaming women.
In the interim, we really need to stop demonizing women who participate in sex work, whether we utilize their services or not. Like anything else, if you disagree with it, don't utilize it, but we really have no use for your efforts to control how women exert their self determination. No one is interested in anyone's puritanical and judgmental values. We are interested in helping societies solve their problems and from where we sit, international imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, and other systems of oppression are the primary obstacles to forward human progress, not sex work.