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Camgirl or Cam-girl or chat model is an Internet term for women who are featured on webcams. The word is used for women who operate their own webcams. The term is also used to describe women or girls who broadcast themselves via webcam without receiving any financial gain.[1] A camwhore (sometimes cam-whore, cam whore or cam-slut) is a derogatory slang for someone who performs sexual services on the Internet with webcam software in exchange for money, goods, or attention.[2][3] The corresponding masculine term is camboy.[1]

Some of the common ways of doing this is by charging a fixed per minute fee, by encouraging viewers to purchase items on their wish lists or to add to their online accounts.[4] They may also earn money through advertising or earn commission by convincing customers to sign up for membership at adult paysites.[3] Commissions earned by camgirls vary widely by paysite, but are typically in the form of a flat fee, otherwise known as a "bounty", or based on a percentage of gross sales for every customer who signs up to a site.[3] While the label is usually considered derogatory and insulting,[5] it is also sometimes self-applied, occasionally in a self-deprecating manner.

The term camwhore was first used in print in November 2001,[6] but may have originated in Australia as early as 1999.[7]

A New York Times described the story of Justin Berry, a 13-year-old boy who, after hooking up his webcam and listing himself on an online forum in order to make friends, was propositioned by older men to strip and masturbate on camera. CNN referred to him as "in the language of cyberspace... a cam-whore".[8] He started his own paysite, prostituted himself, sold video recordings of his encounters with Mexican prostitutes, and helped hire other underage models. He made several hundred thousand dollars over five years before turning all information over to prosecutors in exchange for immunity.[9]


  1. ^ a b Cyberstalking: harassment in the Internet age and how to protect your family Publisher Greenwood Publishing Group by Paul Bocij 2004]
  2. ^ Bannister-Andrews, Bethany. (April 14, 2006) UWIRE Indiana U.: COMMENTARY: Gaming sex-ploitation continues; women increase use, play.
  3. ^ a b c Bocij, pp.131-133
  4. ^ Prager, Michael. (May 29, 2002) Boston Globe Wired now looks as good as it is. Section: Li';l'kving; Pge D4.
  5. ^ Chua, Grace. (July 30, 2006) The Straits Times Look, it's me - Babes who blog.
  6. ^ Torpy, Kathryn. (November 10, 2001) The Courier-Mail Virtual lolitas. Page 4.
  7. ^ Oppert, Allan; Mullens, Ken. (November 14, 2004) Sunday Mail (Adelaide, Australia). Surviving a great white: How it feels to be a webcam girl. Section: Features2; Page 66. (writing, "The first lot of cam girls coined the phrase "cam whores" as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek thing. [In 1999, we] were whoring ourselves for hits, getting on cam and flirting.")
  8. ^ Phillips, Kyra. (December 21, 2005) CNN News Protecting Kids From Internet Dangers. Part 2.
  9. ^ Eichenwald, Kurt (2005-12-19). The New York Times Through His Webcam, a Boy Joins a Sordid Online World..