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 earn money by broadcasting, entertaining, and performing on webcams either from homes or studios. The term is also used to describe women or girls who broadcast themselves via webcam without receiving any financial gain. A webcam model often performs sexual services on the Internet with webcam software in exchange for money, goods, or attention. The corresponding masculine term is camboy.
Individuals in this profession often charge a fixed per minute fee, however many encourage viewers to purchase items on online wish lists or to add money to online accounts. They may also earn money through advertising or earn commission by convincing customers to sign up for membership at adult paysites. Commissions earned by camgirls vary widely by paysite, but are typically in the form of a flat fee, sometimes known as a "bounty", or based on a percentage of gross sales for every customer who signs up to a site. The label "cam whore" is usually considered derogatory and insulting, it is also sometimes self-applied, occasionally in a self-deprecating manner.
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". 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.
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