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, such as Jennifer Ringley and Ana Voog. The term is also used to describe women or girls who broadcast themselves via webcam without receiving any financial gain. One of the original and most popular cam-girl sites was JenniCam.com. The corresponding masculine term is camboy.
A Camgirl who performs sexual services on the Internet with webcam software in exchange for money, goods, or attention may sometimes be (derogatorily) referred to as a camwhore (sometimes cam-whore, cam whore or cam-slut) 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. 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, otherwise known as a "bounty", or based on a percentage of gross sales for every customer who signs up to a site. While the label is usually considered derogatory and insulting, it is also sometimes self-applied, occasionally in a self-deprecating manner.
The term "camwhore" is also used to refer to individuals who post pictures or videos of themselves on the Internet to gain attention. The term disparages those who post pictures of themselves at inappropriate times or places and usually implies self-absorption. This second usage of the term, deriding vanity and histrionics, is overtaking the prior more intuitive definition.
Some insight into the world of underage chat models was provided by a major article in the New York Times. It 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 eventually 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. In the end he turned all information over to prosecutors in exchange for immunity.
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