Camgirl (Cam-girl, 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 report 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.
A 19-year-old Oregon State University student dropped out of school after being caught recording a live solo-sex show in her school's library in October 2014. She has been charged with public indecency after the show that was originally made for MyFreeCams.com was posted on PornHub (it has since been removed). If convicted, she will face a $6,250 fine.
- Cyberstalking: harassment in the Internet age and how to protect your family Publisher Greenwood Publishing Group by Paul Bocij 2004]
- Bannister-Andrews, Bethany. (April 14, 2006) UWIRE Indiana U.: COMMENTARY: Gaming sex-ploitation continues; women increase use, play.
- Bocij, pp.131-133
- Prager, Michael. (May 29, 2002) Boston Globe Wired now looks as good as it is. Section: Li';l'kving; Pge D4.
- Chua, Grace. (July 30, 2006) The Straits Times Look, it's me - Babes who blog.
- Torpy, Kathryn. (November 10, 2001) The Courier-Mail Virtual lolitas. Page 4.
- 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.")
- Phillips, Kyra. (December 21, 2005) CNN News Protecting Kids From Internet Dangers. Part 2.
- Eichenwald, Kurt (2005-12-19). The New York Times Through His Webcam, a Boy Joins a Sordid Online World..
- Hilary Hanson, "Kendra Sunderland Admits Filming Solo Sex Scene In Oregon State University Library: Cops", "The Huffington Post", March 4, 2015