A webcam model, also known as a camgirl for females and camboy for males, is a model who performs on the Internet through live webcam footage. A webcam model often performs sexual services in exchange for money, goods, or attention.
Individuals in this profession often charge a fixed fee per minute, 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 pornographic 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 term "camwhore" was first used in print in November 2001,[original research?] but may have originated in Australia as early as 1999. The label "cam whore" is usually considered derogatory and insulting.
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 She has been charged with public indecency after the show that was originally made for MyFreeCams.com was posted on Pornhub (it has since been removed).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.
- Paul Bocij (2004). Cyberstalking: harassment in the Internet age and how to protect your family. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-98118-5.
- 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.
- 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.")
- Chua, Grace. (July 30, 2006) The Straits Times Look, it's me - Babes who blog.
- 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
- "11 years in prison for man convicted in Miami gay Hungarian sex-slave ring". miamiherald.
- "Gay sex slave trial exposes hardships of male trafficking victims". New York Post. 29 December 2015.
- "Hungarian Gay Sex Trafficking Ring Busted in South Florida: SAO". NBC 6 South Florida.