A webcam model often performs erotic acts online, such as stripping, in exchange for money, goods, or attention. Since many webcam models operate independently from their homes, they are free to choose the amount of sexual content for their broadcasts.
In 1996 an American college student and conceptual artist, Jenny Ringley, created a website called "Jenni Cam." Her web camera was located in her dorm room and automatically photographed her every few minutes.
Since the early days of live Internet broadcasts by Ringley and Amanda, the phenomenon of camming has grown to become a multibillion-dollar industry which has an average of at least 12,500 cam models online at any given time and more than 240,000 viewers at any given time.
Camming websites typically fall into two main categories, dependent upon whether their video chat rooms are free or private.
And in the early 20th century sociologist Paul Cressey noted that within the hundreds of taxi-dance halls of America, "the traffic in romance and in feminine society" would become available when taxi dancers would offer their companionship and "the illusion of romance" for ten cents a dance.In private chat rooms, viewers pay by the minute for a private show.However, in free chat rooms payment is voluntary and is in the form of tips, thus providing the model with an income at a minimal cost for the multiple viewers of her chat room's video stream.Much of the success of camming owes to its ability to move beyond the borders of erotic video performance, and into the everyday social lives of camming customers, or fans as they are known.Webcam performers are often highly entrepreneurial, and use mainstream social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and Tumblr to build and maintain relationships with their customers.Kari Lerum of the University of Washington suggests that men are more open and vulnerable in cam rooms than in strip clubs, and can become very invested in relationships which only exist on the screen.The term webcam is a clipped compound used to combine the terms video camera and World Wide Web.Princeton University sociologist and author of The Purchase of Intimacy, Viviana Zelizer, states of camming: "They’re defining a new kind of intimacy.It’s not traditional sex work, not a relationship, but something in between." Within Cam Girlz, a documentary film about the industry, the male fans often say that they come to camming sites as a way to fulfill emotional needs.The film's director, Sean Dunne, states of the fans, "They said it’s not like a strip club -- it’s like a community, and you feel it when you’re in these chat rooms.It’s a community and entertainment that goes very far beyond sexuality." However Dr.