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.Since the early days of live Internet broadcasts by Ringley and Amanda, the phenomenon of camming has grown to become a multi-billion 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.
Senft has described herself as "the first academic camgirl" while becoming a “camgirl writing about camgirls.”"The men I meet online rarely fall into the category of anonymous asses who have abandoned all social etiquette, nor do they resemble the pasty, calculator-wristwatch-wearing forebears of chat rooms past.
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.
However this is not the first time that conversational interaction had become a boon for the erotic entertainment industry.
The Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre strip club is credited with the invention of the lap dance when during 1977 their new stage, New York Live, pioneered customer-contact shows with strippers that came off the stage and sat in the laps of customers for tips.