Odds are, you're referred by a newspaper or website listing. Maybe you're shifting from traditional strip club work to the online equivalent — a popular trend in wealthier countries.

Maybe you're working in a brothel where web camming is just another expectation.

Peel away the sex and pixels and money and you're left with the cloudy truth about the internet's relationship status with these on-demand entertainers: it's complicated.

Women that do one on one sex cam chat-48

It's a web red light district, and unlike some gaudy Dutch strip or seedy sidewalk, you're completely anonymous. The basic premise of the cam girl game is a simple one: You pay a girl for her time, and in exchange, she'll take off her clothes, talk to you, play with herself (and others), or any combination thereof.

When your money is up, so's your time — the two of you part ways until you've got the cash and willingness to go at it again.

Entirely unsurprisingly, it's impossible to get in touch with any of the people who actually run these networks.

None of the above entities from Live Jasmin, Streamate, or My Free Cams responded to efforts to confirm that they do indeed exist and have some affiliation with the websites in question. And as a cam girl, you won't know where it's coming from.

But a recent tax bust against Live Jasmin's Hungarian CEO Gattyán György — one of the richest men in Hungary — and his corporation, Dolcer Holdings, shows just how muddled the corporate picture is. My Free Cams, one of the most popular of the cam portals, has a domain registered to a Leo Radvinsky, and a legal contact in the Netherlands. (Click to expand) But if you don't have this luxury — like a lot of girls across the world — you'll likely work for a "studio".

If you've got your own hardware and connection, you can essentially be self-employed, putting aside the big chunk each site will take out of your earnings. Here's the cam setup from one Romanian model I spoke with at length. That's basically a euphemism for another person's computer (probably a man), in front of which you'll perform on a tight schedule.

If you think cam girls — those flirty naked characters that plague porn site pop-up ads — are raking in easy money, you're right.

If you think cam girls are bleakly stripping online out of desperation, you're also right.

But the company's custodian of records is one Rena Erotocritou, employed by "Ariel Secretaries Limited", a ghost of a company based out of Cyprus.