This article is from the Magick Tantra FAQ, by Tyagi Nagasiva email@example.com, Catherine Yronwode firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
The creation of this newsgroup was a natural development to
avoid the spamming of all usenet newsgroups with the keyword
"sex" in their names that hit the net in 1996. Traditional
tantrism, karezza, and various forms of sex magic(k) were
being actively discussed in alt.magick.sex at the time; the
name alt.magick.tantra was decided upon by a consensus of
the members then posting to and reading alt.magick.sex.
When alt.magick.tantra was created there was no usenet
newsgroup extant for the study of tantrism as a religion and
the creator of alt.magick.tantra (Josh Geller) did not seem
to see a need to create such a group. When alt.religion.tantra
finally was created -- in 1999 -- it filled a need for a more
specialized venue where the specifically religious aspects of
Indian tantrism could be discussed without reference to other
forms of sex worship and sex magic throughout the world.
The difference between alt.magick.tantra and alt.religion.tantra
is one of content and approach:
Alt.religion.tantra has as its sole objective the discussion of
specifically Indian tantric religious practices.
Alt.magick.tantra includes discussion of traditional tantra, as
well as many other forms of direct sex-worship (e.g. veneration
of the sexual organs or metaphorical constructions seen in their
place) and other religious, mystical, and magical practices
(e.g. contemplation of the absolute; homage, prayer, or service
to a deity; invocation of powers, principalities, or spirits;
etc.) in which sexuality or the sex act may form a part of a
worship-service. In some cases posts deal with tantrism from
the standpoint of comparative religion, treating it as one of
many historical and pre-historic religious, mystical, magical,
and/or philosophical systems in which sexuality is recognized
as a prime factor.