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The Many Names for Female Practitioners of Ritual Sexuality

Tantric literature, both Hindu and Buddhist, abounds with names and coded language for female adepts, initiates, disciples and other women who more or less "secret" practitioners of more or less "secret" sexual rituals. The variety is great and includes names of goddesses, some terms usually associated with ritual prostitution, yet also some terms that do not usually have female or sexual connotations.

In order to aid the interested reader and student, here an alphabetical listing with references to the particular term's origin.

When reading scripture or commentary, be aware of the terminology employed, and beware of translators who only use "companion", "consort", or "partner". Although the latter is the least afflicted; all of these terms subtly imply that whatever is happening is mainly centered on or around the male. In essence, such usage is not only disrespectful and wrong in general, it is also not "tantric" at all. As many references in these research pages do show, it is woman rather than man who is the major initiatory agent and should be recognized as such.

See also Types of Men and Initiates