Four digital paintings that served as covers for the first four chapters of the novel Secrets of the Velvet Trap. The paintings show the characters Dr. Eleanor Wentworth, Eddie, Vivian, and Dr. Victor Stahl
Cover Images for Secrets of the Velvet Trap, Chapters 1–4 by the author © Teresa Wymore

METAFICTION | PSYCHOANALYSIS | LGBTQ | 1930s

Patient Session Note 1

Veiled beginnings: Summary of Chapters 1–4 from “Secrets of the Velvet Trap”

Tantalizing Tales
Published in
3 min readApr 11, 2024

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In 1930s Chicago, a troubled psychoanalyst and her tormented young patient pursue an unethical affair. In the shadows of an underground fetish club, their dark eroticism exposes the raw edges of desire.

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Patient: Edith “Eddie” Langley, Female, Age 25
Date: November 11, 1935
Session Number: 24

Psycho-sexual Evaluation:

The patient presents with marked disturbances in her libidinal economy, manifesting in symptomatic neuroses that include a voyeuristic interest in peep shows, sadistic phantasies of restraint and control, and inversion. The patient’s reluctance to discuss the proximal cause for analysis and resistance to the psycho-analytic process obstruct a detailed anamnesis and diagnosis. Her perverse conduct likely stems from regressive infantile fixations and primal life conflicts. However, sado-masochistic tendencies often represent exposure to early-life adversities, necessitating exploration of both developmental and traumatic aetiologies.

Session Note:
Persistent hostility towards the analytic process characterizes the patient’s demeanor. She manifests psychic distress, primarily due to disapproval from authoritative figures, notably her priest and her mother. An evident transference of repressed animosity towards her mother, coupled with an overt idealization, reveals significant ambivalence.

She provided further elaboration on her engagement with restraint, tracing its genesis to paternal influences. Initially a method for managing fear, the act of tying herself became a symbolic mechanism for control and subsequently acquired a sexual attitude.

Although initially contentious, the patient’s interaction with the analytic process has shown gradual shifts towards cooperation. The analytic relationship, however, remains volatile, with phases of rapport intermittently disrupted by the patient’s defensive withdrawals.

Interventions:
Introduction to psycho-sexual literature (e.g., Havelock Ellis, Magnus Hirschfeld) aimed at bridging her conscious awareness with unconscious libidinal drives, focusing on her sexual constitution and societal repressions.

A fortuitous disclosure of the analyst’s familiarity with the Velvet Trap and its owner, Miss Vivian Moreau, revealed a potential avenue for deepening trust and openness in the analytic dyad. The patient’s frequent visits to the Velvet Trap, an underground establishment, suggest a compulsive employment of phantasy. Her adoption of the pseudonym “Atalanta” underscores a structured dichotomy that allows her to manage guilt and shame.

Consultations:
Post-session, a dialogue with Dr. Victor Stahl was undertaken. He remarked on the problematic countertransference and advocated for increased self-reflection. He advised adherence to orthodox analytic methods and expressed unease with Dr. Sándor Ferenczi’s “active” technique in facilitating deeper patient engagement through a direct and nurturing approach.

Treatment Strategy:
Continuation of regular psycho-analytic sessions utilizing free association, dream analysis, and the active technique is planned, as well as an exploration of the patient’s early life and potential traumatic events. Considering the patient’s intellectual engagement and imaginative capacity, the analyst may introduce literature and scholarly works to elucidate the nature of her deviations.

Confidential Notes by: Dr. Eleanor Wentworth, M.D., Psycho-Analyst

17 stories
In a dark 1935 psychoanalyst’s office, Eleanor, a mature brunette wearing gold-rimmed spectacles and green blouse, lies on a couch, while in the background Victor, a mature, bearded man wearing black-rimmed spectacles, looks on.
In the Velvet Trap library in 1935, Eleanor, a mature brunette wearing a dress suit and spectacles, and Eddie, a young blond with short hair wearing a blouse, embrace and kiss on a sofa. The background shows shelves of books.
Eddie, a young woman with short blond hair wearing a white blouse, sits at a desk with a typewriter in a 1935 newsroom.
6 stories
A woman wearing a tuxedo stares at the viewer, a crowd of club patrons in the background, warm palette
Two women intimate on a couch in a cozy home, the brunette wearing a tuxedo, the blonde in a dress, circa 1929
Woman in a tuxedo with two fashionably dressed women in a dark, 1920’s speakeasy

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Teresa Wymore 🏳️‍🌈
Tantalizing Tales

Author Artist Athlete | Morally ambiguous lesbian fiction & dark eroticism | she/her | *Pursuing Jouissance* https://linktr.ee/teresa.social