Cherry Holloway, nineteen, beautiful and fresh from the country comes to New York City seeking a career, love and marriage. After many unsuccessful attempts to get a job, she is employed by Clarice Foster who uses a model agency to front for her real business - running an expensive call girl racket. Although Cherry is invited to stay at Clarice's luxurious apartment, where she shares a bedroom with Barbara, another beautiful "model", she doesn't suspect what is going on.
Cherry meets Bob Murphy, a handsome artist, while admiring some paintings at a gallery. They have a few dates and fall in love. Clarice sends Cherry out on her first assignment to see Warren Curtis, an advertising account executive, supposedly as a candidate for an important ad campaign. Warren attempts to rape her, but Cherry escapes.
When she relates what happened to Bob, he makes her see realize what Clarice really is and since Bob declares his love for her, Cherry moves in with him. They hope to marry some day when Bob is financially set, but in the meantime indulge in a tempestuous affair.
Cherry and other models pose in the nude for Bob and one of these paintings wins great acclaim. Bob attract the attention of Helen Desmond, a sensuous blonde heiress, who says she can do great things for him. Cherry becomes jealous and she and Bob have a fight. Bob moves to Helen's apartment.
Cherry is heartbroken and to get even accepts the proposition of Mr. Harris, a distinguished looking man of 40, to set her up in a Park Avenue apartment. But one night Mrs. Harris and a detective with photographer break in and catch Harris and Cherry in bed naked. A big scandal follows and for a while Cherry finds it difficult to get any kind of work.
In the meantime, Helen who is a nymphomaniac, is so demanding on Bob's love making, that he becomes a physical wreck and leaves her. He regrets his split with Cherry. He becomes an alcoholic and has a wild nightmare (a sensational sequence with breathtaking colour) in which he imagines Cherry going through all sorts of horrible sex situations - all due to his guilt feelings about his neglect. his suicide attempt attracts newspaper attention and brings Cherry back to his side.
We leave them somewhat scarred by life with the wild set, but wiser and hopeful of happiness in marriage.