Tooyama, an aging impotent art critic, sends his much-younger wife, Shizuko, to Paris to evaluate the work of Ikegami, an artist he sponsors. She discovers she's curious about sado-masochism, and soon she becomes Ikegami's object of bondage as well as his muse. Encounters with Ikegami lead her into a shadowy world of wealthy patrons of ropes, humiliation, and slavery. Ikegami discovers his protective side, and Tooyama reenters the picture. Once Shizuko can reestablish control over her life, she can make a choice.