Loosely based on a 1926 short story by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, the film opens as an artist and a young woman are in a dentist's waiting room. Though he is attracted to the woman, he says nothing to her. They are later in the same examining room. When he is given an anesthetic, he begins to imagine a series of scenes in which the woman undergoes various forms of sexual abuse, including rape and torture. When the artist recovers from the anesthetic, he finds clues showing that he may not have been hallucinating.