After his wife dies, fifty-five-year-old businessman Philip Emmenthal (Sir John Standing), at the prompting of his playboy son Storey (Matthew Delamere), populates his Geneva villa with eight and a half concubines. Three are from Kyoto, Japan, where Storey manages Pachinco palaces. Each has a distinctive personality: a nun, a child bearer, a gambler, a student of Kabuki, a horsewoman with a pet pig, and a maid. Philip throws off his strait-laced and repressed attitudes, immersing himself in pleasure. After about a year, the women begin to assert their own power. Side adventures pre-figure the household’s break-up, and the women depart in one way or another, one at at time. Philip’s fate is in the hands of Palmira (Polly Walker), his favorite. If every man thinks of sex once every nine minutes, what does he think of the other eight?