London, England, 1990
'Amateur sex is fine for youngsters,' says Donald. ' But it takes a pro to take care of a man of my age and experience.'
Donald, the son of colonial administrators, brought his children to England as the transition of power in Kenya moved from white to black.
'Did you know that in ancient Egypt, the word for woman was also the word for hand?' responds Franca rubbing a heavy smudge of charcoal into the paper with her thumb, daring not to look up at Donald.
Franca is a highly successful business woman in her early 40s, unmarried, childless. She wakes every morning to her very own biological alarm clock.
Donald smiles at the joke and returns to his inept sketch with feigned disgruntlement.
If you treat men like they're stupid, they'll behave stupidly, he says.
'Paying for sex is cheating,'says Bruno, a once successful but currently failing business man. He has to raise his voice to be heard from the other side of the studio. 'It leaves you feeling empty and worthless. The more you do it, the more worthless you feel.'
Donald and Franca exchange knowing looks.
'Oh get out of it!' Bruno splutters with embarrassment, never taking his eyes off Princess. Princess is spread out on the floor completely naked. Her legs spread wide. The hair on her crotch carefully shaved into a single line leading to her pink vagina. Princess is a nurse and aspiring actress who complains about being kept out of parts by gay producers. She poses nude for the Saturday morning life drawing course to keep her truly fit and tattooed body in full public view without having to lowering herself to providing prurient pleasure to sleazy businessmen at the pole dancing parlor.
The life class is taught by Brian, a hugely successful artist in the 1960s who fell out of favour when he could not change with changing tastes. He has not had a show or commission since, and makes do with a wealthy wife and teaching. He paces in the background.
Neither, Tasha, a dark and voluptuous beauty sitting quietly in a corner nor Arthur, a very rich writer and artist have anything to say to each other or anyone else.
When the class winds up, they leave separately; and while she makes her way to the bus stop, he gets behind the wheel of his sleek Ferrari.
When Arthur pulls up to the bus stop and offers her a ride, she doesn't hesitate for an instant before she jumps in. It's quite obvious, they're shagging each other on the QT.
He lives alone his luxury country house on the banks of the upriver Thames; and despite Tanya's many attempts to be invited to move in, he is having none of it. While she is a frequent visitor, there are some doors in the house that remain locked.
One dark night, while he is worn out and asleep after having pushed his tongue into every nook and cranny on her sleek, black body, she creeps out of his bed and snoops around his house.
There is one locked door in particular that Arthur always appears nervous about. She tries it.
A shadow looms up behind her. An axe is raised. Tasha cowers under Arthur's upraised arm. He lowers his arm slowly, takes out a set of keys and unlocks the door.
Behind the door is a very beautiful woman in a wheel chair, parapalegic and heavily sedated. She does not speak but her eyes are emploring and pathetic.
The woman in the chair is Arthur's wife, who out of jealousy, threw herself in front of a car. Arthur has been hiding her ever since.