BAR BELLE: Camelot

Where: 1823 M St NW
Getting in: carded at the door
Prices: pretty pricey
Food: maybe in the Champagne Room
Dancing: only the strippers
Pluses: scantily clad women
Minuses: horny men

The endless lines of eager men, the blackened windows, the big yellow awning and the burly bouncers instill a sense of wonder every time I walk by. Yes, it is the Camelot, with a title more befitting to the time-honored tale of King Arthur. But it is the only place where you’ll see college grads and pedophiles rub shoulders.

After years of passing up offers to join their elite stripper fleet, the Bar Belle and her friends decided to take the coercers up on their offer and entered the black vortex self-dubbed a “a gentlemen’s club.” We had started the evening early at a nearby bar where we drink for free. So, with all inhibitions safely tucked away, the night was open for anything. No, we did not get down and dirty, that was left for the professionals, but we did scope the place out and get a sense of what all the fuss is about. As one girl exclaimed when we hatched our Camelot plan, “Oh! My boyfriend told me that it’s the classiest strip club on the East Coast!”

Now, having watched “Strippers: The Naked Stages” on HBO’s “America Undercover” Thursday night, and the blockbuster hit Showgirls, the Bar Belle thought herself quite an expert on the world of stripping. Well, nothing could prepare her for the mountains of silicone up close and personal. The Bar Belle shelled out 12 bucks for two Bud Lights and sat back and observed while the voyeurs around us discussed the authenticity of the dancers’ chests.

The Bar Belle considered for a brief moment that a breast augmentation wouldn’t be so bad. That thought could only mean it was time to leave.

It was surprising to see that after finishing a number, a dancer goes to edge of the stage and puts her underwear back on while the next entertainer Windexes the mirror and pole before starting her routine – now that’s high class. We didn’t stay long enough to catch the entertainers’ names, or to inquire what their day jobs were, it was fun just to see what was really behind Camelot’s big wooden doors.

Now the Bar Belle is going to have to spend the remainder of her year doing good deeds to recover some of the innocence she’s lost. It is safe to say this Belle will never revisit Camelot, and if this Belle had a Beau, she would be telling him to find a cheaper strip club.

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