I am gay and came out in Paris when I was 19 in May of 1974. I came to NYC in early 1977 and I was there for the Black Out of the same year. My favorite discos in Paris were "La Mandigotte", Quai de l'Hotel de Ville. et "Le 7", rue Ste Anne. There were among the best at the time but both were tiny in comparison with Studio 54. My first time at Studio 54, I couldn't believe such a huge venue just for dancing. It looked like a converted theater. Instead of theater curtains, from the carvernous ceiling, lights would go down from the ceiling, sometimes balloons or confetti and steam/smoke would blow from the sides and cover the floor. I was lucky to be with gay regular patrons so I never had to wait to get in. Since I was living in East Village, I don't think I would have gone there by myself. I was a student and I didn't have much money so it was more fun to stay from my area to Chelsea where there were many gay places. The bathroom was also surprising. There was an array of Good eaux de toilettes available for free use, most likely provided by the attendant and people were generous. There wasn't a charge but everybody left one or a few bucks for the attendant. You didn't go to Studio 54 before Midnight and that was considered early. Alcohol would be served until 4 AM, after that only non alcoholic beverages. Although, it was fun and much was allowed, it was never decadent. For my type of decadence, you had to go to a gay disco that would convert to an after hour place where you could get plenty of sexual action without much effort. We would go there after dancing or if I was home, since I was living on Peter Stuyvesant Street, I would walk to the East Side around 4 am, to Sheridan Square, down Christopher Street and up to the "meat packing district' to the Anvil, at the corner of 14th street and 10th Ave. It took me about 25 to 30 mn walking at a good pace. I did that many times by myself and It was only much later that I learned that doing so was dangerous since there were some anti gay guys or gangs who would beat up the queers. I don't know if it was because I am French but I never had any problems with Gays or Straights and easily made friends but I know it would have been of no use with Gay bashers. I don't have any particular nostalgia for the period but lots of fun memories and absolutely no remorse or regret for my behavior.
Your lucky to be alive. A friend of the family use to frequent this place in the 70's (I was a kid) and they said allot of their friends Died because of frequent sex with anyone and everyone.