A few thoughts, LTS:
I read the book late last year and found it to be one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read about being a gay man.
16 pages in and I’d suggest you keep reading. :-)
Also, take in context the last sentence before the paragraph on page 16, above the picture in your post:
“Famished for authentic validation and without a reliable sense of self-directions, he develops a sophisticated radar for those things and people who will make him feel good about himself.”
I took the last few words to mean everything in explaining the next paragraph. For “some gay men”, which I believe is implied, they may take some parts of their lives to the extreme (fitness, career, sex) to FEEL GOOD about themselves.
This should become more clear with more examples as the book progresses.