Don't worry about whether you'll *come across* as clingy or needy. You either are or you aren't, and eventually he'll find out so don't bother trying to hide it if you are. Just be up front, and say you wanna know where things are heading so you wanna know what he's looking for.
This doesn't quite address the question, but if this is something CASUAL then I don't want you to be clingy or needy. If I'm !@#$ing you and that's it. If we have a RELATIONSHIP and I'm genuinely interested in you, I want you to be as clingy and needy as you can. I'll never get enough of the person I love.
Well one thing I have heard my guy friends tell me, is that they hate how complicated girls are. And that they wish they would just come out and say what they want to say. And dating is built on risks, so I would just ask him. It's not like you're saying "i love you". You're just asking what he is looking for.
IMHO, if you have to ask a guy what he's looking for, that's a bad sign. He might be looking for just a casual fling and/or he's just not that into you.
honestly, from experience, I wish I was more open and upfront a long time ago when I started liking this guy, I felt like we both kept things in for long and dragged on mind games and torture for years because no one said anything...
im not saying go up to him and say I like you right away, but hint it openly like 'hey so are you interested in someone?' or even ask him to hang out to see if he makes it a date...