Haha.. a flask of gin definitely sounds like a conversation starter!! But you nailed it… if asking about the direction of the relationship scares a dude off, better sooner than later. Even the advert you mentioned, saying things like, “Don’t say this unless you want to lose him,” again puts men on a pedestal. As though we have to be soooo careful to hold on to one—and they, not us, are the prize to be kept.
It’s why we’re so often self-conscious about seeming clingy or needy. Women are afraid to express how they feel or ask questions like you did (kudos) because we don’t want to say the “wrong” thing. Too much emphasis is placed on our being and doing what a man likes instead of what’s authentic.