Dating website Victoria Milan – which arranges liaisons for married and attached people looking to cheat – reckons its members have been bombarding one another with sex-selfies, erotic phone calls and ‘sext’ messages over the festive period.

It surveyed almost 8,000 members, and found that more than two-thirds turned up the heat by interacting more with their lover during December – mainly for fear that family commitments would make it harder to stay in touch over the Christmas and New Year period.

Of those seeking more contact, 29 per cent said they missed their lover more at Christmas than at other times; 26 per cent said they needed extra passion in their life to cope with the festive period; and 45 per cent said their lovers were more difficult to stay in touch with at this time of year.

And it was a case of festive lingerie, posing pouches and mobile phones at the ready as the sex-selfie – with 39 per cent of votes – was named as the most popular method of communication in December. Long erotic chats (36 per cent), sexting (15 per cent) and hot phone calls (10 per cent) were also popular.

Victoria Milan founder Sigurd Vedal said it could be difficult for lovers to keep their passion alive over the Christmas holidays as real-world commitments took over.

“Christmas – and December in general – equals a jam-packed social calendar, leaving precious little time for devious dalliances with a lover,” he said. “Luckily, modern technology allows Victoria Milan members to keep the passion alive. Nearly 40 per cent of our members will be sending Christmas cheer via sex-selfies – that’s a present in itself.”

And they say romance is dead.