Romantic table set for two in the wine cellar at Tintswalo Safari Lodge. Picture: Danni Marais. For Verve travel article, July 2008.

London - The art of seduction is a fine skill but most people know exactly what turns them on.

A new survey that questioned men and women about what gets them excited yielded surprising results, among them that a bit of wine, dinner and “I love you” still works like a charm.

Nearly half of all women who participated in the survey admitted that hearing a declaration of love is a surefire way to get them in the mood.

Yahoo! Shine and Fitness Magazine collaborated on the questionnaire that asked 1 000 adults a range of questions about their sexual preferences and habits.

Both sexes agreed that sharing a romantic dinner with a good bottle of wine makes for a perfect warm-up to an exhilarating night of passion.

But when it comes to whispering sweet nothings, it really is the sweetness that counts rather than the raunchiness.

Of the women surveyed, 42 percent said that being told “I love you” fuels the motors while only 25 percent responded to being told they were “hot”.

Communication and its many different forms played a major role in the questionnaire as well.

Younger men and women confessed to enjoying flirtatious SMSes, with 22 percent likely to get turned on by an explicit message and just 12 percent of the older generations admitting the same.

Half of nearly all adults, however, told the interviewers that they had at one time or another engaged in “dirty talk” over the phone to excite the senses of the person on the other end of the line.

Foreplay aside, when it came to sealing the deal, couples who were married or living together were found to have sex on average 2.4 times a week.

Leading up to those steamy sessions, 38 percent of couples fantasised about their own partners while a more imaginative 38 percent envisioned themselves with celebrities.

Their single counterparts kept numbers up with an average of 5.3 trips to the proverbial bedroom a week, though who they were sleeping with each time was not revealed.

Regardless of how often, 65 percent of women said they were quite satisfied by the length of the lusty sessions while 55 percent men hoped for a bit longer between the sheets.

Paired with the fact that men estimated the journey from foreplay to orgasm to last 45 minutes compared to the women’s more modest guess of 39 minutes, it seems men just can’t get enough.

Indeed, given an imaginary extra hour in the day, 46 percent of men said they would spend the time having sex while only 24 percent of women felt the same. – Daily Mail