It’s a well-known fact that the majority of men turn into bumbling, jittering, Hugh Grant-esque fools the moment they step into the lingerie department of any shop.

What is less recognised is that men spend half as much on Christmas lingerie for their partners than women do when shopping for themselves.

Are all the men cheap? Or the women frivolous?

Neither, according to a new survey from lingerie firm Bluebella. Apparently, the reason that men fail to tot up anywhere near the lingerie cost that women do is due to one reason only – they’re terrified of getting it wrong.

Men spend an average of £24 on sexy underwear for their partner compared to the £47 spent when women take it upon themselves to overhaul their lingerie drawer come Christmas.

With more styles on offer than ever before – suspenders, stocking, briefs, basques, teddies, not to mention the endless varieties of bras – it’s little surprise that the average man gets a little overwhelmed. It’s far easier for them to walk out of the shop than ask a friendly assistant for help, we’re sure.

Bluebella founder Emily Bendel thinks her survey has dismissed the myth of skinflint men and revealed the real reason they don’t tend to spend big on lingerie.

"Women today know what they want and are feeling more empowered than ever before to enjoy buying beautiful underwear which makes them feel gorgeous and confident not just in the bedroom but in the boardroom too,” she says.

"The fact they buy three times as much as men is great for both parties – she feels fabulously sexy and confident in lingerie that suits her perfectly and he gets to enjoy the new view!

"Men tend to impulse purchase when it comes to underwear and go for the first sexy slip they see. They're probably unsure if their partner will like their choice so they prefer to spend less.”

Check back next week for our guide to buying Christmas lingerie – ladies, be sure to send the link onto your man for a gift that keeps on giving for both of you!