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updated 11/2/2011 1:35:33 PM ET 2011-11-02T17:35:33

Can steamy bodice-ripping fantasies featuring Brad Pitt or Ryan Reynolds (or both!) actually be good for your real-life relationship? Experts say yes, but TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb say they’ll pass.

“I disagree with the whole [idea of] really fantasizing about a celebrity crush,” said Kotb on Wednesday. “I think you fantasize more about people who you see or know [like] the Fedex guy.”

While that may be true for many women, telling your significant other that you’ve thought about pouncing on the guy delivering your Christmas gifts might be more of a libido killer. According to an iVillage survey, 63 percent of women fantasize about a person other than their mate during sex. And experts say sharing your fantasy about a celebrity — someone who you have almost no chance of actually getting with — can be a great way to rev up your engine and get your partner excited too.

“Fantasies are a very normal part of sexuality,” sex therapist Ian Kerner told TODAY.com. “Having a celebrity crush is way better than fantasizing about a ‘real’ person. It could be a good way to spice things up with your partner — if you have a good, trusting relationship. It’s a great way to start a conversation with your partner around sex.”

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Video: KLG, Hoda talk celebrity fantasies (on this page)

Marriage counselor Andrew G. Marshall told the UK Daily Mail how he encourages his clients to use their celeb fantasies to spice up their relationships. According the article, Marshall has them dream up sexy scenes starring their celebrity crushes, then mentally replay them a second time around — with their partner taking the lead role. "It gives people ideas they might like to try out at home," he told the paper.

One big “don’t," Kerner said, is using your crush as a way to make your beau jealous. “You should not use it to create a negative emotion. That’s the last thing you want to do.”

In addition, celebrities shouldn’t be a point of comparison, as Gifford fears could happen.

“I just say it makes the guy you’re married to look worse than he actually is…all of a sudden your husband’s stinky socks are going to smell stinkier. His bad breath is going to smell stinkier…his stomach isn’t going to look as good as George Clooney does.”

Relationship expert Robi Ludwig says such feelings can be avoided, as long as you can distinguish between reality and fantasy. “If the fantasy doesn’t allow for a real relationship, that’s a problem. Some people get so wrapped up in the idea of the fantasy that they diminish the importance of a real relationship," she told TODAY. "As long as you remember what it is, you can use the sexual charge you get from the fantasy to benefit your relationship.”

Want some star power to get out of a bedroom rut? Here are a few pointers:

Do: Let your imagination run wild and let your partner benefit from it.

Don’t: Feel guilty about it!

Do: Use your fantasies as a cue to tell your man what you think is sexy. “You can tell your partner about a sex scene that you thought was really hot… get saucy and explicit,” says Kerner.

Don’t: Tell your partner that you’re constantly fantasizing about someone else — even if there’s no chance you’ll ever meet him. “It’s insulting — every partner wants to feel that they are the one that turns you on,” says Ludwig.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Video: KLG, Hoda talk Bieber baby claims

  1. Closed captioning of: KLG, Hoda talk Bieber baby claims

    >>> from nbc news, this is "today" with kathie lee gifford and hoda kotb , live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza .

    >>> so glad you're with us today. wines tai, wednesday. middle of the week.

    >> we have kris jenner prepping and getting ready to be with us on the program today. interesting given two things. everything with her daughter kim and she's got a new book out as well.

    >> she's lived quite the life. i'm sure she's not getting asked as many questions as she would like about her book today.

    >> very newsy day.

    >> herman cain and kim kardashi kardashian. the two hot stories.

    >> kim did release a at the same tim time. a lot of people saw the crush of cameras when she arrived in australia. i wonder if she expected that big response.

    >> it's a huge hit in 150 countries around the world. i think she's come to expect it.

    >> my sister was in dubai when she was there. she said it was just like this kim kardashian insanity.

    >> pandemonium.

    >> here's her statement. first and foremost, i married for love. i can't believe i have to defend this. i would not have spent so much time on something just for a tv show . i love with all my heart and soul. i want a family and babies and a real life so badly that maybe i rushed into something too soon. i feel like i was on a fast roller coaster and couldn't get off when now i know i probably should have.

    >> you know, people are going to have their opinions. that's the kim i know. is the person that is a hopeless romantic . but the thing is that i think she has to understand now at this point -- and we'll talk to kris about it a little bit later, too. it's almost impossible to have a normal life anymore. they've become bigger than life. if you want those things, i remember saying to marla maples once. she said she was so in love with donald trump and all of that. she wanted -- frank and i lived out on a farm in connecticut with a white picket fence . she was talking about, this is the life i want. this is the life i want with donald. i said, here's the thing. you're never going to have this life with donald. you got to understand that. you'll have a different kind of life and maybe you can be happy. didn't turn out so well. you've got to understand the reality of the situation is if you're going to marry a kardashian, you're going to be caught up in their world. they're all about family. it's almost impossible to have a private life .

    >> what's interesting is the fans are so emotional. like, it's -- this is, i guess, what happens when you open your family up. people really feel a part of it. they feel a part of the love, the joy. they feel betrayal. they feel hurt.

    >> of course.

    >> they feel everything. at first i was like, wow, this sort of crazy anger, like, this is insanity.

    >> is that what most of it is?

    >> a lot of it is on the high temperature. i think people felt invested. some people have been saying it's a sham. kris says that's absolutely ridiculous and so does kim . i think it's one of those things that people don't like to feel betrayed in anyway.

    >> ultimately it is her life.

    >> yeah, yeah.

    >> she has the right to make her choices. here's the thing. we live with the repercussions of the choices we make. i don't know. we don't know the truth. we're going to try to find the truth from kris when she comes on. she's been very, very busy. usually she comes to new york, i get a chance to say hello. not today!

    >> justin bieber is also in the news of late. so on -- just when his album's being released a young girl comes out and says she and justin bieber had a sexual encou encounter. not only that --

    >> very brief.

    >> she said 30 seconds.

    >> anyway.

    >> then she said she has a baby that's now 3-month-olds old and she wants him to take a paternity test and all that. she said it happened at a concert?

    >> the staples center in l.a.

    >> he invited her backstage and they went into a restroom.

    >> about the most romantic thing. i hope it's not true. interesting legal ramifications if it is. the girl is apparently older -- two years older than justin . he would have 16 at the time which is statutory rape.

    >> makes her 18. yeah. those are fuzzy when you're that close in age.

    >> you and i differ on these kinds of things. the law is the law for a reason.

    >> she believes everything is black and white .

    >> here's what i also think. if it's a lie she should have charges brought against her. for defamation of character. there's got to be a stop to this at some point, too.

    >> the timing is questionable. her lawsuit -- her suit against him is coming out right when his album is released.

    >> yeah. and the baby's 3 months old? how about when she got pregnant?

    >> everything's planned.

    >> everything's planned. i wish i could be devious like that and manipulate stuff and plan stuff. i say bring it on. let it happen . bring it.

    >> if you fantasize about your celebrity crush , and you're married or in a committed relationship, one study says it's a good thing. because it keeps the -- the juices flowing, apparently. the fantasizing about a stranger or a celebrity crush --

    >> is disagree with this. what do you think?

    >> first of all, i disagree with the whole really fantasizing about a celebrity crush . i think you fantasize more about people who you see or know. the fedex guy.

    >> anybody in this room?

    >> there might be somebody.

    >> jerry?

    >> or anthony? yeah, baby.

    >> i like j.d. a lot, a lot of hotties around here.

    >> they say it increases the fun you have with your own partner because you're more stimulated. and you say?

    >> i -- i just say it makes the guy you're married to look worse than he actually is. because if you have a crush on george clooney and somebody in your cast does, and she shall remain nameless.

    >> but her initials are?

    >> jo ann lamarka. you have a fantasy about this man who seems perfect, of course we all know in reality he isn't. all of a sudden your husband's stinky socks are going to smell stinkier. his bad breath is going to smell stinkier. all about smells. his stomach isn't going to look as good as george clooney does. you start --

    >> nitpicking?

    >> nitpicking and not appreciating the man you're married to.

    >> good point. we trash to. one of our facebook fans we want to apologize lately.

    >> you want to. it was your idea. not guilty.

    >> i was say ing ifyour shoes are a half size too big for you and you want to wear them still, what works is if you take a maxi pad . let's just say what it is. you peel off the sticky part and put it in your shoe. suddenly, uncomfortable shoes are comfortable. they fit better, whatever. it costs a couple cents.

    >> dr. scholz makes nice ones.

    >> sharon taylor heard about our advice.

    >> whose shoes are those?

    >> i don't know. anthony.

    >> i feel bad for sharon taylor. she put her maxi pads in. she had to go to the airport. she put them on the conveyor belt . you know, it wasn't pretty. she felt bad. she realized it. we want to apologize.

    >> keep your shoes on.

    >> i just want to give a big shout out to the folks --

    >> you've been wanting to since the weekend.

    >> a couple days. the folks at the kennedy center . we had this honoring the promise gala. it was a terrific gala. ambassador nancy brinker , sister of susan g. komen . there were tons of wonderful people who came up. a couple of actors from "scrubs" and different shows you've heard of. great. all for breast cancer . a big shout out for that. and my friend chris dukes, in green on the end, she had a nice breast cancer event i attended, too.

    >> do you ever stay home and take care of hodie?

    >> yes, i do.

    >> you've got a quiet weekend coming up? no. your mother's retiring.

    >> yes. it's still going to be a quiet weekend. semiretiring on thursday.

    >> library of congress is going to cease to exist. i don't think it can run. look at that. uncle jay. very cozy looking family.

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