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.”
- Tom Colicchio on His Favorite Top Chef Moment
- Mother Who Lost Kids in Christmas Day Fire Tells Oprah She Doesn't Blame God (Video)
- Taylor Swift's Wacky Top! Nicky Hilton's Spongebob Sweater! Star Style Not to Miss
- Dallas Nurse Amber Vinson No Longer Has Ebola
- Sarah Hyland: The Modern Family Cast Is Always There for Me
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