Will Smith Fantasized About Having a Harem of Hot, Famous Girlfriends and That’s Totally Fine

The star opened up about his love life, both real and imagined, in a recent GQ profile

Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith pose together at Paramount Pictures' Premiere of "Gemini Man" on October 06, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have often made headlines for their non-traditional approach to marriage.

Will Smith‘s marriage has been the subject of much scrutiny, debate and discourse ever since a 2020 Red Table Talk episode featuring his wife Jada’s quasi extra-marital relationship introduced the world to the term “entanglements” and the Sad Will Smith meme. Flash forward a year, and the couple’s arguably non-traditional relationship is once again making headlines thanks to a recent GQ interview in which Smith shared candid details about his romantic life, both real and imagined.

Speaking to Wesley Lowery for the magazine’s November cover story, Smith revealed that he’d once dreamed of having a “harem” of beautiful girlfriends, which sounds like a pretty reasonable fantasy to me. Smith said he first opened up about this secret desire to intimacy coach Michaela Boehm, who encouraged Smith to build out his dream harem roster of celebrity crushes including Halle Berry and Misty Copeland.

“I don’t know where I saw it or some shit as a teenager, but the idea of traveling with 20 women that I loved and took care of and all of that, it seemed like a really great idea,” Smith said. Ultimately, however, exploring the theoretical harem with Boehm helped Smith come to the realization that this fantasy was perhaps better left unrealized. “After we played it out a little bit, I was like, ‘That would be horrific. That would be horrific.’ I was like, ‘Can you imagine how miserable?’”

For Smith, the main point of working through the fantasy with Boehm seems to have been to free the thoughts, dreams and desires he once felt ashamed of from the baggage of his Christian upbringing.

“What she was doing was essentially cleaning out my mind, letting it know it was okay to be me and be who I was. It was okay to think Halle is fine. It doesn’t make me a bad person that I’m married and I think Halle is beautiful. Whereas in my mind, in my Christian upbringing, even my thoughts were sins,” Smith said. “That was really the process that Michaela worked me through to let me realize that my thoughts were not sins and even acting on an impure thought didn’t make me a piece of shit.”

That all sounds pretty healthy and reasonable to me, as does information Smith shared about his marriage later on in the interview, “delicately explaining” to Lowery that, contrary to popular belief, his wife Jada was not “the only one engaging in other sexual relationships.” While Smith ultimately told Lowery he “wasn’t sure he wanted to go much deeper” into the details of his marriage, he did share that while the couple’s relationship began as monogamous, they later opened their marriage.

“Jada never believed in conventional marriage … Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship,” Smith said. “So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up. There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection? What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection.”

Such “significant endless discussions” about the terms of a relationship and how it may evolve align with a broader societal shift that encourages couples to not to default to monogamy simply because it’s the norm or expectation. While many die-hard monogamists have taken issue with the growing popularity of open relationships and other forms of consensual non-monogamy, many relationship experts and non-monogamous advocates have stressed that monogamy is not inherently bad, wrong or outdated, but should not be treated as a norm to which couples automatically default.

In Smith’s case, all those significant endless discussions seem to have paid off.

“We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way,” he said. “Marriage for us can’t be a prison.”

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