March 30, 2011 8:00 AM ET
Watch Rihanna answer fan questions at her hot Rolling Stone cover shoot below.
The new issue of Rolling Stone – on stands and online in the digital archive on April 1 (subscription required) – features a deep interview with Rihanna in which she talks to contributing editor Josh Eells about her difficult upbringing, the endless rumors about her relationships and why she agreed to let a judge ease the restraining order against Chris Brown. "That's my decision," she says. "It doesn't mean we're gonna make up, or even talk again. It just means I didn't want to object to the judge."
She hasn't heard from Brown in a very long time. "We don't have to talk ever again in my life," she says. "I just didn't want to make it more difficult for him professionally. What he did was a personal thing – it had nothing to do with his career. Saying he has to be a hundred feet away from me, he can't perform at awards shows – that definitely made it difficult for him."
Other highlights from the story:
• She went through an incredibly difficult time after the Brown incident. "I put my guard up so hard," she says. "I didn't want people to see me cry. I didn't want people to feel bad for me. It was a very vulnerable time in my life, and I refused to let that be the image. I wanted them to see me as, 'I'm fine, I'm tough.' I put that up until it felt real."
• Rihanna's hit single "S&M" is semi-autobiographical. "Being submissive in the bedroom is really fun," she says. "You get to be a little lady, to have somebody be macho and in charge of your shit. That's fun to me...I like to be spanked. Being tied up is fun. I like to keep it spontaneous. Sometimes whips and chains can be overly planned – you gotta stop, get the whip from the drawer downstairs. I'd rather have him use his hands."
• Next May she's going to play a Navy weapons expert in the big-screen adaptation of the classic board game Battleship. She spent three months filming in Baton Rouge and Hawaii, including many 18-hour days on a barge with 350 people – and just one outhouse bathroom between them. "There were times I would walk up to her like, 'Are you really handling this?'" says Battleship director Peter Berg. "She would just laugh at me. She said she was really enjoying not having to drive the ship - not having to be running this huge Rihanna machine."