Excerpts From Rihanna's Rolling Stone Cover StoryThe pop singer on her first kiss, her family and more
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"I do think I'm a bit of a masochist," she says this evening. "It's not something I'm proud of, and it's not something I noticed until recently. I think it's common for people who witness abuse in their household. They can never smell how beautiful a rose is unless they get pricked by a thorn."
She thinks it explains her attraction to tattoos (14 and counting, including a skull with a pink hair bow on her left Achilles, a pistol on her right rib cage and the words Never a Failure, Always a Lesson on her collarbone), as well as her "love-hate relationship" with the media, and the fact that the darkest moments of her life are out there for public consumption. "When I think about it, I really do take some pleasure in the negativity," she says. "I don't want to say turned on by it – but I'm turned on by it."