During her vacation in Hawaii, back before any of this began, Rihanna went swimming with sharks. "You have no idea the thrill!" she says with a grin. "I was so excited about it, but when we were about to get in the water, I freaked out for a minute. I was like, I don't know about this, y'all. But I knew I had to do it, so I said fuck it and jumped in. It turned out to be one of the most liberating experiences of my life."
She leans in and looks me dead in the eyes. "Let me ask you something," she says. "When you know you like a guy, or when you've been in love--that feeling when you see that person, what's it like? Is it the same feeling you have on a roller coaster? That's the same feeling you have swimming with sharks. That's the same feeling you have when doing anything daring, risky, spontaneous, or unpredictable. I think having those butterflies is the closest thing to being in love." She drains her wineglass. "And when you play it safe, you don't feel anything at all."
Elle, May 2012