speaks out about the reception of her sexy single 'S&M,' insisting that the controversial hit is only superficially about sex.

The music video for the hot-and-heavy hit has been banned in 11 countries since its February release, due to its racy content. Amidst criticism, Rihanna is quick to point out the deeper meaning behind her too-hot-for-TV hit.

"The song can be taken very literally, but it's actually a very metaphorical song. It's about the love-hate relationship with the media and how sometimes the pain is pleasurable," the singer tells Vogue magazine. "We feed off it -- or I do. And it was a very personal message that I was trying to get across."

Apparently, the Bajan babe is surprised that viewers missed the metaphor amidst the latex outfits and suggestive banana sucking. She continues to defend her work stating, "I wanted the video to say that but still play off of the theme of S&M. And I mean, wow, people went crazy. They just saw sex. And when I see that video, I don't see that at all. I wanted it to be cheeky."

The video does include scenes of Rihanna wrapped in newspaper on display at a press junket and dancing around projections of tabloid headlines in a bunny costume.

Rihanna reminds her critics that she is a performer. "There is the character that I have to play in my videos to tell stories," she explains. "It's art." She goes on to detail her provocative image in general as keeping up with the times. "The pop icons nowadays are very fearless, unapologetic, edgy and it's a lot for people to swallow sometimes," she says. "Because people still think pop star equals role model, but it's almost impossible to walk that line."

Watch Rihanna's 'S&M'