Random late-night, post-practice thoughts:
Mike, hate to say it, but if that black belt said you were grabbing her neck too hard in irimi nage you were almost certainly screwing up the technique, and it has nothing to do with wimpy vs. "realistic" practice. You were just wrong (and it's a common error). Tell her thank you the next time you see her.
Just the opposite. I didn't grab her neck hard. I put my hand on it but barely squeezed on purpose. I came no where close to my normal practice. She now moved during the technique because she knew that was expected of her rather than me making her move. I am also a black belt.