Is it okay that I beat up my friend in sparring when I can, but when he gets the upper hand he backs off because I'm a woman?

He's a really great sparring partner, because he's a little ahead in strength and size and I'm a little ahead in skill so it's usually pretty close and can go either way. However, when he gets the upper hand or lands big shots he backs off, whereas when I get him on the ropes I keep going and try to... show more He's a really great sparring partner, because he's a little ahead in strength and size and I'm a little ahead in skill so it's usually pretty close and can go either way. However, when he gets the upper hand or lands big shots he backs off, whereas when I get him on the ropes I keep going and try to finish him off.

He says that he doesn't mind because it's good practice for being under pressure. He's really proud and hates losing and won't give up even when he should, but if I manage to knock him down and he is struggling to get back up then I call it off even if he wants to continue. It's pretty rare that happens anyway.

I guess where the issue started though is that his girlfriend watches him train and joins in a little sometimes. She's really good I wish she would come more often and get more involved. She got really angry about the fact that it's not equal and that I beat him up but he would never do that to me. I think it's different because he has the strength to hurt me far more than him. He'd knock me clean out if he ever got the upper hand and went as full out as I do. She only cares that it's not equal and fair though.

She has a lot of influence over him and I'm worried I'll lose my favorite sparring partner. I guess first I want to check that it's okay that we train like this right? And also what should I do or maybe say to her? No-one likes watching their boyfriend get a little beat up, but he's okay afterwards?
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