Though statutory rape does not require that the prosecutor prove an assault, it is still rape.
As long as you don't have sex (or oral sex or anything like that) until you're 18, it's totally fine.
"Dating" doesn't even exist in the eyes of the law, it's just a social concept.
As far as the law is concerned, you could be friends, acquaintances, strangers, whatever, it's only what you physically do that matters.
In California, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 18), even if the sex is consensual.
Those who break the law have committed statutory rape.
Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age (for example, two teenagers of the same age), as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.Statutory rape is prosecuted under California’s rape and sexual assault laws.Penalties depend on the ages of the defendant and victim, as described below.Unlawful sexual intercourse includes sexual intercourse or penetration (however slight) between a minor who is 17 or younger and a defendant of any age.