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Ted begins the series as an accountant. Ted is a few years older than his friends and was portrayed as having difficulty in finding sexual partners or building a romantic relationship. His earliest attempt, with a younger man named Blake, ends with Ted in a coma from an overdose of GHB. After recovering he meets Blake again and they start a relationship. Blake is still using and Ted checks him into rehab, but Blake disappears.
After Ted loses his job for viewing pornography at work, he turns his expertise in pornography into an online business, creating the website "jerkatwork.net" (originally "jerkatwork.com" but changed between seasons). At around the same time he starts a romantic relationship with best friend Emmett Honeycutt. Ted's business is shut down following a crackdown, when it's found that his assistant, who does not perform on the site, is underage. To avoid jail time, Ted surrenders all of the profits from the site. Disconsolate, Ted turns to drugs, especially crystal meth. His drug use and newly-discovered interest in anonymous sex parties leads him to lose Emmett as a boyfriend. After hitting bottom (stealing from Melanie and Lindsay's son's trust fund to pay his way to a circuit party), Ted checks himself into rehab. There he meets Blake again, who's become a counselor. After Ted finishes rehab he and Blake get romantically involved again but it ends shortly thereafter.
Ted takes a job as the chief financial officer of Brian Kinney's new advertising agency. He takes on new responsibilities (including making advertising pitches) and grows in confidence, but is still insecure about his ability to keep a romantic relationship. He undergoes extensive plastic surgery (with no obvious results) and for a time bleaches his hair blonde. In the final two episodes, Ted becomes involved with yet another man who suddenly shows signs of Borderline personality disorder. Ted breaks up with him and, while on a ski trip with Emmett, reunites with Blake.